The ballet class of ’62

Fifty years after they first assembled in Melbourne, 10 of the foundation members of the Australian Ballet posed for this great photo (click to enlarge) at the Sydney Opera House on May 6, 2012.

The occasion was a Friends of the Australian Ballet event to help celebrate the company’s anniversary and for the Friends’ chairman, Greg Khoury, to hand a giant cheque for $200,000 to artistic director, David McAllister.

The funds, raised by the Friends, will be used to cover costs involved in the company’s New York tour next month.

As you can see, those in the photo still look like dancers with their straight backs, slightly turned out feet, and beautiful smiles. (There were 46 dancers in the original company).

Speeches by Greg Khoury and David McAllister included tributes to the stamina and style of all those involved in the formation of the company.

Those of us present could not dismiss the thoughts of time passing, with David making a joke at his own expense. Some people say to him now: “You were my grandmother’s favourite dancer!”

He needn’t worry. David still looks as though he is in his 30s.

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left to right: Jan Megna (formerly Jan Melvin), Colin Peasley, Margaret Akerman, Garth Welch, Marilyn Jones, Greg Khoury, Ramona Ratas, Robert Olup, Heather Macrae, Ian Rannard, and Patrina Coates. Photo: Samantha Eedle