National Library of Australia

<< Previous record  /  Next record >>
Record 13 of 24
You must be logged in to Tag Records
Alan Brissenden interviewed by Lee Christofis [sound recording]
Bib ID 3957576
Format AudioAudio [sound recording]
Brissenden, Alan, Interviewee
Access Conditions Access open for research, personal copies and public use. 
Description 2007 
3 sound files (ca. 158 min.) 

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.


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


    In the Library

    Request this item to view in the Library's reading rooms using your library card. To learn more about how to request items watch this short online video Help Video.

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

    Order a copy

    - Copyright or permission restrictions may apply. We will contact you if necessary.

    Help Video To learn more about Copies Direct watch this short online video Help Video.
    close Can I borrow items from the Library?

    You need Flash player 8+ and JavaScript enabled to view this video embedded.

    You can view this on the NLA website.

    close What can I get online?

    You need Flash player 8+ and JavaScript enabled to view this video embedded.

    You can view this on the NLA website.

    close Can I get copies of items from the Library?

    You need Flash player 8+ and JavaScript enabled to view this video embedded.

    You can view this on the NLA website.

    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flags
    Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and other First Nations people are advised that this catalogue contains names, recordings and images of deceased people and other content that may be culturally sensitive. Please also be aware that you may see certain words or descriptions in this catalogue which reflect the author’s attitude or that of the period in which the item was created and may now be considered offensive.