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In recent years, The Australian Ballet has played an essential role in a project celebrating the visits of The Ballets Russes to Australia in the 1930s. These made a major impact on all art forms and on Australian culture in general. Also involved in the project are the University of Adelaide and the National Library of Australia, with funding from the Australian Research Council. The celebration has taken the form of a series of ballets, exhibitions, and publications, backed by an enormous effort in data-gathering and original research.

encore1   Photo: Nicolette Fraillon (right) enjoys a joke as Ballet Society President Josie Woodgate OAM extolls the virtues of The Australian Ballet and its Music Director.

At our evening function on Thursday 13 August, Nicolette Fraillon, Music Director and Principal Conductor of The Australian Ballet, treated us to a sparkling review of the project. She highlighted the part played by The Australian Ballet and demonstrated her commitment to, and involvement in the historical research. This extended to the UK and New Zealand. Within this country, it identified a wealth of material in the form of letters, photographs, and ephemera, collected by Australian balletomanes or preserved by the Ballet Russes dancers who settled here. In recreating the original choreography, The Australian Ballet was fortunate to obtain the advice of a small number of dancers from the original casts. Question time revealed further insights, and the audience left convinced that in Nicolette we have a dynamic, erudite, multi-talented gem of a Music Director.

Visit National Library Ballets Russes.


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