Time in Motion: 50 Years of The Australian Ballet

Time in Motion celebrates the enduring style, strength and passion of The Australian Ballet and its creative output over the last fifty years. Drawn from Arts Centre Melbourne’s Performing Arts Collection and The Australian Ballet’s archives, the exhibition features photographs, film, designs and costumes. Time in Motion re-visits some of the company’s most memorable works illustrating its dynamic rise to become a national icon of world-class status.

The Australian Ballet’s early seasons combined popular 19th-century ballets such as Swan Lake (1962) and Coppélia (1962) with ground-breaking Australian commissions like The Display (1964), which helped establish a broad appeal with audiences both here and overseas. The exhibition highlights these formative works and the large-scale theatrical productions that followed such as Don Quixote (1970), The Merry Widow (1975) and Nutcracker - The Story of Clara (1992).

Time in Motion also explores the way different Artistic Directors have built on The Australian Ballet repertoire with contemporary works by leading Australian and international choreographers and by mounting new versions of the classics.

A touring exhibition by Arts Centre Melbourne developed in association with The Australian Ballet.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander visitors are advised that this website and the associated exhibition contain images of deceased people.


Vivienne Wong in WarramukPreview stories and images from Time in Motion
In the Beginning, In Production, In Character, In the Studio, In the Moment, In the Music.


50 years of The Australian Ballet50 Years of The Australian Ballet
A timeline of The Australian Ballet's lively history in words and pictures.



Children's activity trailChildren's Activity Trail
Put on your ballet shoes, dance through the exhibition and create your own record of The Australian Ballet.


PinterestDance on Pinterest
Explore the State Library's Pinterest board of dance images, celebrating 50 years of The Australian Ballet.


Quick Links