Coffs Coast’s Patricia Redfriff recalls star studded ballet career

Patricia Redriff performed in the 1950s with the National Theatre Ballet Company, pictured here with a photo of herself aged twelve.


BALLET fans, take note.

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There is a wealth of experience in your midst.

Coffs Harbour resident Patricia Redriff, now 86, once shared the stage with ballet stars of the 1950s, dancing with the National Theatre Ballet Company (NTBC).

“My father loved music, and watching Anna Pavlova in the ballet really left a lasting impression on him,” she said.

“So when I came along, my parents enrolled me in ballet classes at a young age.”

“Being a Depression baby, there wasn’t much money but I never wondered at the time how my parents managed to afford the ballet shoes and concerts.”

Pat told News Of The Area, “I won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dance and eventually a place in the corps de ballet with the NTBC.”

“We performed Giselle, Swan Lake, and Graduation Ball, among others.”

The NTBC presented the first full-length version of Swan Lake in Australia at the Princess Theatre in Melbourne in 1951.

Pat said, “I was in the corps de ballet in Swan Lake, starring Henry Danton and Lynne Golding, at the Princess Theatre in 1951.”

“I remember how tiny Lynne Golding was, and how beautiful her lifts with Henry Danton were.”

“I also danced in performances of Giselle, starring Paula Hinton and Walter Gore.”

“After I left the ballet I taught it in Newcastle, and when my kids came along I turned to training children for eisteddfods and concerts,” she said.

“I still go to the eisteddfods but with the pandemic I missed it this year.”

Pat hasn’t kept much memorabilia but her memories are bright.

“Afterwards I’d have blisters and bandages on every toe, but I loved it all – the atmosphere, and the beautiful music of the Symphony Orchestra.”

Husband Hugh Redriff, aged 90, said, “I first saw Pat when she was dancing and thought she was so beautiful.”

“But I’ve got two left feet so we didn’t do much dancing together, although I was okay at the barn dance.”



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