On the cover

Stanton Welch’s 1994 ballet Divergence was a provocative and progressive work with costumes to match. Aiming for a high fashion feel with a grunge edge, designer Vanessa Leyonhjelm kept the recognisable shape of the tutu but moved away from traditional materials. Here we see the Australian Ballet’s former principal dancer Justine Summers in Leyonhjelm’s stiff mesh tutu and leather bra ‘that Madonna would envy’, according to The New York Times.

Costumes and headdresses made from foam, lycra, metal and raffia are a long way from the soft bell-shaped skirts of Degas’ dancers or the restrictive panniers and bodices of the early eighteenth century.

Discover how the iconic dancer’s costume evolved on page 2.

In this issue

  • Tutu
    Michelle Potter charts the evolution of the iconic dance costume.
  • The Bicycle Revolution in the West
    Bicycles were a quick and cost-effective means of travel in outback Western Australia from the Coolgardie goldfields to the state’s vast rabbit-proof fence, writes Jim Fitzpatrick.
  • We Dooks the Dook
    Russell Doust finds a different view of the official opening of the National Capital and its new Parliament House.
  • Australia Will be There
    One wartime song raised Anzac morale more than any other, writes Robert Holden.
  • Companions in Biography
    The Australian Dictionary of Biography’s Melanie Nolan and Christine Fernon describe the ADB’s exciting web presence, and the role of the National Library in supporting its online transformation.
  • Fred Eden, the Compulsive Bushwalker
    Colonial walker–adventurer Fred Eden sought respite from city life as he roamed across the country, writes Graeme Powell.