Les Sylphides, Masquerade Suite, The Nutcracker
'Les Sylphides', Dayne Cory & Lexie Kunze. Courtesy Dayne Cory Collection, SLQ

Les Sylphides, Masquerade Suite, The Nutcracker

October 19th, 1964 — October 21st, 1964


Review by Constance Cummins

The Ballet Theatre of Queensland, which has done sterling work in helping to keep the art alive in city and country, last night successfully presented an ambitious programme at the Rialto. The group is fortunate as having as its director Miss Phyllis Danaher.

Last night’s performance also gained professional polish by having in the cast Lexie Kunze. Miss Kunze brought great sensitivity, besides dancing skill, in her interpretation of the gravely spiritual Prelude in ‘Les Sylphides’.  In the Valse with Dayne Cory, her elevation was a delight and her arabesque penchée and arabesque en tournant had elegance of style.

Other soloists were adequate in technique but showed less awareness of the ballet’s inner meaning. Nobly classic poses were well sustained by the corps de ballet. But the pinkish tone in the lighting and the rather garish decor were rather unsuited to the ethereal mood of the Folkine-Chopin masterpiece.


‘Nutcracker’, to which Tchaikowsky’s music imparts a joyous sense of Christmas-time expectancy and excitement, was handsomely mounted. Stage management was smooth – the Christmas tree grew to imposing height – the nutcracker doll was transformed into a handsome fairy Prince (Dayne Cory), and the snow scene glittered. The snow-flake fairies pivoted lightly and Ken McCaffrey satisfactorily suggested the magic powers of Drosselmeyer.

As Clara, Christine Matthewson, in her dancing, expressed the child’s wonderment remarkably well.  June Kiss and Don Lee were pleasingly decorative in the coquettish dance of Harlequin and Columbine, and Lexie Kunze was a beguiling Sugarplum Fairy.


In ‘Masquerade’, danced to the Khacharurian suite, gaily coloured costumes and the verve of the dancing produced a carnival atmosphere. Judy Lowe and Peter Lucas danced the “Romance’ pas de deux with professional flexibility and assurance. Michele Carter, Katherine Ovsiannikoff and Judy Casey excelled in the lively polka.

The programme will be repeated today at matinee and evening performances.

The Courier Mail, 20 October 1964                                    

Courtesy Judith & Wendy Lowe                                    


The Rialto Theatre, Brisbane
Southport R.S.L. Hall, 17 October
Artistic Director
Phyllis Danaher
Production Director
Lexie Kunze & Phyllis Danaher
Phyllis Danaher
Michel Fokine
Guest Artists
Lexie Kunze
Costume Designer
Phyllis Danaher
Wardrobe Mistress: Elizabeth Proud
Scenic Designer
Ken McCaffrey
Musical Director
Charles Leonard & Cyril Martin
Chopin, Khachaturian, Tchaikovsky,
James Barlow


  • Lexie Kunze
  • Desley Hammond
  • Judy Lowe
  • Dayne Cory
  • Peter Lucas
  • Judy Casey
  • Christine Matthewson
  • April Perkins
  • Judith Drynan
  • Julie Symes
  • Tony Knox
  • Arthur Marshman
  • Ken McCaffrey
  • Katherine Ovsiannikoff
  • Don Lee
  • Jean McEwan
  • Michele Carter
  • Robyn Feeney
  • June Kiss
  • Laurel Eastment
  • Noela Morton
  • Alyson Ridgewell
  • Jennifer Smythe
  • Pauline McSweeney
  • Geraldine Turner
  • Elaine Thoms
  • Julie Lloyd
  • Margaret Hughes
  • Judith Anderson
  • Michael Bell
  • Len Gordon
  • Ray Smythe
  • Hugh Milne
  • Phillip Trail
  • Effie Henderson
  • Penelope Knox
  • Angela Bretnall
  • Glenis Blackford
  • Wendy Lowe
  • Pennie Downey
  • Elizabeth Martin
  • Vickie Parks

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