Can’t get enough of Strictly Ballroom? Check out the exhibition!

A new exhibition celebrates the sequinned splendour of the hit stage and screen musical Strictly Ballroom, just in time for the opening of the new musical.

It has been thirty years since Strictly Ballroom set the world dancing and to celebrate its incredible journey, the Powerhouse Museum is presenting The Strictly Ballroom Story, a new exhibition opening on Saturday 5 April 2014.

Strictly Ballroom
Strictly Ballroom film still.

The exhibition tells the Strictly Ballroom story through design drawings, cast and set photos, performance and rehearsal clips. A highlight is 40 dazzling original costumes created by four time Oscar winner Catherine Martin which played a critical role in creating the larger than life quality of the film.

“The Strictly Ballroom costumes are part of a significant collection – including designs and costumes from other Bazmark productions – created by Catherine Martin and generously donated to the Museum. It’s wonderful to put the costumes on public display; they embody the spirit and energy of Catherine’s wonderfully creative mind. I’m looking forward to the reaction from our audiences,” said Powerhouse Museum Director, Rose Hiscock.

In 1984 Strictly Ballroom began its life as a group-devised student musical at NIDA, before a longer version was developed in 1986 for the International Festival of Theatre Academies in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia (Slovakia). The young cast including Nell Schofield and Sonia Todd, and Baz Luhrmann won the prize for best production at the Festival.

Two years later Strictly Ballroom returned to Sydney, via the Brisbane Expo, for a season at the Sydney Theatre Company, again as a stage musical with Glenn Keenan taking the lead role of Scott while Tara Morice made her debut as Fran. After years of reworking, research and spruiking for backers, the 1992 movie took Strictly Ballroom to the world.

Now the show is returning to its theatrical roots, with the World Premiere taking place on Saturday 12 April at Sydney’s Lyric Theatre.

The Strictly Ballroom story is open from Saturday 5 April to 9 November 2014. 10.00am to 5.00pm daily at the Powerhouse Museum, 500 Harris Street, Ultimo www.powerhousemuseum.com

Cassie Tongue

Cassie is a theatre critic and arts writer in Sydney, and is the deputy editor of AussieTheatre. She has written for The Guardian, Time Out Sydney, Daily Review, and BroadwayWorld Australia. She is a voter for the Sydney Theatre Awards.

Cassie Tongue

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