Dancing Under the Southern Skies

Dancing Under the Southern Skies

Friends of The Australian Ballet are thrilled to able to share Valerie Lawson’s magnificent book, Dancing Under the Southern Skies – The History of Ballet in Australia with our members.

With its vivid narrative, Valerie Lawson’s Dancing Under the Southern Skies goes far beyond what audiences see on stage to reveal what has been behind the red velvet curtain. The lives of the dancers who toured to Australia, among them Anna Pavlova and Margot Fonteyn, and of those who stayed and of those who created companies in Australia are presented in a fascinating mosaic of interviews, letters and personal stories from dancers, directors, producers, impresarios and critics.

She also paints portraits of those who influenced Australian culture over nine decades, among them Laurence Olivier, Edouard Borovansky, Peggy van Praagh, Paul Keating and Graeme Murphy, and tells how the nation escaped from cultural dependence on Britain, fell in love with ballet troupes from the Soviet Union, and then watched the birth of the Australian Ballet, the Sydney Dance Company, Bangarra Dance Theatre and many other dance companies.

This beautiful book is signed by Valerie herself and each book sold through The Friends, will result in $20 towards our fundraising efforts supporting The Australian Ballet.

Click here to grab your copy now!

Aurum wins Best Ballet

Aurum wins Best Ballet

A massive congratulations to Alice Topp, The Australian Ballet and everyone involved in Aurum, as it won Best Ballet at the 2019 Helpmann Awards on Monday night.


Aurum completely captivated us all here at FAB and we are thrilled to see Alice and The Australian Ballet receive such wonderful recognition for all their hard work.


Photo by Daniel Boud

Ticket Giveaway – The White Crow

Thanks to our friends at Universal Pictures, we have 10 double passes to The White Crow to give away!

Opening in cinemas July 18, The White Crow tells the incredible story of Rudolf Nureyev and his defection to the West. Directed by Ralph Fiennes and starring Ukrainian ballet dancer Oleg Ivenko as Nureyev, it is an engrossing and compelling biopic.

To enter the draw to win a pass, simply email your answer to the following question before Sunday 14 July to admin@fab.org.au

Winners will be notified by email on Monday 15 July.

Question: who was Nureyev’s long standing dance partner?







#TheWhiteCrow  Classified M

David McAllister to step down

David McAllister to step down

Big news from The Australian Ballet.

During The Australian Ballet’s Annual General Meeting on 24 May, it was announced that artistic director David McAllister will be stepping down from the role at the end of 2020.

David began his career at The Australian Ballet in 1983. He was promoted to principal artist six years later and, in 2001, made the transition from dancer to artistic director of The Australian Ballet.

Regarding the decision, David said ‘This has been a process that I have been working with the chair on for a couple of years and I am thrilled to be able to share the news more widely. I feel that it is a perfect time for the company and I to look to the future and I feel honoured to have been a part of The Australian Ballet both as a student, dancer and artistic director for what will be 40 years when I leave at the end of 2020.’

David’s leadership of the company has been something truly special and he will leave an enduring legacy. We are sad to hear this news at FAB but are looking forward to spending 2020 celebrating David and the huge contribution he has made not only to the Australian Ballet, but to the arts in general.

Flicks with the Friends

Flicks with the Friends

The Friends of the Australian Ballet, in association with the Sydney Film Festival, are delighted to offer our Members the opportunity to attend three ballet genre films – all Australian Premieres! 

Enjoy the dramatic Nureyev bio-pic – THE WHITE CROW (Cremorne Orpheum, Wednesday 5 June 6.30pm); YULI (Event Cinema, George St Wednesday 12 June 6pm) is the story of Carlos Acosta who plays his adult-self; and the documentary THE HEART DANCES  (The State Theatre, Friday 14 June 9.30am) about the journey of Royal New Zealand Ballet’s staging of The Piano, based Jane Campion’s 1993 film.

Lastly, to complete this flick fest, don’t miss the formidable Mr Leo Schofield AM pre-screening talk of Paris Opera Ballet’s CINDERELLA, the Nureyev production at Palace Verona Sunday 23 June 11.30am.

Click images below to view trailers and book tickets here!

We look forward to seeing you at the flicks!

The White Crow

Ralph Fiennes’ film tells the exhilarating story of Rudolf Nureyev’s defection to the West, capturing both his exquisite talents and the era’s explosive political situation.


Cuban ballet luminary Carlos Acosta is both star and subject of this moving and unusual fusion of biography and dazzling dance, by Spanish director Icíar Bollaín.

The Heart Dancers

The re-imagining of the iconic feature, The Piano, by two Czech dancers working with the Royal New Zealand Ballet: uncharted territory for all involved.

Leo Presents AM Present Paris Opera Ballet: Cinderella

Join Leo Schofield AM for this pre-screening presentation of Paris Opera Ballet’s tribute to former director Rudulf Nureyev’s 1986 version of Cinderella.