The Dayne Cory Legacy
Courtesy Dayne Cory Collection, SLQ

The Dayne Cory Legacy

DAYNE CORY 1930 – 2013

Many of the photographs and a number of the programs, flyers, newspaper clippings, letters, costume and scenic designs which appear in this archive have been provided courtesy of the Dayne Cory Collection held at the State Library of Queensland.

It was only after Dayne’s death in 2013 that his four nieces and nephews discovered his treasure trove of BTQ memorabilia. Through careful chronicling of his almost 30 years association with the company, Dayne has provided BTQ with a wonderful legacy which has substantially enriched this archive.

Brisbane born, he was educated at the Church of England Grammar School in East Brisbane and Queensland University. Although a keen sportsman, representing his school in cricket and his university in athletics, his first and most enduring love was ballet.

Dayne danced professionally with the Borovansky Ballet in 1959 and 1960, and toured with the company in Australia and New Zealand. Post-Borovansky,he returned to Brisbane and joined Ballet Theatre in 1961. Over the next 25 years he danced, either as principal, soloist or corps, in almost every ballet production, partnering every leading lady of Ballet Theatre. He provided great support to Miss Danaher, not only as a most reliable and talented dancer, but also through his teaching, choreographing and organisational skills and his generous donation of his time and money. On BTQ committees he served as Treasurer between 1973 and 1979, and Secretary in 1974 and 1980.

Another element of his ballet career was with Charles Lisner OBE, who founded Queensland Ballet in 1960. For Lisner’s company, Dayne travelled throughout Queensland and northern New South Wales teaching and choreographing ballet for local ballet schools.

For his exceptional service to Ballet Theatre, he was awarded Life Membership in 1977, the year of his final performances for BTQ and the year he retired from his administrative duties. In that year he played The Headmistress in ‘Graduation Ball’ and Dr Coppelius in ‘Coppelia’ at Her Majesty’s Theatre – both character roles he excelled at - and on tour to Toowoomba, Miami, Lismore, Maryborough and Ipswich.

A modest man, he initially questioned his worthiness for the award of Life Member but graciously acceded under pressure from an insistent BTQ Executive Committee. He was honoured with a farewell dinner at the Heidelberg Restaurant in October 1977 as a show of appreciation by his friends and colleagues for his many years of dedication to Ballet Theatre.

After retiring from a long career with the Queensland Lands Department, Dayne Cory lived out his days in New Farm where he died aged 82 in 2013.

Dayne Cory’s collection can be accessed through the State Library of Queensland’s website

Researcher and writer: Dr Christine Comans

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