Garth Welch

(b. 1936)

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(b Brisbane, 14 Apr. 1936)

Australian dancer, choreographer, and director. He studied ballet with V. Gsovsky, van Praagh, and others and later modern dance with Graham (1966–7), making his debut in the musical Call me Madam in 1953. He then danced with Borovansky Ballet (1954-58 and 1960–1), Western Theatre Ballet (1958-60), and Grand Ballet du Marquis de Cuevas (1961–2) before joining Australian Ballet in 1962, where he remained as principal until 1973, performing modern and classical roles. An unusually dramatic dancer, he was outstanding as both Albrecht and Hilarion in Giselle and he continued to dance character roles after officially retiring from the company, including von Aschenbach, which he created in Murphy's After Venice (1984). In 1964 he choreographed his first ballet, Variations on a Theme (mus. Arensky, Australian Ballet) which was followed by Othello (mus. Jerry Goldsmith, Australian Ballet School, 1968, revived Australian Ballet, 1970), Images (mus. Rachmaninoff, Ballet Victoria, 1974), The Tempest (1983), and Voyage Within (mus. G. Koehne, 1989, both for West Australian Ballet), among others. He was assistant artistic director of Ballet Victoria (1974–6) then associate, becoming artistic director of West Australian Ballet (1979–82). He has since taught at various institutions including his own school (1983–8). He was married to dancer Marilyn Jones and his sons are Stanton and Damien W. He was awarded Order of Australia in 1981.

Subjects: Dance.

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