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Maureen Weldon "Valse Triste"  In 1959, twelve years after the establishment of her amateur ballet company, Moriarty founded Ireland ’s first professional ballet company. Its mission was to tour Ireland , north and south, bringing classical, contemporary and folk ballets all over the country for the first time. The patron was Dame Marie Rambert, who attended the first performance; the first ballet master and associate director was the renowned choreographer and former Vic-Wells dancer Stanley Judson, who was succeeded by Yannis Metsis. The pianist Charles Lynch accompanied the tours. Eight of the twelve dancers were recruited from the Moriarty School . They travelled to about 70 towns every year under difficult conditions. The company’s finances were precarious: it received a small Arts Council grant, but mainly depended for its funding on businesses and private donations. In 1963 the Arts Council insisted that Irish Theatre Ballet merge with Patricia Ryan’s Dublin company, National Ballet (which had become professional the previous year) in the hope of resolving the financial and administrative problems besetting both companies. But after one joint season ending in March 1964, the merged company, Irish National Ballet, had to be disbanded. Some 25 new ballets had been created by 8 choreographers. Moriarty had learnt that there was a nationwide audience for ballet, but that a professional company could not survive without a secure financial basis.

Interviews with former members of the Irish Theatre Ballet.

Irish Theatre Ballet Programmes 

West Cork Ballad
Devil to Pay
Prisoners of the Sea

Selected articles on Irish Theatre Ballet

Irish Theatre Ballet Choreographers, Repertoire(11KB)

Topical Talk-Norris Davidson(130KB)

Dancing with Irish Theatre Ballet by Maureen Weldon(13KB)

Norris Davidson in Dance and Dancers Jan 1961(456KB)

Fay Werner Dancing Times (6,409KB)