The first tour to Australia by a company of dancers from the Royal Ballet began in Sydney in September 1958 and concluded in Melbourne in 1959. It was essentially a tour by dancers from the second company, the Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet, under the personal supervision of the Royal Ballet's director Dame Ninette de Valois. The company consisted of fifty-five dancers, was led by Rowena Jackson, Philip Chatfield and Svetlana Beriosova, and included a number of expatriate Australians including Margaret Lee, Edward Miller, Kathleen Geldard, Alan Alder and, as guest artist, Robert Helpmann.
The company brought a number of classics from the international ballet repertoire, including Swan Lake, Giselle and Coppelia as well as several twentieth-century works including de Valois' The Rake's Progress, Peter Wright's A Blue Rose, Helpmann's Hamlet, John Cranko's Pineapple Poll and Frederick Ashton's Les Patineurs and Façade.
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Album 994, compiled by the photographer, contains forty-three black and white photographs of performances by the visiting Royal Ballet. Some photographs are autographed. Dancers represented include Susan Alexander, Michael Boulton, Lynn Seymour, Anne Heaton, Robert Helpmann, Rowena Jackson, Patricia Cox, Alan Alder and Philip Chatfield. Ballets represented include Swan Lake, Les Sylphides, Coppelia, Hamlet, Pineapple Poll and The Rake's Progress. A list of the contents of the album is available at the pictorial list titled Stringer, Walter, 1907-2001: The Royal Ballet Performing at her Majesty's Theatre in Melbourne, 1958.
This collection consists of around 400 photographs of J. C. Williamson tours, enterprises and productions in Australia. In addition, the collection contains personal photographs relating to the Tait family. Some photographs are in albums. Productions represented include Gay Rosalinda and The Dancing Years in which the Borovansky Ballet appeared. Tours managed by the Williamson organisation, which are represented in the collection, include those by Anna Pavlova, Margot Fonteyn, the Royal Ballet and the Bolshoi Ballet.
This collection consists of 56 bound volumes of J. C. Williamson Ltd. programs and J. C. W. Magazines, including v. 38 - The Royal Ballet, Empire Theatre, Sydney, 1958