Australian Ballet - ICONS

22 November 2012

The Lyre Bird in Malcolm Williamson's 'The Display'

The Australian Ballet’s Icons programme is in its final week of the Sydney run at the Sydney Opera House. Part of the programme of this triple bill is Malcolm Williamson’s ballet, The Display.

Widely recognised as the first Australian ballet, the creative team, which included Williamson (composer), Sir Robert Helpmann (choreographer) and Sidney Nolan (designs) is described as follows:

Inspired by a dream in which he saw a naked Katharine Hepburn on a dais surrounded by lyrebirds, and informed by his and Hepburn’s observation of the birds in Victoria’s Sherbrooke Forest, The Display slyly relates mating rituals to the behaviour of men fighting over a woman at an Aussie picnic.

The Australian Ballet’s website has a number of interesting articles about the re-creation of this 1964 ballet and some very interesting behind the scenes photographs from the rehearsals. Ticketing information is also available on the Ballet’s website

Australian Ballet: Icons