The Australian Ballet performs Williamson's "The Display"

17 April 2012

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

In its ICONS programme, opening on 30th August, the Australian Ballet performs three cornerstone ballets from the sixties, seventies and eighties.

This triple bill includes The Display, Sir Robert Helpmann’s first work on the fledgling Australian Ballet. The ballet, created for the 1964 Adelaide Festival of Arts, was 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 music, some of Malcolm Williamson’s finest and most evocative, is a very powerful score. This recreation of the original production is being specially mounted in the Australian Ballet’s 50th anniversary year.

Further information is available on the Australian Ballet’s website