Robert Helpmann

(redirected from Robert Helpman)
Sir Robert Helpmann
BirthplaceMount Gambier, South Australia, Australia
ballet dancer, actor, theatre director, choreographer

Helpmann, Robert


Born Apr. 9, 1909, in Mount Gambier, South Australia. Australian ballet dancer, choreographer, and actor.

In 1926, Helpmann joined A. P. Pavlova’s company during its Australian tour. In 1933 he moved to Great Britain, where he studied at N. de Valois’s school. From 1934 to 1950 he was a soloist with the Vic-Wells Ballet (renamed the Sadler’s Wells Ballet in 1942), where he partnered M. Fonteyn.

Helpmann’s dramatic gifts enabled him to portray various characters with particular depth. He was the first to perform the leading roles in many productions that defined the development of English ballet, including the Young Man in Nocturne (music by Delius) and the Red King in Checkmate (music by Bliss). Other roles included Hamlet in the ballet based on Shakespeare’s play, staged at the Old Vic Theater in London. Since the early 1960’s, Helpmann has been working in Australia, where he is co-director of the Australian Ballet, with P. van Praagh. His productions for the company include Williamson’s The Display (1964) and Sculthorpe’s Sun Music (1968).


Anthony, G. Robert Helpmann. London, 1946.


Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
Then in 1946 we re-opened in Covent Garden with Sleeping Beauty with Margot Fonteyn and Robert Helpman.
The best Ugly Sisters I ever saw in my entire life were the Royal Ballet dancers Frederick Ashton and Robert Helpman who made the ballroom sequence pure Keystone Kops.
Q: To what form of dancing was choreographer Robert Helpman referring when he said the trouble with it is that not everything stops when the music does?