The 1940s

The 1940s

With the onset of World War II, the Queensland branch of The Australian Society of Operatic Dancing (ASOD) went into recess, not resuming operations until 1947.

Thanks to the energy and commitment of the Society’s President Brenda McCullough, the organisation produced significant Ballet Recitals in 1947, 1948 and 1949. Teachers from many Brisbane ballet schools joined together to show-case their students’ work and, importantly, to raise money for overseas scholarships. In this post-war era, the thinking was that the best opportunity for talented dancers to develop their skills was through overseas experience with established companies. The first recipient was Patricia Macdonald, awarded £400 tenable to a London ballet school.

Contributing to those early recitals were students from the studios of Phyllis Danaher & Clare O’Bryan, Daphne Sapsford, Pat Mead, Elsie Seaguss, Joy & Nell Bassett, Noela White, Pat White, Ray Robinson, Avril Granville, Jill Moody, Gloria Jean Gerrard and Audrey Brotherton, to name a few.

In the 1949 Ballet Recital, a thirteen year old boy called Garth Welch danced in six items, including a solo Valse to the music of Chopin.

Researcher and Writer: Dr Christine Comans

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