Romeo and Juliet

One of the things you may not know about me is that for at least 10 years of my life, I danced! Classical ballet (my favourite), tap (hated it, then loved it) and jazz ballet (I'm not funky and loose enough to be good at it).

I was skinny (and blurry) back in the day!

And I love going to see live dance. My first experience of live ballet was the Australian Ballet Christmas Fair in the gardens of Government House in 1986!

The now-Artistic Director of the Aust. Ballet David McAllister
 with Elizabeth Toohey in the Tarantella

My first full-length ballet was (quite fittingly) Swan Lake with the Australian Ballet at the Opera House in March 1987, where I was lucky enough to see the beautiful Christine Walsh dance!

The next March (1988) was my first viewing of Romeo and Juliet (the John Cranko version). How I loved it! The music is simply some of the most beautiful music I have ever heard and the choreography beautiful. There is much argument in the ballet world about the relative merits of Cranko's R&J vs. Kenneth MacMillan's. I think both have their merits and they could dance a jig to that music and it would still be stunning!

Over the years, I have seen quite a few more ballets - the Australian Ballet has a Youth Package for those under 26 years old at a fraction of the adult ticket prices - it certainly worth checking out if you live in/near Sydney or Melbourne!

A huge highlight was to have had the extreme pleasure of watching Baryshnikov dance (before he got too old!) and I swear I have never (and will probably never) seen someone execute the art form of dance more sublimly.

And now I have also had the pleasure of sharing my love of dance, and in particular ballet, with Wombat Girl (who took lessons for a couple of years, but didn't love it, so I let that dream go...sniff...). She has seen Swan Lake and Graham Murphy's version of the Nutcracker.

Graham Murphy is an Australian choreographer, who amongst other things, has re-worked the classics for the Australian Ballet. His latest effort is none other than Romeo and Juliet:

As he says in the program, William Shakespeare's prose is legendary and his words immortal. How then to present them as dance? The words need to be conveyed by the dancer's bodies - they are emphemeral (unless someone captures them on film).

So I was very excited this week to head up to Sydney, to visit my brother and enjoy his company, great food and a gorgeous take on one of the world's great love stories...


  1. How lovely! I also danced as a child, I was far more interested in Jazz and Tap than Ballet though I did suffer it for a few years. LOL Love watching it though and love how it has evolved with other forms of dance thrown in.

  2. Hi Ingrid,

    Hey, I danced too! As a child, I would drive my parents crazy practicing the latest classical Indian dance step I'd learned. :)

  3. Thanks for this stunning post, love the pics and clips! I too danced as a child. Ballet, tap and jazz and then became a teacher. My mum was a professional ballerina and is now an RAD international examiner. Several times a year we headed to the Lyric in Brisbane to see the ballet. Some of my fondest childhood memories :)

  4. I grew up in the sticks and didn't have dance opportunity but enjoyed it through Christy. How wonderful to see you and your brother!


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