R.I.P. Bryan Lawrence

Bryan Lawrence in Le Conservatoire. The Australian Ballet, 1965. Photo Ken Byron, Australian News and Information Bureau.

Bryan Lawrence, a soloist with Britain’s Royal Ballet before moving to Australia to become one of The Australian Ballet’s early principals, died over the weekend. He was in his eighty-first year.

Swan Lake Royal Ballet School performance 1960 with Shirley Grahame. — with Shirley Grahame Kershaw. Bryan Lawrence.

With Shirley Grahame.

After retiring, Lawrence and his ballerina wife Janet Karin moved to Canberra where they founded a highly successful ballet school. Their graduates went to on star with companies such as American Ballet Theatre, the Joffrey Ballet, and – of course – The Australian Ballet. Ross Stretton, the late director of both Australia’s national company and The Royal Ballet, also began his training there.

On this day…

The Australian Women’s Weekly ran a feature on a ballet production of Anna Karenina on the 17th of October, 1979.

Featured is ballerina Marilyn Rowe, who would go on to run The Australian Ballet School from 1998 to 2014.

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The costume in the main picture is one we hired for a production of Robert Ray’s Cinderella in 1992 (in the image below).

It was worn by one of the “ugly sisters” – a little bit of a change from its original purpose!

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On this day: The Borovansky Ballet closed its doors in 1961

Jan Melvin and Joan Boler in the Dance of the Hours in Borovansky Ballet’s Coppélia. Though the company may have folded, it gave way to today’s Australian Ballet.

I would love to know what these costumes looked like in colour. I know the dance as the Waltz of the Hours, but no matter what you call it, it’s my favourite part of the entire ballet (which has three acts).

Jan Melvin and Joan Boler in the Dance of the Hours in Borovansky Ballet's Coppélia