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The Australia Council for the Arts joins the Australian performing arts community in expressing our sadness at the death of renowned choreographer Ross Coleman.

CEO Kathy Keele said Ross Coleman made an immense contribution to Australiaís musical theatre.

‘His inventive and glamorous choreography is now world famous with the export of Priscilla Queen of the Desert now showing in London and later, in 2010, going to Broadway.’

‘Ross died this week, too young at 60, but he had a long and successful career as an Australian choreographer, well-known for his work on musicals in both the commercial and theatre funded sector.’

Ross Coleman, who was born in Sydney in 1949, also choreographed for some of Australiaís best contemporary companies including the Australian Dance Theatre in Adelaide and the Dance Company (later Sydney Dance Company).   His many shows included Jerryís Girls, Grease ñ the Arena Spectacular, Funny Girl, Bye Bye Birdie, Sweet Charity, The Rocky Horror Show, Side by Side with Sondheim, and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.  He also created, as well as Priscilla, some uniquely Australian musicals such as Jonah Jones, Getting My Act Together and Taking It on the Road and The Stripper.

‘Ross was also well-known for his generosity, his perfectionism in the rehearsal room and his readiness to mentor young choreographers,’ said Carin Mistry, Director of Dance at the Australia Council.

‘He will be missed by dancers, actors and musicians, to say nothing of Australian audiences.’

The Australia Council for the Arts, on behalf of the Australian Government, extends its sincere sympathies to Ross Colemanís many colleagues and his partner Oleg Tmusin.



Brianna Roberts


(02) 9215 9030


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