From Gaolbird to Lyrebird
A life in Australian ballet
Barry Kitcher

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. Originally self-published in 2001, the first edition of Gaolbird to Lyrebird sold out. The digital platform of this new edition enables the inclusion of many more images— over 340 compared to just over 100 in 2001—drawn largely from Barry Kitcher’s own collection of scrapbooks, enhancing the story and making it a historic treasure trove. Valuable inclusions from the first edition include the index and the comprehensive list of dates and programmes of the Borovansky Ballet.

A must read for lovers of theatre, Australian biography and ballet.

Price AUD $11.99
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