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Nick Wallace-Smith

Introducing myself

4 posts in this topic

Hello everyone!

I'm very pleased to be a member of Ballet Alert!

A bit about me by way of introduction.

I did my training at the Australian Dance Theatre School in Adelaide with Rex Reid as my main teacher. Rex had gone to London as a prodigy, like Robert Helpmann, but in the 1950's. After dancing with Festival Ballet and Ballet Rambert, Rex formed a company in South Africa with Princess Natasha Watchinadze, a Georgian who had fled the USSR with George Balanchine and Alexandra Danilova in the 1920's, and later married a sometime Diaghilev designer to become Natasha Kirsta. Rex and Natasha formed Ballet Kirsta, which performed, among venues, at the Winter Garten in New York. They finally moved to Australia to direct and run the ADT school.

Rex Reid came from the old school of dance instruction where, with a rapier slashing tongue, the pedagogue would bully students into progress. I recall him once correcting my port de bras - 'looks as though you are wearing earrings' - the shoulders were too lifted up and tense.

In my early twenties my life took a new direction - into academia.

I've lived in different parts of the world: London for five years, Paris for a year and the Peoples' Republic of China for a year, to mention a few.

I worked till retirement at the University of New South Wales, lecturing on Semiotic Theory on a Masters Degree program.

I still have a passionate interest in dance and hope to be able to participate usefully in the forums and other aspects of the Ballet Alert! site.

Cheers everyone!

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Not to mention your great collection of clips on Youtube-(many of which I've used here very often).

Nice to see you here, Nick! tiphat.gif

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It's a pleasure to welcome you publicly, Nick. I share Cristian's gratitude for your clips.

Your background is very impressive. I'm sure you have valuable insights to contribute to some of our ongoing discussions. And of course, we'd love to hear about the ballet scene "Down Under" from one who's there.

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Here's another thank-you for creating such a valuable collection of important youtube clips. For me, your contribution is the most significant one on the subject of ballet history.

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