As part of Australian Ballet’s 2009 Ballet Russes season, the Arts Centre is holding a free exhibition called Creative Australia and the Ballet Russes which explores the influence of the Ballet Russes on the art and design scene in Australia, the legacy of the ballet company in Australian dance and its inspiration for three visual artists today.

The exhibition talk I attended covered all of those areas in great detail. While I thought the paintings and photographs were mildly interesting, I was most entranced by the exquisite detail of Leon Krasenstein’s Firebird costume, with each piece of fabric handpainted to look like a red feather and then twisted into a shape approximating a tutu. I also loved the smudgy charcoal drawings of Tania Mason, which perfectly captured the delicacy of the Firebird costumes coupled with the strength of the dancers in soft focus.