Brolga 21 an Australian journal about dance

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In This Article


The cover for issue 21 features a photograph taken by Jeff Busby of Madeleine Eastoe and Robert Curran (The Australian Ballet) wearing dance clothing that was described in 1994 as "Ballet Russe meets Greville Street grunge".*Eastoe and Curran wear costumes created by Melbourne artist Vanessa Leyonhjelm for the world premiere season of Stanton Welch’s Divergence in 1994. At the time, Leyonhjelm’s costumes fuelled some outrage and debate.

Vanessa Leyonhjelm, costume designer. The Australian Ballet Production Division, manufacturer.
Design for Tutu 1993 for Divergence, The Australian Ballet.
Courtesy of The Australian Ballet

Ten years later the Divergence tutu was still an unusual take on an iconic item of dance costuming—it was made from air conditioning insulation mesh, vacuum-formed synthetic material, nylon and raffia.

Brolga 21 includes an article about Simon Dow's La Boheme for West Australian Ballet, and an exploration of notions of transformation and transcendence that are hallmarks of Douglas Wright's dancing. The final article is part 2 of Joanne Harris' research paper on Margaret Barr's work, this time featuring the dance-drama piece, Climbers (1976) which was reworked for film by Rosalind Gillespie in 1980 as a tribute to Margaret.

[*Vicki Fairfax, undated clipping from an unidentified newspaper, Australian Ballet programs 1994, PROMPT Collection, National Library of Australia]

Note: There is 1 article by Michelle Potter originally published in this issue that Ausdance is unable to oublish online: Paying Tribute? New version of the tutu.


Volatile grace

New Zealand dancer and choreographer Douglas Wright has been inspirational for many dancers with his innovative approach to both the creative process and to embodying the movement.