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Marilyn Rowe AM OBE

Marilyn Rowe has had a distinguished career in ballet as a dancer, teacher and artistic director.

Honour Roll

The Australian Ballet School opened its doors in 1964 and Marilyn Rowe was one of the first students chosen to undertake the initial two year course. She won a scholarship from the Frances Lett School of Ballet and a bursary from Mrs Louisa Jones of Rippon Lea. Marilyn graduated from The Australian Ballet School in 1964 after only twelve months of the course and was taken into The Australian Ballet in 1965 at the insistence of Dame Peggy van Praagh.

She was promoted to Principal Artist in 1970 and was the first ballerina produced by the School. In 1968, while still a soloist, Marilyn received her first invitation to Russia from Igor Moiseyev, who choreographed 'The Last Vision' for Kelvin Coe and Marilyn that same year. In 1973, Coe and Marilyn won individual Silver Medals and the Publishers' Prize for the most outstanding couple at the Second International Ballet Competition in Moscow and in 1978 they were the first Australians to be invited to dance with the Bolshoi, Riga and Vilnius ballet companies.

Marilyn was honoured by Her Majesty, The Queen and awarded the Order of the British Empire for services to ballet in Australia. In August 1980, following a tour to China, Marilyn temporarily retired from The Australian Ballet to await the birth of her son. In December her husband Christopher Maver, Stage Director and Lighting Designer, was killed in a plane crash. Their son Christopher was born in May 1981.

In 1981, at the invitation of Gailene Stock, Marilyn was appointed Associate Director of the National Theatre Ballet School, Melbourne. After the 26-day strike which tore The Australian Ballet apart in October/November 1981 Marilyn returned to the Company. As part of the Terms of Settlement, and at the request of the dancers and Board, she was engaged as Artistic Adviser and Guest Artist. Following the resignation of the then Artistic Director, Marilyn Jones OBE, in January 1982, Marilyn was appointed Ballet Director and Acting Artistic Director for the Company's 1982 season.

In 1983, she was appointed Deputy Artistic Director to Maina Gielgud and, in 1984, was appointed Director of The Dancers Company, a post she held until 1990. Marilyn has directed and coached many of the leading dancers of The Australian Ballet and has produced and directed major works, both classical and contemporary for the Company and The Dancers Company.

She has also adjudicated and taught at private ballet schools for the Royal Academy of Dancing, the Cecchetti Society and the Australian Institute of Classical Dance. Marilyn has been a Board Director of The Australian Ballet since 1994. She is also a director of Britannia Imports and Hunky Dory Australia and a member of The Australian Ballet Career Development Committee. In January 1999, she was appointed Director of The Australian Ballet School.