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The Cork Ballet Company (1947-1993)

The Cork Ballet Company was founded by Joan Denise Moriarty, who in June 1947 put on its first show in the Opera House, accompanied by the Cork Symphony Orchestra conducted by Aloys Fleischmann. From 1948 the company and orchestra gave an annual week of ballet in Cork, with regular additional performances in towns of Munster, and in the early 1970s in Dublin. The Cork Ballet Company consisted of about 60 dancers recruited from the Moriarty School, who came from all walks of life. From the beginning, Moriarty produced original choreography often based on Irish themes, and she commissioned new music from Irish composers, among them John Buckley, Aloys Fleischmann, Bernard Geary, Seán Ó Riada, A.J. Potter. Within ten years of the first show, the company was able to perform the great classical ballets with distinguished guest artists and directors and was acclaimed by critics from the capital and the UK. The Cork Ballet Company is Ireland’s longest-lasting ballet company. Its final performance was given in 1993, a year after its founder’s death, in the presence of President Mary Robinson. It had served the cause of classical ballet for 47 years.

Material on selected ballets

The Golden Bell of Ko Programme, libretto, photographs, stage scenery and costume images, newspaper reports, the Fleischmann piano score with choreographic notes, link to the Fleischmann full score

An Cóitín Dearg [The Red Petticoat]
Programme, libretto, letter Micheál MacLiammóir, photographs, newspaper reports, link to the Fleischmann full score

Programme, photographs, newspaper reports, accounts by dancers

Programme, letter Michel de Lutry and Domini Callaghan, photographs, newspaper reports

Selected newspaper articles on the Cork Ballet Company

Cork Ballet Company Repertoire, revised 2012(12KB)

Cork Ballet Company Performances, revised 2012(13KB)

Ballet in Cork: Aloys Fleischmann(106KB)