WORLD PREMIERE The Story of Elizabeth and Swan Lake
Sharon Winney with Julieanne Irons, Amanda Charmers, Elizabeth Wagner, Michelle Spermon & Rebecca Horrigan

WORLD PREMIERE The Story of Elizabeth and Swan Lake

September 29th, 1989 — October 4th, 1989


Review by Peta Koch

The Story of Elizabeth and Swan Lake is easily Ballet Theatre of Queensland’s most adventurous production.

The long-established amateur youth company has a history of traditional and conservative productions but in its latest season, it has dared to challenge the classics with a young and modern look at an old favourite, Swan Lake.

As well as the usual story and choreography, adapted by Artistic Director Leslie White from the original Petipa and Ivanov versions, this ballet has added its own liberally updated interpretation.

The Tchaikovsky music rests surprisingly well beside that of contemporary composers Vangelis and Alan Parsons, as does the contemporary dance, choreographed by Natalie Weir.

In another uncharacteristic move for Ballet Theatre, the company uses theatre and the spoken work in this tale of a group of spirited teenagers, who are encouraged by a ghost, Elizabeth, to redirect their energies away from boisterous but fruitless behaviour and into the more constructive vein of performance.

White’s classical choreography is challenging yet within the grasp of the students. Weir continues to establish herself as a young choreographer of exciting potential with her fearless but fluid style, daring lifts, and strong and purposeful direction.

Sharyn Winney uses her body expressively as Odette, Sonya Townson is sinuously seductive as Odile. Andrew Beiers is imposingly menacing as Van Rothbart. The cast looks as it is enjoying itself immensely.

The Courier-Mail, October 2, 1989


Rialto Theatre, Brisbane
Country tours to Toowoomba and Nambour in 1990
Artistic Director
Leslie White
Production Director
Production Co-ordinator: Marie-Ann Grosskreutz
Leslie White & Natalie Weir
Costume Designer
Tara Butland
Costume Construction: Theda Lowe, Shirley Stanfield, Marie-Ann Grosskreutz
Lighting Designer
Jack Rodgers
Tchaikovsky, Vangelis, Alan Parsons
Ray Magee


  • Michelle Spermon
  • Elizabeth Wagner
  • Sharyn Winney
  • Martin Himstedt
  • Sonya Townson
  • Suzie Grosskreutz
  • Janet Nelson
  • Andrew Beiers
  • Andrew Koek
  • Robert Tanion
  • Jaycen Fletcher
  • Callum Hastie
  • Terry O'Neill
  • Lanse Lithgow
  • Sarah Playford
  • Michelle Wise
  • Riccale Mornement
  • Amy McNutts
  • Cherie Moser
  • Kathryn Phelps
  • Cassandra Williamson
  • Amanda Charmers
  • Rebecca Horrigan
  • Margaret Nelson
  • Nicole Dahl
  • Jamie Bauer
  • Natasha McKay
  • Amy Delves
  • Katherine Dawes
  • Renata Leo
  • Bridget Hayes
  • Kathleen Maney
  • Erin Mackay
  • Michelle Ryan
  • Shane de Vries
  • Julieanne Irons
  • Catherine Radford
  • Joanne Fitches
  • Luanne Thompson
  • Rachael Sommerville
  • Kylie Pocklington
  • Louise Rollman
  • Emily Barnes
  • Shauna O'Donnell
  • Sara Ashwood
  • Katie Singer
  • Jacelyn Topping
  • Maria Antonsen
  • Sally Yench


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