On journeys and collaborations

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Faculty of Education and Arts


School of Communications and Arts




Murphy, F. (2009). On journeys and collaborations.


Kira Bousloff, a member of the famous Colonel de Basil Ballet Russes, remained in Australia in 1939 instead of returning to Europe with the company. She moved to Perth in 1952 and established West Australian Ballet with the help of Melbourne-born composer James Penberthy, who subsequently co-founded West Australian Opera with Italian tenor Guiseppe Bertinazzo. Their story involves both margins and mainstreams, or the creation of mainstream artistic organisations in a small western city at the margins of a continent that was itself, to some degree, still an outpost of empire. My intention in this paper is twofold: to suggest some of the opportunities and drawbacks faced by artist-entrepreneurs living in geographical and cultural isolation and to narrate a research journey started in 1993 and marked by lengthy intem1ptions, distractions, slip-ups, and disappointments, yet also by unexpected and promising collaborations and possibilities.

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