Press release from A Thousand Encores – The Ballets Russes
The new Australian documentary A Thousand Encores – The Ballets Russes in Australia will premiere on ABC1, 8.30pm, November 3rd 2009.
A Thousand Encores tells the surprising and little known story of how, over 70 years ago, an extraordinary company of dancers made a deep impact on Australia’s cultural heritage.
In 1936, the celebrated Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo stepped off a boat into the bright Australian sunlight. With exotic sets and costumes designed by cutting edge-artists and avant-garde music by great composers like Stravinsky, the Ballets Russes inspired a nation and transformed our cultural landscape.
Over five years from 1936 to 1940 they came to Australia three times, winning the hearts and minds of Australian audiences, inspiring a generation of our greatest artists – Grace Cossington Smith, Jeffrey Smart and Sidney Nolan – and ultimately sowing the seeds for Australian ballet today.
Australia has the biggest collection of Ballets Russes footage in the world and an impressive photographic record – the most famous pictures taken by a young Max Dupain whose glamorous shots turned the dancers into overnight celebrities.
Beautifully directed by Mandy Chang, A THOUSAND ENCORES: The Ballets Russes in Australia is alive with rich archival resources.