Alan from Sepia Saturday says "You might want to go to the ballet, or the dancehall, or the theatre or anywhere you find lots of chiffon and over-dramatic poses" for this week's Sepia Saturday prompt.
For some reason I can't locate any personal sepia photos to contribute to this week's theme so we will just have to make do with contributions from The Commons on Flickr.
Dance in Queensland is going gangbusters at the moment. Queensland Ballet recently staged MacMillan's production of Romeo and Juliet to sell out audiences. My father was lucky enough to see it and said it was "Superb - no doubt the best ballet I have ever seen. The
costumes were simply gorgeous and the dancing, acting and music combined in
a way that made it almost like opera - but without the singing of course." You can see some of the beautiful images from the production here. You may remember Queensland Ballet's Artistic Director is Li Cunxin of Mao's Last Dancer fame. How lucky are we?
And now this week we are being spoiled with a production of Red Shoes by Expressions Dance Company created by Artistic Director Natalie Weir. I think I first came across Natalie's work when visiting Townsville for work and was introduced to the magnificent Dance North company. At the time I was working for the AFTRS and we were offering workshops in creating Dance for Video with a visiting BBC expert Bob Lockyer.
So in terms of professional dance companies, I think we are very well served.
Mere mortals like myself love to dance too, of course, whether it be in the kitchen or the dance hall or at parties. I learned ballroom dancing at school but have never really felt comfortable dancing with a partner. I went to an all-girls school where boys were in very short supply - many of us were obliged to take on the role of "the bloke" and consequently I tend to take the lead when dancing with a partner!
My kids learned to dance at school and did quite well in the hotly contested Dance Fever competitions with other schools. I particularly like this photo of learning to dance in Longreach in 1928.
I have been told often about my husband's aunt's wardrobe which was packed to the brim with dance frocks and matching shoes. She and my in-laws frequented perhaps the most favoured place to dance in Brisbane during the 40s - Cloudland at Bowen Hills You can check out some photos of Cloudland here and here to get an idea of what it was like. Unfortunately Cloudland was demolished in 1982 to make way for apartments and a piece of Queensland history was lost forever overnight.
Many photos of couples were taken at Cloudland like the one below.
Of course in my mind's eye, I like to think that I look like this when I dance.
Sadly, I fear that reality is very different.
When I was growing up my mother used to take me to the National Library on a Sunday afternoon I think to see Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers trip the light fantastic. Other Dance movies I loved were in hindsight, the very cheesy, Flashdance. Who could resist the funny Hot Stuff scene in the unemployment queue in The Full Monty. I loved the dance scene in Frantic too but my all time favourite is the one in Pulp Fiction.
For more dance fun, quick step your way on over to see other Sepia Saturday contributions.