Grace Edwards

Freelance writer – creative – media-maker

A Thousand Encores – the Ballets Russes in Australia

The Ballets Russes documentary, A Thousand Encores -the Ballets Russes in Australia , is set to grace our television screens in just a few days.

The film includes exciting archival footage, interviews with ex-dancers and footage of Graeme Murphy and Janet Vernon in rehearsal with the Australian Ballet during the creation of their Ballets Russes tribute, Firebird.

The story of the Ballets Russes tours during the thirties is one of the most compelling and enduring in Australian dance history, yet outside of the dance world it is little-known. The path-breaking, colourful creations of the Russian troupe drew on the fields of the visual arts, design, music and dance, and received a huge amount of attention in the media.

The company’s revolutionary spirit inspired audiences worldwide, whilst the dancers who chose to stay behind after the war broke out profoundly influenced the landscape of Australian dance in the decades that followed, sowing the seeds for the birth of the Australian Ballet.

A Thousand Encores screens on Tuesday 3 November, 8.30pm on ABC 1.

A preview of the show on youtube is available at:

There’s also an interview with the film’s director Mandy Chang on the Australian Ballet’s Behind Ballet blog at:


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This entry was posted on October 29, 2009 by in A Thousand Encores - the Ballets Russes in Australia, arts, dance.
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