ballet russes exhibition banner

From photographs, paintings and drawings of dancers performing on stage and in rehearsal, to more personal mementos of life outside the spotlight, this exhibition highlights the legacy and vision of the Ballets Russes—an extraordinary dance company that dazzled Australian audiences during three tours from 1936 to 1940.

Chiefly drawn from the National Library of Australia's Ballets Russes collection, the largest of its kind in Australia, this exhibition celebrates the centenary of the debut of the inaugural Ballets Russes (1909–1929).

This special exhibition features more than 100 rarely seen items and concentrates on three themes: the artists who created the Ballets Russes and the company’s experimental productions; the dancers who captivated Australian audiences; and the Australian artists whom they inspire.

Further information about the Ballets Russes dance companies may be found at:

Events — Talks

Dancing Bodies and the Ballets Russes 
Lee Christofis, Curator of Dance
Wednesday 6 May, 12.30 pm

Dancers in Cabin Class—Musicians in First: Researching the Ballets Russes in Australia
Richard Stone, Research Assistant, Ballets Russes project
Tuesday 19 May, 12.30 pm

Who’s Who? Photographing the Ballets Russes in Australia in the 1930s
Helen Ennis, Associate Professor of Art Theory, ANU School of Art
Wednesday 27 May, 12.30 pm

We no longer maintain the content of the exhibition linked to this page.

  • It is provided to assist you with your research only
  • It may contain broken links or otherwise be incomplete
  • It is no longer reviewed in terms of: accessibility, accuracy, or usability
Exhibition checklist (241.72 KB)