Cultural Artifacts / Moving Images

The australian ballet

Moving Images

The brief

The legendary Russian impresario Serge Diaghilev caused an uproar when he took his company, the Ballets Russes, to Paris in 1909. He was the first to place an equal emphasis on choreography, music, art and diverse cultural references in the creation of ballet. The effect on the entire world of art was immeasurable. Soon, artists and composers of the calibre of Picasso, Bakst, Cocteau, Satie, Ravel and Stravinsky were busy at work with dancers and choreographers including Nijinsky, Massine, Balanchine and Fokine. And when the Ballets Russes came to Australia in the 1930s they had the same effect, galvanising the local art scene including Donald Friend, Max Dupain, Norman Lindsay and Sydney Nolan.

In this spirit, our brief was to curate and present an exhibition of the photographic works of Justin Smith and to celebrate his long association with The Australian Ballet. The exhibition celebrated the depth of Justin’s boundless imagination, and his ability to make visible an ideal of ballet: something surprising, stimulating, and very beautiful.

The solution

A visceral and engaging exhibition and supporting catalogue.

About our client

Founded in 1962, The Australian Ballet is one of Australia’s flagship arts companies, and one of the busiest ballet companies in the world. Each year, the company presents approximately 200 performances in cities and regional areas around Australia, in addition to regular international touring. The Australian Ballet’s diverse repertoire reflects the company's vision: caring for tradition, daring to be different. The Australian Ballet perform works from the classical repertoire as well as contemporary works and commissions.

Departments activated

Planning, Creative, Image making, Communication, Publishing