Australian Ballet

When Sergei Diaghilev staged The Sleeping Princess at the Alhambra Theatre, London, in 1921, he hoped to prove that classical ballet could be as popular as the outrageously glamorous West End hit, Chu Chin Chow, which ran for five years. Diaghilev invited the brilliant colourist Leon Bakst to design sets and costumes equal to those of the orig ...

At the closing performance of the Borovansky Ballet in 1961, Peggy van Praagh stepped onstage and spoke about the importance of founding an Australian ballet company. Harold Holt, the serving federal treasurer, went backstage to pledge his personal support. Van Praagh’s celebrated history as a dancer and director overseas made her the perfect candidate to run such a company.

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