Colin Peasley. Photography James Braund
On 7 August 2012 it was announced that The Australian Ballet’s longest serving member, Colin Peasley OAM, is leaving the company after fifty years. A founding dancer of the company, Colin, aged 77, has performed a record 6,406 shows. His final performance with The Australian Ballet will be in Swan Lake at the Sydney Opera House on 19 December 2012.
Before this final season, Colin will star in his own show, On Stage with Colin Peasley, based on his recollections of his time with the company. This special event will be co-hosted by Artistic Director David McAllister, and along with Colin’s tales of his time at the Ballet, will feature performances of some of his most famous roles by dancers of The Australian Ballet, plus rare archival footage of Colin’s onstage moments. The show will run at Arts Centre Melbourne on Saturday 22 September, and at the Sydney Opera House on Saturday 1 December.
David McAllister said Colin would be remembered for a contribution to Australian ballet that went far beyond his on-stage performances. “Colin’s talent as a performer, particularly his ability in character roles, is astonishing, but equally it’s his unwavering desire to pass on his knowledge and experience of classical ballet to younger dancers and the general public for which he is cherished,” said McAllister.
Of his plans for the future, Colin said he will travel overseas, but however far from Australia he ventures, the company remains dear to him. “The Australian Ballet is more a family than a ‘company’,” said Peasley. “This sense of belonging has meant that these last 50 years have been extremely fulfilling both professionally and emotionally. It’s also why I will miss this wonderful company and these amazing people so very much. Still, I will have my memories and what wonderful memories they are.”
David McAllister and The Australian Ballet wish Colin all the best in his retirement. In the words of McAllister: “The company will miss his day-to-day presence tremendously, but he is part of the fabric of The Australian Ballet and he will remain a treasured member of our circle. Congratulations to Colin on a truly extraordinary career in dance!”
Tickets for On Stage with Colin Peasley can be purchased from australianballet.com.au.