Historical research, writing and scholarship

“An After-Dinner Episode”, Puck (New York), 3 December 1890, artwork by Syd. B. Griffin.

Caitlyn Lehmann BA (Hons) MA PhD is a cultural historian specialising in the reception and development of ballet during late 18th and early 19th centuries. She has a particular interest in the history of ballet in Britain, but undertakes research covering various aspects and periods of ballet as commissioned.

Caitlyn writes regularly for The Australian Ballet, contributing specialist research-based programme articles and online content. She has also written for dance magazines including Dance Australia, and is Australian dance critic for the UK’s Dancing Times. 

Also affiliated with the University of Melbourne’s School of Culture and Communication (SCC, Faculty of Arts), Caitlyn maintains active interests in the fields of eighteenth-century and romantic studies.  She is currently employed within the SCC as a Research Assistant, working alongside Professor Clara Tuite, and has previously been contracted to provide PhD supervision.

Caitlyn completed her doctorate on ‘Fashionable Society, Ballet and the King’s Theatre, 1770-1800’ at the University of Melbourne in 2012. She was a (minor!) research contributor to the 2015 BBC documentary The King Who Invented Ballet. In March 2017 she curated her first exhibition of historical dance prints, titled ‘From Court to Kitsch: Images of Ballet from the 17th to 20th Century

In 2020 Caitlyn was an invited speaker at a symposium hosted by The Museum at FIT in New York to accompany its exhibition ‘Ballerina’. Currently she is working on a monograph, based on her PhD study, to be published by Routledge.


Refereed articles:

Libertine Intrigues: Opera Girls in Eighteenth-Century British Discourse,’ Dance Research (Society of Dance Research, Edinburgh University Press), vol. 37, no. 2 (2019): 239–256. DOI: 10.3366/drs.2019.0275

Non-refereed articles:

‘Dancing in a Winter Wonderland,’ Nutcracker programme for the Australian Ballet, 2019.

‘Moving between Things,’  [interview article with Liam Scarlett], Dancing Times, August 2019.

‘Home and Rest’, Lac programme for Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, Australian tour 2019.

‘Forgotten Women Choreographers,’ Dance Australia, Issue 221, April-May 2019.

Lewis Carroll and Ballet,’ Behind Ballet [blog], January 2019.

The Man Behind the Myth,’ Spartacus programme for the Australian Ballet, 2018.

Spartacus in Australia,’ [interview article with Lucas Jervies], Dancing Times, September 2018.

‘Layers of Giselle,’ Giselle programme for the Australian Ballet, 2018.

‘The Rise of the Choreographer,’ Balletomane [The Australian Ballet subscriber magazine], Issue 11, 2018.

The Belle Epoque Dance Scene,’ Behind Ballet [blog], April 2018.

‘A Fine Line: The risky business of ballet in gaslit theatres,’ Balletomane [The Australian Ballet subscriber magazine], Issue 10, 2018.

‘Enough About Lessons,’ Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland programme for the Australian Ballet, 2017.

‘The Taglioni of Horsewomen,’ Dancing Times, December 2016.

Madly, Truly,’ Nijinsky programme for the Australian Ballet, 2016.

‘Dancing in Drag,’ Coppelia programme for The Australian Ballet, 2016.

‘Learning from Beauty’ [interview article with David McAllister], Dancing Times, August 2015.

A Short History of Ballet,’ The Australian Ballet, online resource, 2015.

‘Maina Gielgud’s Giselle: A Pedigree,’ Giselle programme for The Australian Ballet, 2015.

Risky Dancing,’ Behind Ballet [blog], July 2015.

An Imperial Education,Imperial Suite [Ballet Imperial] progamme for The Australian Ballet, 2014. 

‘A Bayadere in Paris,’ La Bayadere programme for The Australian Ballet, 2014.

‘Fallen Women,’ Manon programme for The Australian Ballet, 2014.

The sweets of The Nutcracker,Behind Ballet [blog], October 2014.

The Nutcracker Doll: A History,’ Behind Ballet [blog], August 2014.

La Syl-fever,’ La Sylphide programme for The Australian Ballet, 2013.

Dancing in the Grave,’ Behind Ballet [blog], October 2013.

The Wonderful World of Ballet Stamps,’ Behind Ballet [blog], March 2013.

From the Shelf: The Ballet Goer’s Guide,’ Behind Ballet [blog], January 2013.

Arty Facts, a series of 6 short articles supplied for each issue of Dance Australia during 2011.

‘Ballet Backlash,’ Dance Australia, Apr/May 2010: 36-40.

Representing Baccelli,’ Dance Chronicle 31, no. 1 (2008): 84-87. DOI: 10.1080/01472520701860631

Carlotta Zambelli and Mlle Mante (dressed in travesti) for Les Ronde des Saisons, Paris Opera Ballet, c.1905.



‘Turbans, Tulle and Taglioni’s Influence on Fashion, 1830-1845,’ The Museum at FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology), New York USA, 6 March 2020. Watch here.

‘Hoofing It! Ballet on Saddle and Stage at Astley’s Circus,’ Arts Centre Melbourne, 15 June, 2019.

‘Ravishing! Dance in Belle Epoque Paris, 1885-1909,’ Bastille Day French Festival, Meat Market, Melbourne, 14 July 2018.

‘Sylphs and Spiders: The Balletic Entanglements of Lola Montez,’ Castlemaine Historical Society, August 2017.

”Hoofing it!’ Dance on Saddle and Stage at Astley’s Amphitheatre, 1780-1800,’ English and Theatre Studies Seminar, University of Melbourne, May 2017

From Saddle to Stage: Ballet at Astley’s Amphitheatre, 1780-1800,’ 19th Annual Oxford Dance Symposium, New College, Oxford, March 2017

Airy Delights: Ballet, Balloonmania and Celebrity in Late Eighteenth-Century London,’ 16th Annual Oxford Dance Symposium, New College, Oxford, 2014

Opera girls in English discourse, 1750-1789,’ 14th Annual Oxford Dance Symposium, New College, Oxford, 2012

‘Dancers at the Pantheon,’ 13th David Nichol Smith Seminar in Eighteenth Century Studies, Dunedin, New Zealand, 2007