Helene Kirsova, ballerina, ca. 1941 / photographer Bitter-Jeppesen Studios, Melbourne
Notes: Danish ballerina Helene Kirsova first came to Australia with the famous Ballet Russe in 1936. They played in capital cities for months and Australians were enthralled with modern classical ballet. On her second visit she married the Danish Vice Consul and said she would retire. In 1941 she formed her own ballet company in Sydney but the Melbourne company of Borovansky was preferred by the J.C. Williamson Theatre Company and became the immediate company leading to the Australian Ballet. Australian Ballet was able to grow very quickly because of the teaching and performance of famous artists like Kirsova. Perhaps the most wonderful memorial to her is the three small playgounds she purchased for children, two in Erskineville and one in Glebe, Sydney, because she had never seen such terrible slums. The playgrounds are still there.
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