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Alan Brissenden interviewed by Lee Christofis [sound recording]
Bib ID 3957576
Format AudioAudio [sound recording]
Author
Brissenden, Alan, Interviewee
 
Access Conditions Access open for research, personal copies and public use. 
Description 2007 
3 sound files (ca. 158 min.) 
Summary

Alan Brissenden talks about his first writings about and experience of dance; his parents' associations with music and dance; the influence of his dance experiences on his direction of plays; inspiration for his early dance writing; the first ballet performance he attended; the Borovansky Ballet; his exposure to the Ballets Russes repertoire and the influence of the Ballets Russes on his early interest in dance; writing as dance critic for Honi Soit; his parents' expectations of his career; his wife's early experiences of the Ballets Russes; his first experiences of reading plays and acting in plays; dance groups that visited Cowra, particularly Cornelius Conyn's group; the arts in country Australia prior to 1960; Laurel Martyn; Edouard Borovansky; Rex Reid; Paul Grinwis's ballet 'The Eternal Lovers' and of the designs of William (Bill) Constable; the beginnings and importance of his interest in visual art; watershed moments; audience preferences; the role of the critic; the shift away from celebrating dancers as personalities in Australia; the development of choreographers; Stephen Baynes; the development of Australian choreographers of contemporary dance; the use of music and the development of spoken word in contemporary choreography; dance in musical theatre; his first trip to England, his plans at the time, people and experiences on the boat over.

Brissenden discusses his academic career, his thesis on sexual themes in Jacobean drama; his study of Shakespearean dance; Ninette de Valois; his opinion of the Borovansky Ballet; the price of classical ballet performances today and the effect of this on audiences; the idea of nationalism in choreography and of the Australian Ballet in this context; the Australian Ballet's productions under the Ballets Russes project; the concept of an Australian style of dancer; the New York City Ballet Australian tour; contemporary dance developing in isolation in Australia; Garry Stewart and Meryl Tankard; Bangarra Dance Theatre and contemporary Indigenous dance; cross-cultural 'fusion' dance performances from other societies; the impact of his meetings with choreographers; works that have made him reconsider choreography; individual dancers, particularly contemporary Australian dancers, he considers outstanding; his work with the Adelaide Festival; his relationship with artistic directors of the Adelaide Festival; being on the Adelaide Festival board, other positions and advocacy positions in the arts he has held; reflections on his career; the contributions of Robert Helpmann and Laurel Martyn to Australian dance; Helpmann's contribution to Australian theatre; his time in England and his comparison of the arts there and in Australia at the time; his membership of the International Shakespeare Association and his international travels.

Notes

Recorded on March 19, 2007 at Burnside, S. Aust.

Digital master available National Library of Australia;

Index/Finding Aid Note Timed summary (8 p.) and uncorrected transcript (typescript, 91 leaves) 
Subjects Brissenden, Alan -- Interviews.  |  Borovansky Ballet -- History.  |  Australian Ballet -- History.  |  Dance -- Australia -- History.  |  Ballet companies -- Australia -- History.  |  Dance companies -- Australia -- History.  |  Choreographers -- Australia.  |  Authors, Australian -- Interviews
Occupation Academics.
Other authors/contributors Christofis, Lee, 1948-, Interviewer

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    Details Collect From
    ORAL TRC 5782
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    Special Collections Reading Room
    ORAL TRC 5782 (transcript)
    Copy: Transcript
    Special Collections Reading Room
    ORAL TRC 5782 (summary)
    Copy: Summary
    Special Collections Reading Room

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