Published on 19 August 2015
After an outstanding career as an internationally acclaimed principal artist with The Australian Ballet, Marilyn dedicated her life to The Australian Ballet School and its students, helping shape the future of young dancers through her leadership, vision and innovative education programs. Marilyn has been instrumental in developing a world-class unique dance training institution that produces distinctly Australian dancers who have learned through a holistic educational program which balances technique, artistry, academic education and student care. She is the driving force behind the establishment of Marilyn Rowe House, a residence for The Australian Ballet School.
Marilyn performed and created a phenomenal body of work in her performing years, equally outstanding in both classical and contemporary techniques. Her reputation in the latter was forged, when American choreographer Glen Tetley chose Marilyn, Alida Chase, John Meehan and Gary Norman for his ground breaking ballet Gemini in 1973. Also that year she formed an acclaimed partnership with Kelvin Coe, with whom she won a silver medal at the Moscow International Ballet Competition. Her talent inspired other choreographers who illuminated the most brilliant partnerships: with John Meehan in The Merry Widow (Ronald Hynd) and Gary Norman in Anna Karenina (André Prokovsky) as did John Cranko’s existing ballets, Romeo and Juliet and Onegin.
A multi-award winning performer, artist, director and teacher, Marilyn’s legacy to dance, dance education and to Australian arts and culture is far reaching and will be long-lasting. Her contribution has been acknowledged with her appointment as Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1979 for her services to ballet in Australia.