Gillespie, Kenneth (1929-)

Also known as
Gillespie, Kenneth (1929-2010)
NLA Persistent Identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.party-726077

Biographies

Kenneth Gillespie was born in Launceston, Tasmania. By the age of 16 he had moved to the mainland and was dancing professionally with the Borovansky Ballet. During his time with this company the role of Lieutanant Brandt in The Black Swan was created on him. Gillespie then went on to make a successful dance career abroad, dancing roles with the Royal Ballet, the London Festival Ballet, Serge Denham's Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, and the New York City Ballet.

Returning home for family reasons in 1960, Gillespie formed a school from which the performing ensemble known as the Tasmanian Ballet was founded in 1961. Notable students of the school include Graeme Murphy, Michelle Hawkins, Natasha Middleton, Claire McHugh and Glenn Murray. The repertoire of the ensemble comprised versions of classical ballets such as Coppelia and Sleeping Beauty, as well as more contemporary works and poetry readings interpreted in dance. Around this time, Gillespie also performed with the Ballet Guild, notably in the televised performance of The Lake.

In 1974, with the support of the Federal Government, the Tasmanian Ballet became a fully professional company, with financial assistance from the state government added in 1975. Gillespie staged and featured as premier danseur for the company in ballets such as The Nutcracker, Swan Lake Act 2, Giselle, Petrouchka, and Raymonda. Commissioned works, notably from Graeme Murphy, Julia Cotton and Cathryn Short, were also performed, as well as original works by Gillespie. The company toured through Tasmania and to mainland Australia, frequently performing for primary school children with productions such as The Nutcracker and Laurel Martyn's Peter and the Wolf. Gillespie resigned from the company in 1979, with Ken McSwain taking on the directorship.

In 1989, Gillespie was honoured with a knighthood of the Order of St John of Malta and Rhodes for his contributions to the international world of ballet.

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Resources by Kenneth Gillespie (1)

  1. Kenneth Gillespie interviewed by Lee Christofis
    Gillespie, Kenneth, 1929-2010
    [ Sound : 2007 ]
    View online
    At National Library
    Kenneth Gillespie interviewed by Lee Christofis
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 11.016)

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Resources about Kenneth Gillespie (1)

  1. Kenneth Gillespie interviewed by Lee Christofis
    Gillespie, Kenneth, 1929-2010
    [ Sound : 2007 ]
    View online
    At National Library
    Kenneth Gillespie interviewed by Lee Christofis
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 11.002)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 11.002)

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