Peasley speaks of his childhood and introduction to ballroom dance and live theatre, visit to the Sydney Tivoli, discovery of the Kathryn Dunham Dance Troupe and their performances, his lessons in ballroom dancing and Adagio dancing from Leslie Rutherford. He talks about his discovery of Gertrude Bodenwieser, the dance scene in Australia and obstacles facing male dancers. He discusses his course in tap and acrobatic dancing with the Rudas School of Acrobatic Dancing, jazz and classical dance with Valerie Tweedie, recollections of Estelle Anderson, his work on television, his parents reaction to his dancing career, industrial action taken by Channel 9 dancers and his decision to audition for Garnet Carroll in his theatrical productions, auditioning for George Carden for a Tivoli show in 1958 and the craft of auditioning and his lessons with Martin Rubenstein. He discusses his meeting with Peggy van Praagh, classes with the Borovansky Ballet dancers, detailed comparison of dancing teaching methods, differences between the roles of corp de ballet and principal dancer, his first days with the Australian Ballet, its structure, early history, the strain of their touring schedule and the campaign to displace Peggy van Praagh. He discusses of the dance styles of Rudolph Nureyev, Eric Bruhn, Garth Welch and Karl Welander and describes Robert Helpmann's ballet 'The Display', Helpmann's appointment as co-Artistic Director and overall significance to the Australian Ballet, Anne Woolliams period as a Artistic Director to eventually be replaced by Peggy van Praagh, Marilyn Jones as Artistic Director, a major strike by the Company dancers, his view of Maina Guelgud as Artistic Director, why he was asked to resign as Regisseur General and instead took the job of Director of Education; and his great enthusiasm for teaching.
Includes a periodical article from Dance Australia, issue dated Dec. 87-Jan. 88, covering his career entitled: Dancer, Colin Peasley : Making up for a late start / by Patricia Laughlin.
Recorded on May 8-9, 2000 in Canberra, A.C.T.
Digital master available National Library of Australia;