[MANUSCRIPT] The History of the Ballet Rambert
[U.K.] : s.n., [c.1950]. Oblong quarto, cloth backed boards with illustrated title design in pen and ink on card onlaid to front (repaired tear at bottom corner), with a smaller illustrated design on lower board, metal clasp to spine; title leaf and 86 pp, manuscript in ink, with numerous drawings and decorations in pen and ink and a set design and two costume designs in gouache, and photographic illustrations from contemporary Ballet Rambert programmes and magazines laid in throughout, including ones taken during the Australasian tour of 1947-49; in fine condition.
A charming manuscript history of Britain’s oldest and most celebrated dance company, Ballet Rambert. Formed by Polish emigree and former Ballet Russes dancer Marie Rambert, who had settled in England in 1914, Ballet Rambert gave its first performance in 1926, and has continued as a dance company of world renown up to the present day.
The history, written and illustrated around 1950 by an unidentified English aficionado – perhaps a late adolescent, judging by the handwriting – includes extensive coverage of Rambert’s Australasian tour of 1947-49, during which the company recruited a number of Australian dancers. The tour was a major triumph for Sally Gilmour and Walter Gore, in particular, and a quote from a review by Australian critic Harry Tatlock Miller describes one of their ‘haunting, dramatically powerful’ performances. Commenting on the Australian reception for Rambert, the anonymous author waxes lyrical:
‘Australian ballet audiences are amongst the most ardent and enthusiastic in the world, and they broke all records for attendances during Rambert’s visit. In Melbourne alone 110 performances were seen by 160,000 people. The Australian Broadcasting Commission gave weekly talks on the new Rambert repertoire.’