New edition of ‘Lyrebird’ has 340+ images

Lyrebird Blog-1

Producing the new eBook edition of Barry Kitcher’s popular memoir From Gaolbird to Lyrebird—a life in Australian ballet (BryshaWilson Press, 2016), enabled us to include not only the photos that didn’t make it into the hard print first edition (Front Page, 2001) but also several hundred other images from Kitcher’s private collection of photographs, programmes and scrapbooks.
In fact, the eBook has over 340 images, compared with around 100 in the 2001 printed book.
All this additional material is extensively captioned and much of it is packed with information that has not been recorded before. It brings to new life a significant portion of Australia’s mid-20th Century ballet history.

Barry Kitcher’s delightful memoir tells the improbable story of a boy from the Australian bush who fell under the spell of ballet and found himself in the midst of some of the most exciting developments in Australian ballet history. He danced with the Borovansky Ballet, Australia’s most important and successful professional company before government subsidy lead to the formation of The Australian Ballet, of which he then became a founding member.

Major figures like Edouard Borovansky, Peggy van Praagh, and Robert Helpmann are brought to vivid life, as is a galaxy of ballet artists from Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev to Australia’s home-grown stars like Laurel Martyn, Edna Busse, Martin Rubinstein, Peggy Sager, Kathleen Gorham, Marilyn Jones and Garth Welch. Barry Kitcher’s own moment of historic glory occurred when Helpmann created the role of the Male/Lyrebird on him in his iconic ballet The Display.

Among the valuable inclusions from the first edition are the index and the comprehensive list of dates and programmes of the Borovansky Ballet.

The abundant new material even includes the latest update on the 2015 Borovansky Ballet reunion, featuring some charming photographs of that event.

The Borovansky Ballet and subsequently The Australian Ballet established themselves as popular artistic institutions in Australia’s cultural landscape by reaching out to the public warmly and sharing enthusiastically what they had to offer. The 2016 edition of Barry Kitcher’s From Gaolbird to Lyrebird—a life in Australian ballet shines a spotlight on that great tradition and its maverick founders.

Buy From Gaolbird to Lyrebird—a life in Australian ballet (BryshaWilson Press, 2016) here