The Ballets Russes in Australia 

2 May - 6 July 2008


Between 1936 and 1940 the Australian public was introduced to a brilliant and exotic company of dancers, productions, stage designs, costumes and music, the likes of which had never been seen or heard here before. The Ballets Russes, Sergei Diaghilev’s dazzling company of artists (presented in Australia by his successor, Colonel Wassily de Basil), revitalised the art form of ballet and had a profound effect on Australian cultural life.

Presented in conjunction with The Australian Ballet’s 2008 Adelaide season, and with the four year national project, Ballets Russes in Australia: Our Cultural Revolution, this special display will provide a glimpse into the important artistic impact the Ballets Russes had on Australian cultural life.

Ballets Russes performance of 'Les Sylphides'  
D. Darian Smith, Australia, 1900-1984, Ballets Russes performance of 'Les Sylphides' c.1936-40, Adelaide gelatin-silver photograph on paper 18.7 x 24.6 cm (image), Gift of Glenda Kent and Bill Purvis 2008, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide.


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