Synopsis – ‘The Audition’

October 2021

Five people are brought together under the watchful eye of the Supervisor. Who are they? What are they competing for? And what will happen to the candidate who passes The Audition … ?

Sausages for Breakfast: Marie-Louise Desmatins in Hell

August 2021

Scandal, fabric craft, a horror film and a tasty spot of liposuction. It turns out one obscure 17th-century opera dancer is really not like another…

Synopsis – Regency Fair

July 2021

What happens when you commit to a career researching ballet, but you’re also bored, irked and fed up to the back teeth with ballet’s endless literary adaptions and rehashes of the classics? Simple. You write your own bloody ballets. Here’s one of mine.

New Miniature of Giovanna Baccelli Identified!

January 2021

We have a fresh discovery to mark the beginning of 2021. Is it a bird, is it a bacchante? Yes, yes! It’s Giovanna Baccelli!

“Home and Rest”: A Ballet Lover’s Guide to Monte Carlo

For over a century, Monte Carlo has been a haven for some of the world’s greatest dancers. Join me on a time-tripping escape from lockdown to the fabled seaside playground where the Ballets Russes made its home.

Now on YouTube: ‘Turbans, Tulle and Taglioni’s Influence on Fashion, 1830-45’

Couldn’t make it to the Ballerina symposium in March? Don’t be disappointed: New York’s Museum at FIT has kindly made all the presentations available on YouTube. Tagliomanes and fashionistas, this way please…

Ballerina: Fashion’s Modern Muse – Symposium

FORTHCOMING: 6 March 2020

Come along to New York’s Museum at FIT, where I’ll be joining other speakers for a revealing symposium to be held in conjunction with the exhibition, Ballerina: Fashion’s Modern Muse. 

Libertine Intrigues: Cliché-Busting the Opera Girl

December 2019

My recently published article in the Dance Research journal probably isn’t on your Summer 2020 reading list. But it’s a rip-roaring read of sex, scandal and, ah, concentrated academic scholarship …

Discovering and rediscovering Anne Elder

Not every dancer has the chance to be the subject of a dedicated biography, but every biography for a dancer is a contribution to our records for the future. This post salutes Anne Elder, one time dancer and accomplished Australian poet, whose memories of the Borovansky Ballet have been quietly published in a new biography.

Save the date for “Hoofing It!”

15 June 2019

Cheer up a wintry Saturday this June. Come along to the Melbourne Arts Centre where I’ll be speaking on ballet at Astley’s Circus. There’ll be dancing on stage and on horseback – historically speaking, of course!

Madame Rose Parisot, ‘Attitudinarian’

May 2019

This month let’s get reacquainted with the wonderfully angular Madame Rose Parisot, who raised hemlines and eyebrows with her performances in London in the 1790s.

The Simonet Experiment

It began as an experiment. The idea was to create activity sheets for dance students that would bring ballet’s history to life. Adelaide Simonet stepped up to be the prototype, and here she is, FREE to download and ready for feedback!