Stars gather for the launch of Leanne Benjamin’s autobiography, Built for Ballet

Share Article

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp

It was a full house at Australia House in London this week for the launch of Leanne Benjamin’s autobiography, Built for Ballet. As the High Commissioner for Australia George Brandis noted in his speech, the room was sparkling with ballet stars. 

Special guests included retired ballet dancer Monica Mason, former Artistic Director and Principal Dancer of The Australian Ballet, David McAllister, and Resident Choreographer of The Royal Ballet, Wayne McGregor. 

The outgoing Agent General for Queensland, Linda Apelt, gave a warm welcome and was justifiably proud of Leanne’s Queensland pedigree. 

Design Museum Director Tim Marlow elegantly conducted an interview with Leanne and her biographic collaborator, Sarah Compton. And while not every biographer admires their subject after learning the ‘warts and all’ story, Sarah’s admiration of Leanne shone through. ‘Leanne illuminates whatever she does. I felt privileged to write her story,’ she said. 

Tim, Leanne and Sarah emphasised Leanne’s longevity in a profession which is notorious for its brevity. Leanne played particular tribute to choreographers Wayne McGregor and Christopher Wheeldon for ‘enabling [her] to stay relevant by including [her] in their new work’. 

Leanne wants her book to inspire people to be themselves, declaring: ‘You don’t have to act like a ballerina to be a ballerina. Just be yourself.’ 

Being Leanne has clearly been the right call, judging not only from her long and stellar career but also her popularity as a mentor to the next generation of dancers – there were a  large number of young swans whooping and cheering for her in the back row.

Click here to see purchase details.

related posts

Art

UK Australia 2021/22 Season launch

The Season is the largest ever cultural exchange between the two nations and involves more than 200 live and digital events across both nations.

Literature

The Railwayman’s Wife by Ashley Hay

(Published by Two Roads, paperback, January 2018) ‘Exquisitely written and deeply felt … a true book of wonders.’ Geraldine Brooks, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of YEAR OF