Valrene Tweedie

Valrene Tweedie’s early stage experiences were with the First Australian Ballet and the Polish Australian Ballet. At the age of 14 she auditioned for Colonel de Basil in Sydney and joined his Original Ballet Russe in 1940. She left Australia with the Original Ballet Russe in 1940 and danced extensively in North and South America with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo and Ballet Theatre.  After her return to Australia she became third artistic director of the National Theatre Ballet (1953) staging several ballets from the de Basil repertoire and also choreographing her own works. After the demise of the National Theatre Ballet (1955) Tweedie went on to choreograph for Tivoli revues and the Elizabethan Opera Ballet Company, work in educational ballet programs for the National Theatre Movement. Tweedie began full-time teaching in 1956 and founded Ballet Australia to encourage the creation of new Australian choreography. Tweedie was the recipient of a Medal of the Order of Australia in 1991, and an Australian Dance Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1998.