Brisbane Ballet Theatre: Swan Lake Act 2, Coppelia Act 3, Valse de Fleurs, Pas de Trois
'Swan Lake' Act 2 costume design by Greg Hannas. Courtesy Judith and Wendy Lowe.

Brisbane Ballet Theatre: Swan Lake Act 2, Coppelia Act 3, Valse de Fleurs, Pas de Trois

March 15th, 1955 — March 15th, 1955


1955 was a watershed year of progress and change: the Queensland branch of The Australasian Society of Operatic Dancing became the Queensland Ballet Society in late March; Edouard Borovansky was appointed Patron; and membership was now open to all, no longer restricted to those who had passed a major RAD exam. From this year on membership grew, more ballets were presented, and more students were accepted into recognised ballet companies.

In this year, the organisation gave its first ever complete production at the Brisbane City Hall, drawing its demanding repertoire from classical ballet favourites. Here is who Arts critic Roger Covell received this full program of ballet.

AMBITIOUS WORK - Ballet takes a step forward

Review by Roger Covell

Brisbane Ballet Theatre took a definite step forward with its ambitious programme in the City Hall last night.

Much hard work had gone, no doubt, into the presentation of Swan Lake Act 2, Coppelia Act 3, and shorter excerpts from Swan Lake and The Sleeping Beauty.

Much more work was needed, of course, to present these works in a really satisfactory manner; but that is something possible only to a professional company.

Last night there was enthusiasm, conscientious performance, and careful attention to such important details as exits, entrances and curtain calls.

Caught the eye

Audrey Brotherton was a reasonably confident, if rather mechanical Swan Queen. She was well partnered by Cyril Johns, who was also responsible for reproducing the evening’s ballets.

Others to take the eye included Peter Pertnikovs, the four Cygnets, Lynley Lewis, Shirley McMahon and Glen Ole.

Fine costumes

The excellent costumes, designed by Greg Hannas and Phyllis Danaher, were responsible for much of the effectiveness of the productions.

Above all, the company was blessed in having a small but efficient orchestra to accompany it, under the direction of Tony Sorgato and led by George White.

Happily, this combined endeavour was rewarded with a near capacity audience.

The Courier-Mail, 16 March 1955

Researcher and writer: Dr Christine Comans


Brisbane City Hall
Artistic Director
Cyril Johns
Production Director
Cyril Johns
'Swan Lake' Act 2 Lev Ivanoff reproduced by Cyril Johns
'Coppelia' Act 3 Marius Petipa, Nicholas Sergussff reproduced by Cyril Johns
'Valse de Fleur' & 'Pas de Trois' Marius Petipa reproduced by Cyril Johns
Costume Designer
Phyllis Danaher - 'Valse de Fleur' & 'Pas de Trois'
Greg Hannas - 'Coppelia' Act 3 & 'Swan Lake' Act 2
Musical Director
Ballet Theatre Ensemble conducted by Tony Sorgato with Orchestra Leader George White
Tchaikovsky, Delibes
Brenda McCollough


  • Cyril Johns
  • Audrey Brotherton
  • Rhondda Stewart
  • Linley Lewis
  • Shirley McMahon
  • Joan Cherry
  • Zella Whimp
  • Peter Pertnikovs
  • Keith Cornwall
  • Flora Hetherington
  • Ted Seipel
  • Glen Ole
  • Meryl Hughes
  • Caroline Yule
  • Ray Dwyer
  • Maree Mollenhagen
  • Pam McNamara
  • Joyce Blackburn
  • Pam Brewster
  • Joan Seeman
  • Felicity Meyers
  • Esme Groom
  • Felicity Meyers
  • Esme Groom
  • Joyce Johnson
  • June Dutton
  • Faye Marlow
  • Gene Mogg
  • Jill Moodie
  • Judith Watkins
  • K. Thomas
  • V. Keag
  • H. Collins
  • J. Carlson
  • P. Marony
  • K. Anderson
  • J. Shannon
  • A. Bemrose
  • P. Cummings
  • Miss Howes
  • Miss Shields
  • Miss Farlow
  • Miss Elliot
  • Miss Carlson
  • Miss Baker
  • Miss Ruckett
  • Miss Dufficy
  • Miss Teitzel

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