The Kira Bousloff Ballet School
”When I came to the airport in little Perth at the end of the world, I put my feet on the ground, I looked around, and I said loudly and strongly, “This is where I’m going to live… this is my place.”
Madame Kira Bousloff is regarded as a pioneer of Australian ballet for her establishment and direction of the Perth-based West Australian Ballet in 1952. Having trained in Paris and danced in Europe, America and Australia, her vision for the company was to see it perform ballet with themes and stories inspired by Australian legends, with sets designed by local artists and music composed by Australians.
She was awarded the medal of the Order of Australia in 1987 for her contribution to the development of dance in Australia. In 1998 she was named a Western Australian State Living Treasure, and in 2000 she was the recipient of an Australia Dance Award for lifetime achievement.
Born in Monte Carlo in 1914 to Russian parents, Kira Bousloff trained in Paris taking ballet lessons from Russian émigrés. At seventeen she joined Les Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo and toured Europe and America throughout the 1930s, working with some of the most celebrated choreographers of the day. She came to the east coast of Australia in 1938 as a member of the Covent Garden Russian Ballet and remained here due to the outbreak of World War II. While on holiday in Perth she fell in love with the city, declaring that the beautiful coastline reminded her of the French Riviera.