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Helene Kirsova, ballerina, ca. 1941 / photographer Bitter-Jeppesen Studios, Melbourne

Helene Kirsova, ballerina, ca. 1941 / photographer Bitter-Jeppesen Studios, Melbourne

 
 
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Notes: Danish ballerina Helene Kirsova first came to Australia with the famous Ballet Russe in 1936. They played in capital cities for months and Australians were enthralled with modern classical ballet. On her second visit she married the Danish Vice Consul and said she would retire. In 1941 she formed her own ballet company in Sydney but the Melbourne company of Borovansky was preferred by the J.C. Williamson Theatre Company and became the immediate company leading to the Australian Ballet. Australian Ballet was able to grow very quickly because of the teaching and performance of famous artists like Kirsova. Perhaps the most wonderful memorial to her is the three small playgounds she purchased for children, two in Erskineville and one in Glebe, Sydney, because she had never seen such terrible slums. The playgrounds are still there...Format: Photograph. .Notes: Find more detailed information about this photographic collection: acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/item/itemDetailPaged.aspx?itemID=440050 ( http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/item/itemDetailPaged.aspx?itemID=440050 ) ..Search for more great images in the State Library's collections: acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/search/SimpleSearch.aspx ( http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/search/SimpleSearch.aspx ) . .From the collection of the State Library of New South Wales www.sl.nsw.gov.au ( http://www.sl.nsw.gov.au )

The Ballet Russes changed the face of dance and opened a new era of modern dance. Sergey Diaghilev and his Ballets Russes incorporated choreography, visual arts, music, dance in their performances. The Ballets Russes was a continual experiment in the diversity and potential that are represented in dance. Its origins were in Russia. It was the homeland for the dancers, choreographers, composers, and designers. However, the Ballets Russes never actually performed in Russia itself. After the Revolution of 1905, the Ballets Russes took up its home in Paris, in the spring of 1909. The Ballets Russes performances took place across three continents and it's style varied with audiences. The influence of the Ballets Russes was far reaching and its vestiges remain today. The undeniable head of this enterprise was Diaghilev, its president from its inception until his death, and the company's in 1929. "He was a man of ferocious will and infinitely discerning taste, encyclopedic knowledge, and passionate curiosity- a Napoleon of the arts and a Renaissance man in one." Beyond the Ballets Russes, Diaghilev also was the editor and founder of the journal Mir Iskusstra, which was an artistic forum, asking for change in every way.4 Along with Diaghilev, founding members such as Alexandre Benois and Léon Bakst implemented a collaborative method, which became the central development behind the company.(5) Two of the early productions of the Ballets Russes were Petrouchka and Les Sylphides. Although both were performed in its first seasons, each represented unique characteristics of the Ballets Russes.

The State Library of New South Wales' major subject strengths are Australian history, culture and literature, including Aboriginal studies, Antarctic exploration, family history and genealogy, business and management, social sciences, applied science, biography, health and law. The State Library is home to one of Australia’s most significant historical and heritage collections. As well as nearly 11 kilometres of manuscripts – from nine 1788 First Fleet journals through to the archives of contemporary organisations and writers – the Library holds more than one million photographs. From the earliest surviving photograph taken in Australia – in January 1845 – through to digital photographs taken last month, the Library’s unrivalled photographic collections document with powerful clarity the way Australians have lived their lives over two centuries. You can find out more about the State Library's photographic collections on our website: www.sl.nsw.gov.au/about/collections/photographs.html More broadly the Library’s collecting reach spans a multitude of platforms: the Library’s mission is to collect, preserve and make accessible the documentary heritage of New South Wales. It holds over 5 million items including books, oil paintings, watercolours, architectural plans, engravings & lithographs, magazines and periodicals, posters, ephemera, sheet music, talking books, maps, CD-ROMs, newspapers, microfilm and microfiche, films and videos, computer software, kits, sound recordings, photographs, coins, postage stamps and other objects.

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Date

1941
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State Library of New South Wales
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