Australia’s national ballet company is celebrating its 50th birthday. The Australian Ballet launched its first season with a production of Swan Lake in Sydney on 2 November 1962.
This was certainly not the beginning of ballet in Australia. Prominent European companies toured Australia during the 1930s, like the Ballets Russes de Monte-Carlo, featured on our homepage. Several dancers stayed on and established ballet schools in Australia, among them Hélène Kirsova and Edouard Borovansky.
Touring companies quickly grew from these early schools. With the sponsorship of JC Williamson’s, the Borovansky Australian Ballet Company flourished until its founder’s death in 1959. Many of Borovansky’s dancers became part of the principal company of The Australian Ballet which was founded by the Borovansky company’s artistic director, Peggy van Praagh.
Borovansky appears in Spotlight on Australian Ballet, a National Film Board production from 1948, which you can view in full below or on the NFSA Film Australia Collection YouTube channel.
See all titles tagged 'ballet’ on ASO and explore a photographic timeline celebrating 50 Years of The Australian Ballet. You can also go behind-the-scenes with The Australian Ballet via their lively Behind Ballet blog or by following them on social media.