Corroboree (ballet)

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1950 ballet performance of John Antill's Corroboree.

Corroboree is a ballet written by Australian composer John Antill in the early 1940s. The first full version of the score was completed in 1944 and it was first performed as a concert suite in 1946.[1] On 3 July 1950 it was performed as a ballet, at the Empire Theatre in Sydney, choreographed by Rex Reid, with dancers of the Melbourne-based National Theatre Ballet.[2]

Wildly successful and seen as a national "coming-of-age",[3] the ballet was performed again with new choreography by American-born dancer, choreographer and writer Beth Dean in 1954. Notably, Dean and her Australian husband, Victor Carell, had spent several months in remote outback Australia researching Aboriginal ceremonies, costumes and dance, upon which Dean's version was based.[4] In this first production, Dean danced the role of the Initiate herself.

Many of the costumes and props for this version of the ballet are held by the National Museum of Australia.[3] The music manuscript is held by the State Library of New South Wales.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Plush, Vincent. "Corroboree". Australian Screen. National Film and Sound Archive. Retrieved 14 February 2013. 
  2. ^ ""Corroboree" Has World Premiere.". The Sydney Morning Herald. National Library of Australia. 4 July 1950. p. 1. Retrieved 14 February 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Michelle Potter, (March 2004), Corroboree, National Library of Australia News Volume XIV Number 6 accessed 8 June 2011
  4. ^ Dean, Beth (1918–) at Australia Dancing, accessed 8 June 2011
  5. ^ "John Antill – music manuscript for his ballet suite 'Corroboree', 1940s, together with list of performances, 1950-1970". Manuscript, oral history and pictures catalogue. State Library of New South Wales. Retrieved 13 February 2013.