Australian Ballet regional tour

The Australian Ballet has announced it will be taking the much-loved ballet Coppélia, designed by Kristian Fredrikson, on its regional tour. The company will visit rarely visited cities such as Bundaberg, Alice Springs and Darwin, offering audiences and broader communities a rich suite of performances, education and audience engagement initiatives. The touring party of 42 combines members of the main company as well as graduating students of the Australian Ballet School. Coppélia has an important place in The Australian Ballet’s history, it was performed during the company’s inaugural season in 1962 and later revived in 1979 in a new production by The Australian Ballet’s founding Artistic Director Dame Peggy van Praagh, and the renowned theatre director George Ogilvie.

For more details, see The Australian Ballet website.

Announcing the 2018 Recipient of the Kristian Fredrikson Scholarship for Design in the Performing Arts

We are proud to announce that NIDA graduate and Associate Design Lecturer Michael Hankin (Design, 2009) is the 2018 recipient of The Kristian Fredrikson Scholarship For Design in The Performing Arts.

Michael graduated from NIDA with a Bachelor of Dramatic Art in 2009, and went on to design for a number of top theatres, including Belvoir St Theatre, Carriageworks, State Theatre of South Australia, Sydney Theatre Company, Melbourne Theatre Company, Bell Shakespeare, and Malthouse Theatre.

In addition to NIDA, Michael has also been Guest Lecturer in Design for Belvoir Street Theatre Education Department.

His Awards include: The Mike Walsh Fellowship, a NSW Artstart Grant, and the Winner of Best Stage Design at The Sydney Theatre Awards for Hir, Of Mice and Men and Truckstop, as well as several nominations. Michael is a member of The Australian Production Designer’s Guild and has received two nominations for Best Stage Design. This year his set design for Memorial, a production which is being co-produced between Adelaide and Brisbane Festivals will travel to The Barbican Centre in London.

The scholarship was created in honour of the brilliant designer Kristian Fredrikson, who died in 2005, and upholds the memory of his involvement in developing excellence in design for the performing arts. It will provide Michael with $12,000 to travel and study overseas to further his career.

Michelle Potter lecture

Dr Michelle Potter Dance Writer and Researcher has been invited to give The Russell Kerr Memorial Lecture in Wellington, New Zealand, and her topic will be Kristian Fredrikson.

Dr Potter has a wide knowledge regarding his career and interviewed Kristian before his untimely death as part of The National Library of Australia’s Dance Archive.

Applications are open

Applications are now open for the next Scholarship.

They will close on 1st December 2017.
Please ensure to read the application guidelines carefully, which can be found on the application form.

An update on our previous recipients

Our previous recipients have been working on a great number of exciting design projects.  We couldn’t be more pleased, and want to share some of their news.

Alicia Clements

Alicia is currently working on the Melbourne Theatre Company and Sydney Theatre Company co-production The Father, starring John Bell.  She is working at Sydney Theatre Company as the associate costume designer under Gabriela Tylesova for Muriel’s Wedding- an enormous project involving approximately 300 costumes.  She is also designing the set and costumes for Dean Bryant’s new production of Assassins at the Hayes Theatre, and has just closed the Rameau Triple Bill for Pinchgut Opera.

David Fleischer

This year David has designed the set for Chimerica, and the set and costumes for Australian Graffiti, both at Sydney Theatre Company.  He also designed Ocho for Sydney Dance Company with Rafael Bonachela, which toured to Melbourne and Canberra.  He is about to start rehearsals for The Rape of Lucretia, for which he is designing the set for the Sydney Chamber Opera, and later this year he will be at Queensland Theatre Company designing Scenes of A Marriage.

David’s time overseas on his scholarship was spent observing Komische Opera’s The Fair at Sorotinzi, and enjoying the plethora of theatre, opera, dance and installation works all over the city of Berlin.

Prepare your application

A timely reminder to all theatrical designers and makers.

If you intend to apply for The Kristian Fredrikson Scholarship scholarship in October 2017 for 2018, now is the time to think about the sort of study program you would like to pursue and contact the individuals, company’s, or institutions. You need to remember that they often require a lead up time before they can commit to a secondment or program. Good luck.


We would like draw The AusStage website to the attention of professional designers. It is important that we archive our careers for research purposes and career development.

Please refer to:

David Fleischer

David Fleischer, our 2016 scholarship recipient, is currently finalising an exciting travel work program for 2017 and we thought you would like an update on his design commissions for this year.
Earlier in the year, David designed the set and costumes for STC’s The Golden Age by Louis Nowra, set and costumes for Power Plays at STC, and is currently in rehearsals for David Mamet’s Speed The Plow also at STC directed by Andrew Upton, starring Lachy Hulme, Damon Herriman and Rose Byrne.

Images of his work to date can be found on his website:

Nutcracker - The Story of Clara

Nutcracker - The Story of Clara, brilliantly designed by Kristian Fredrikson, will be part of The 2017 SEASON OF THE AUSTRALIAN BALLET.

A joyful celebration of ballet, a deeply moving life story, and an affectionately humorous depiction of the emigrant experience are masterfully interwoven in Graeme Murphy’s Nutcracker – The Story of Clara.

Created in 1992 for The Australian Ballet by one of the country’s most audacious and prolific choreographers, this ballet has become a modern Australian classic.

The company celebrates the 25th anniversary of this quintessentially Australian production with seasons at the Sydney Opera House from the 2-20 May, and at the Arts Centre Melbourne from 2 -10 June.

Nutcracker – The Story of Clara departs from its whimsical fore-bear to tell a story grounded in real-world events and the history of ballet in Australia. In Murphy’s radical retelling, Clara is an elderly Russian emigrant and former prima ballerina, dreaming of her earlier days with love and sadness one feverishly hot Australian Christmas Eve in the late 1950s. Her story encompasses romance and loss, worldwide fame, war and revolution, and a journey to Australia which leads to her joining the nation’s earliest professional ballet company, sowing the seeds of The Australian Ballet.

In this two-act story ballet, the character of Clara is performed by three different dancers spanning the generations, seamlessly coming together and parting ways over the course of Clara’s recollections.

Nuanced set and costume designs by Kristian Fredrikson evoke the formative places in her life, from her Russian childhood to her retirement in sunburnt Australia. The world of Clara’s youth is rich in dreamlike details, with snowflakes whirling about the stage in fluttering white head-dresses, and giant golden blooms adorning the walls of the Tsar’s lavish ballroom.

The much loved score by Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky is at the very centre of this production as the catalyst for Clara’s nostalgic recollections, and the accompaniment to her fondest memories of performing.

A distinctly Australian inclusion in The Australian Ballet’s 2017 Season.

Coppélia by The Australian Ballet

In 2016, The Australian Ballet will be performing Coppélia, featuring Kristian Fredrikson’s magical designs. See it in Melbourne (23 Sep – 1 Oct) and Sydney (2 – 21 Dec). Tickets