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Papers of Rex Reid and Natasha Kirsta, approximately 1800-2000 (bulk 1960-1990)
Bib ID 6489028
Format ManuscriptManuscript, OnlineOnline [text, volume]
Reid, Rex, 1921-2000
Online Versions
Related Online
Access Conditions Available for research. Not for loan. 
Description [between approximately 1800 and 2000] 
4.55 m (11 boxes) + 3 large folio boxes + 1 map folio. 

MS Acc12.018 comprises material relating to the dance career and personal lives of Rex Reid and Natasha Kirsta. Includes extensive collection of photographs, correspondence and folders relating to various dance companies and productions, including the Western Australian Ballet Company, the Adelaide Dance Company. Original costume and set design drawings for a variety of productions (11 boxes, 2 large folio boxes, 1 map folio).

MS Acc12.031 comprises programs and posters for various dance performances and companies, including the West Australian Ballet Company, at various venues including the State Opera House in Adelaide and the Capitol Theatre in Perth. Correspondence and possible contract, in Spanish, from the Teatro Recreio, Brasil.


Dancer, choreographer, artistic director and teacher. Rex Thomas Reid was born in Adelaide in 1921. At the age of 15 Reid won a scholarship that took him to London to study at the Vic-Wells Ballet. In Europe, Reid pursued a professional dance career with several companies including Mona Inglesby's International Ballet Company, London Ballet and Theatre de la Monnaie in Brussels. He also performed in West End revues. In 1970 Reid returned to Australia to join the West Australian Ballet as artistic director, 1970-1974. He was also associated with the Australian Ballet and Dance Theatre Victoria and, as choreographer, Reid produced works for the Ballet Guild and Ballet Victoria. With the closure of the Dance Theatre Victoria, Reid worked as a teacher in many countries in south and south-east Asia. In 1983 Reid was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM). Reid died in Melbourne in 2000.

Natasha Kirsta was born Princess Natasha Watchinadze in Russia in 1894. Her second husband was the Ballets Russes theatre designer George Kirsta. She left the USSR with George Balanchine and Alexandra Danilova in the 1920s and lived in Vienna, later travelling to Berlin to direct Victor Gsovsky’s ballet school. She co-founded Ballet Kirsta with Govsky in the early 1950s which performed throughout Europe. The company included Lesley Caron, Brigitte Bardot and Roland Petit. Rex Reid, who would maintain a close friendship with Kirsta, was principal choreographer and dancer. Kirsta moved to Australia in 1957, settling in Melbourne and working as a ballet school administrator. She was a member of the Australian Ballet Theatre Group, which held its inaugural meeting in October 1959 to discuss an approach to the Australian Elizabethan Theatre Trust regarding the formation of a permanent Australian ballet company. Kirsta forged friendships with European and Australian artists and performers including Jean Cocteau, the Stravinksys, Arthur Rubinstein, Marlene Dietrich, John Gielgud, Kathleen Gorham, Anne Church, Nadia Nerina, Rudolf Nureyev and Marcel Marceau. She died in 1982.


Manuscript reference number: MS Acc12.018, MS Acc12.031.

MS Acc12.018 copy Also available online

Subjects Reid, Rex, 1921-2000 -- Archives.  |  Kirsta, Natasha, 1894-1982 -- Archives.  |  Ballet dancers -- Australia -- Archives.  |  Choreographers -- Australia -- Archives.  |  Ballet companies -- Australia.  |  Ballet -- Production and direction -- Australia.  |  Ballet -- Australia.
Time Coverage 1800-2000 
Occupation Ballet dancers.  |  Choreographers.  |  Artistic directors.
Other authors/contributors Kirsta, Natasha, 1894-1982
Terms of Use Copying of Rex Reid and Natasha Kirsta's copyright material permitted for research purposes. 

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