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 Post subject: Bobby Dazzler! Celebrating the Helpmann Centenary
PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 12:01 pm 

Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 6883
Location: El Granada, CA, USA
For immediate release - Tuesday 10 March 2009

Adelaide Festival Centre's Visual Arts &

Performing Arts Collection programs present

Bobby Dazzler! Celebrating the Helpmann Centenary

In an Australian premiere, Bobby Dazzler! marks the centenary of the birth of
theatrical legend Sir Robert Helpmann and celebrates his remarkable career.
Highlights of the exhibition, gathered from public and private collections around
the country, include a selection of photographic and print material, costumes,
artefacts and personal memorabilia, as well as video and audio recordings and on
display in the Artspace Gallery, Adelaide Festival Centre, from 21 March - 26 April

As a dancer, actor, choreographer, director and mime artist, Helpmann, born in Mount
Gambier, South Australia, made an enormous contribution to the performing arts both
nationally and internationally. Inspired by Anna Pavlova's Australian performances,
Helpmann began his professional career in J. C. Williamson's touring shows before
travelling to England. He joined the Sadler's Wells Ballet, later the Royal Ballet,
in 1933 and rose quickly to the rank of principal dancer, often partnering Margot

Helpmann still found time to act in theatre and film, as well as direct opera,
musicals and plays. On his return to Australia he was appointed Co-Artistic Director
of The Australian Ballet in 1965, at which time he was also named Australian of the
Year. While resident in Australia, Helpmann continued both a national and
international career, and his last stage performance in 1986, as the Red King in
Checkmate for The Australian Ballet, was only months before his death.

QPAC Museum worked with Dr Anna Bemrose, author of Robert Helpmann: A Servant to
Art, to create a theatrical installation that explores the career of this unique
Australian. Helpmann's legacy has been commemorated widely across the performing
arts - in painting, sculpture and also a dance scholarship. The Civic Centre Theatre
in South Australia's Mount Gambier was renamed the Sir Robert Helpmann Theatre in
1984, and the Helpmann Awards, inaugurated in 2001, are presented annually to
recognise distinguished artistic achievement and excellence in the performing arts.

Exhibition Coordinator Helen Trepa says, "This exhibition, with items gathered from
collections around the country, tributes one of Australia's greatest performing
artists. Helpmann was a truly inspiring and talented artist who strove to create
uniquely Australian ballets such as Corroboree, Melbourne Cup, The Display and Sun
Music. Working with other Australians he wanted his ballets to have a distinctly
Australian feel, theme, sound and visual identity, paying homage to Australia's
indigenous people but also acknowledging the growing influence of Asia."

This exhibition is supported by Visions of Australia, an Australian Government
program supporting touring exhibitions by providing funding assistance for the
development and touring of Australian cultural material across Australia.

It will be officially opened by the Performing Arts Collection's Jo Peoples, fresh
from spending a year in Paris, on Tuesday 24 March.

Exhibition: Bobby Dazzler! Celebrating the Helpmann Centenary presented by
Adelaide Festival Centre's Visual Arts & Performing Arts Collection programs (in
association with the Queensland Performing Arts Centre in collaboration with the
Arts Centre Melbourne)

Venue: Artspace Gallery, Adelaide Festival Centre

Dates: 21 March - 26 April 2009

Hours: Wednesday to Saturday 12 - 5pm, Sunday 12 - 4pm

Cost: FREE

For media interviews and images, contact:

Sophie Gardner, Marketing and Publicity Coordinator, (08) 8216 8540 or 0431 210 131

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