|One hundred years ago Diaghilev founded the Ballets Russes in Paris. Seventy years ago this company was to change Australia forever.
A Thousand Encores is the story of how the greatest ballet company of the 20th century - the celebrated Ballets Russes - came to Australia and awoke a nation, transforming the cultural landscape of the conservative 1930s, leaving a rich legacy that lasts to this day.
In 1936, the celebrated Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo stepped off a boat into the bright Australian sunlight. With exotic sets and costumes designed by cutting edge artists and avant-garde music by great composers like Stravinsky, the Ballets Russes inspired Australians and they clamoured for more.
Over five years from 1936 to 1940 the company came to Australia three times, winning the hearts and minds of Australian audiences and inspiring a generation of our greatest artists - Grace Cossington Smith, Jeffrey Smart and Sidney Nolan.
At the end of the Australian tours in 1940, a number of Ballets Russes dancers chose not to return to war-torn Europe. They established ballet schools and companies in their new country, inspiring further generations of Australians with a passion for dance. These pioneers set the stage for professional ballet in Australia today.
Produced by Flaming Star Films in association with ABC TV. Executive Producer: Sharyn Prentice; Director: Mandy Chang; Producers: Marianne Latham & Lavinia Riachi; ABC TV Executive Producer: Debbie Lee; ABC TV Head of Arts & Entertainment: Amanda Duthie