The Legend of the Stone Flower, Love 5 In-A-Gadda-Da-Vilda, Graduation Ball
Inara Svalbe & Peter Lucas in 'Graduation Ball'

The Legend of the Stone Flower, Love 5 In-A-Gadda-Da-Vilda, Graduation Ball

November 24th, 1971 — November 27th, 1971


Review by Constance Cummins

Members of Ballet Theatre of Queensland have an especial talent for exuberant interpretation of vivid Russian folktales.

This was evident last night when the company presented ‘The Stone Flower’ – an ambitious undertaking carried out with remarkable success. Striking costumes, designed by Tatiania Ovsiannikoff, transformed the dancers into peasants, gypsies, jewels, and set the stage awhirl with the colours of emerald, ruby, and amethyst.

Prokofieff’s music for the ballet has a shimmering beauty, and the jewel cave set, designed by Troy Douglas, created a magical atmosphere. Phyllis Danaher, in her choreography, has interpreted sensitively the moods of the music, and the story of the stone carver, whose love for his craft becomes an obsession, was told clearly through movement.

Guest artist Warren de Maria has a commanding physique and technique which made him excellently suited to the role of the stone carver. As ‘The Queen of the Copper Mountain’ Judith Lowe was enchantingly regal, and gave an astonishing serpentine quality to her dancing.

Inara Svalbe’s lyrical style of dancing made her interpretation of the role of the gentle Katerina extremely appealing. Desley Hammond and Peter Lucas, as the leading gypsies, delighted the audience. Praiseworthy also were the jewel dancers.

The modern ballet ‘Love 5 in-a-Gadda-Da-Vida’ proved to be a fascinating and complex work, distinguished by Brian Coughran’s supple and inventive choreography. Lighting effects used to establish changes in scene and mood were outstandingly good.

Led by Coughran, the company entered with vigour and enthusiasm into the spirit of the ballet, in which young people express their emotional experimentations, and search for a unifying ideal, in acrobatic, non-stop movement.

The programme was completed  by the ever-popular ‘Graduation Ball’,which has music by Johann Strauss, and the elegant setting of a girls’ school in 19th century Vienna.

Dayne Cory showed an admirable talent for comedy as the prim headmistress. Inara Svalbe was the charming leader of the revels, and Desley Hammond deserves much credit for a zestful production.

This programme will be repeated each night this week.

The Courier-Mail, 25 November 1971



S.G.I.O. Theatre, Brisbane
Artistic Director
Phyllis Danaher
Production Director
Phyllis Danaher
Desley Hammond
Phyllis Danaher
Brian Coughran
Desley Hammond after David Lichine
Guest Artists
Warren de Maria
Brian Coughran
Costume Designer
Tatiana Ovsiannikoff
Wardrobe Mistress: Elizabeth Proud
Scenic Designer
Troy Douglas
Sergei Prokofieff
Doug Ingle & The Iron Butterfly
Johann Strauss
Sir Mostyn Hanger, K.B.E.


  • Warren de Maria
  • Brian Coughran
  • Inara Svalbe
  • Judith Lowe
  • Desley Hammond
  • Paul Lucas
  • Eric Hauff
  • Dayne Cory
  • Graeme Collins
  • Janet Goldsmith
  • Helen Herbertson
  • Karyn Lewola
  • Wendy Lowe
  • Tricia Tommasi
  • Graham West
  • Paul Atthow
  • Barbara Eversen
  • Kathy Cameron
  • Heather Leighton
  • Christine Dwyer
  • Glenda Kelly
  • Trudy Golding
  • Ricki Ivory
  • Cheryl Smart

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