The Australian Ballet is one of the busiest, artistically acclaimed dance companies in the world. Its dancers are renowned for their versatility, technical excellence, warm and friendly attitude and style, qualities that keep the company in constant demand. The seeds for this success were sown by the company’s first artistic director, Dame Peggy van Praagh whose artistic policy set out five goals that remain guidelines. To base the repertoire of the company on a mixture of the popular classics, including international works of proven quality and ballets created especially for the company; To encourage the Australian creative artist to contribute to the creation of new ballets for the company; To strive to attain a high artistic standard within Australia that merits, by performance and presentation, recognition in the field of international dance; To have a school attached to the company and, to offer dancers the security of year-round contracts. The founding of The Australian Ballet School in 1964 under the direction of Dame Margaret Scott meant that van Praagh and her successors have enjoyed the benefits of well-trained and highly motivated dancers. Since Dame Peggy artistic directors, Sir Robert Helpmann, Ann Woolliams, Marilyn Jones, Maina Gielgud, Ross Stretton and David McAllister have added to the extensive repertoire offered including all the great nineteenth century classics, the best international ballets and most importantly, commissioned new works by Australian choreographers, musicians and designers. In the future patrons can look forward to knew and exciting works that reflect ballet’s contemporary standards and audience expectations as integral to their repertoire.
Carolyn McDowall FRSA has gained considerable experience and business acumen in her professional career. An independent cultural and social historian, Carolyn is an interior designer by trade. She has been involved in the creative sector for over thirty years in Australia; completing interior design projects, creating and producing innovative corporate and not-for profit (social profit) community events. She has over that time continuously conducted independent research , while designing, developing, and producing educational art and design history programs in conjunction with renowned specialist colleagues.