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  • Fiona Prior

Graeme Murphy’s Nutcracker

Just when you think you are well and truly under the spell of Sydney Dance Company’s artistic director Raphael Bonachello, along comes a restaging of a Graeme Murphy work – in this instance his interpretation of the Nut Cracker Suite – and you remember why Murphy was named a National Living Treasure (1999) by the National Trust of Australia. OK, so I've never quite left behind the spell of Murphy after all this time and OK, this is the Australian Ballet and not Sydney Dance Company ... but it is so much more 'Graeme Murphy' than either.

Graeme Murphy’s acclaimed reimagining of The Nutcracker, like his Swan Lake, masterfully weaves together the enchantment and fantasy of the beloved classic with emotional depth and a modern perspective.


“Clara, a former star of the Ballets Russes, has settled in Australia. On Christmas Eve, nearing the end of her life, she relives her past: her childhood in Imperial Russia, the Revolution, her travels and her triumphs on stage. Murphy mines the grand sweep of her history for universal truths about love, loss and resilience, exploring the colours and textures of Tchaikovsky’s marvellous score. Designs by the revered Kristian Fredrikson powerfully evoke Clara’s world, from the shimmer of an Australian summer to the glamour of Tsarist Russia.

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