Joyce Graeme was born in Leeds, England,
and studied at the Sadler's Wells Ballet
School and then with a variety of teachers
including Margaret Craske, Vera Volkova
and Marie Rambert. She began her professional
career with the Sadler's Wells Ballet
in in 1937 and then worked with Mona
Inglesby's International Ballet from
1941 to 1943.
In 1945 she joined Ballet Rambert and
came to Australia with the company on
their tour of 1947-1949. Along with a
number of her colleagues she remained
in Australia at the conclusion of the
tour. In 1949 she accepted from Gertrude
Johnson, founder of the Melbourne-based
National Theatre Movement, the directorship
of the National Theatre Ballet.
During Graeme's directorship of the
National Theatre Ballet the company staged
the first full-length production of
Swan Lake in Australia.
This production, with designs by Ann
Church, opened on 7 February 1951 and
starred Lynne Golding as Odette/Odile
and Henry Danton as Prince Siegfried.
Her time with the National was also marked
by the first production of
Corroboree, also in 1951,
to the score by John Antill. This production
was choreographed by Rex Reid who worked
closely with Graeme on all the National
Theatre Ballet productions. For the National
Graeme also created her own, well received
Romantic Suite with designs
by Kenneth Rowell.
Late in 1951 she returned to Europe.
She became assistant director of Ballet
Rambert in 1953 and continued to dance
with a number of companies, including
Festival Ballet, and to teach in England