The Dame Peggy van Praagh memorial address

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Dame Peggy was the founding Artistic Director of The Australian Ballet, and in the 1960s and 1970s collaborated with many of Australia's leading artists to establish the legendary Armidale summer schools, through which young Australian choreographers were given opportunity and encouragement. Under van Praagh's direction, the Australian Ballet made the first of many overseas tours, developed a repertoire of ballets that included established international dances as well as commissioned works from Australian and overseas choreographers, and hosted guest appearances by a many notable dancers.

Peggy was an inspiring teacher and a tireless advocate for dance. With Bernard James of the University of New England's continuing education program, she was instrumental in organising a series of summer schools in dance that had a long-lasting influence on dance in Australia. Peggy also helped establish the advocacy body, Ausdance (formerly Australian Association for Dance Education).

Peggy van Praagh

In 1982 she was coordinator of dance studies at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, Edith Cowan University, Perth. She was posthumously inducted into the Hall of Fame at the 2000 Australian Dance Awards.

Her vision of developing a unique dance culture for Australian dance has had lasting implications for future generations. The Dame Peggy van Praagh Memorial Addresses pay tribute to and acknowledges her influence and her ability to identify and encourage choreographic development.