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


A Film of The Australian Ballet Company’s production of Coppélia is coming  to Palace BalwynPalace Brighton BayPalace Cinema Como
Next year in 2017
135 mins
Rating: CTC
Release Date: 29 April, 2017

Coppélia is a sparkling tale of magic and mischief, it was lovingly revived by founding Artistic Director Peggy van Praagh and Theatre Director George Ogilvie, and exquisitely dressed by master designer Kristian Fredrikson. It will have its world premiere in cinemas in 2017.

Widely known in children’s literature, these tales are a great introduction to ballet for younger audiences and a timeless treat for aficionados.

Stage Presence at The Arts Centre

For those interested in Stage Design The Arts Centre Melbourne is presenting ‘Stage Presence’ an exhibition of designs, costumes and stage models from The Australian Performing Arts Collection.

The exhibition items include the work of Hugh Colman, Jennifer Irwin, Tony Tripp, Brian Thompson, Richard Jeziorny, Jenny Tate, and Roger Kirk.

The exhibition is designed by Anna Cordingley, the 2012 Fredrikson Scholarship recipient and features designs by Alicia Clements, the 2014 Fredrikson Scholarship recipient. It opens on 30th April and closes on 4th September in the Arts Centre Melbourne, Gallery 1.

Announcing the 2016 winner: David Fleischer

Sydney based designer David Fleischer is the 2016 recipient of The Kristian Fredrikson Scholarship For Design in The Performing Arts. David is a freelance designer, he graduated from The National Institute of Dramatic Arts in 2009 where he now is an Associate Lecturer.

He plans to use the award of $12,000 to embark on a series of internships with three major European companies in London, Italy and Germany including The Komische Oper Berlin, run by Australian Barrie Kosky. David will also observe various current theatrical productions as well as attending major performing arts festivals.

This trip will fulfill David’s intention of expanding his exposure to international design practices and work possibilities beyond Australia.

There will be a display of David’s designs at the Arts Centre Melbourne in The Smorgon Family Plaza, opening April 4th and closing May 29th. To see more of David’s designs please refer to

Reminder: applications close 1st December

There is less than a month until applications close for this round of the Scholarship.

Applications open October 1st 2015

The Founding Committee will soon be inviting applications for the 2016 scholarship.  Applications for theatrical designers and makers open October 1st 2015 and close December 1st 2015.  The successful recipient will be announced at The Green Room Awards 2016.

Please check the website closer to applications opening for an updated application form.

Michelle Potter on Kristian Fredrikson

We would like to draw to the attention of dance aficionados to Michelle Potter’s Dance Diary link

Michelle is an independent dance writer, historian and curator, who interviewed Kristian for the Oral History and Folklore Collection at the National Library of Australia National Library Archives.

Previous Recipient Career Update

Alicia Clements

Things have been busy since receiving the scholarship with a lot of travel and exciting new opportunities arising!   I used my funds to spend several months in London where I worked as an assistant designer, a costume supervisor as well as attending master classes and workshops.  As an assistant to Isla Shaw I worked on productions that toured the UK, West End and Broadway, and I was lucky enough to join Shakespeare’s Globe as Costume Supervisor on their UK and European tour of “Much Ado About Nothing”.

I rounded out these practical experiences with several intensive short courses at Jenny Tiramani’s School of Historical Dress, taking classes in 18th Century Breeches, 1930’s Drapery, History of Armour, 17th Century Embroidery, and Tailoring.   I was also invited attended a series of truly inspiring master classes at the National Theatre Studio.

During this extraordinary trip I found my wonderful agent and was offered my first production at Sydney Theatre Company.   I am now based in Sydney and currently working on “Hamlet” for Bell Shakespeare and “Bajazet” for Pinchgut Opera.

Previous Recipient Career Update

Anna Cordingley

In the European autumn and winter of 2013, the Kristian Fredrikson Memorial Scholarship took me to Germany and the UK on a bender of theatre, opera, dance and fine art voyeurism.  The ambition was to form ties and forge relationships with choice opera houses, theatre companies and (most importantly) Warburgian aficionados, and this I did.

Basing myself along the Landwehrkanal canal in east Kreuzberg, I attended the Volkshochschule each morning, Barrie Koskie’s rehearsals at Komische most afternoons and the Schaubuhne, the Volksbuhne, the Philharmonie, the Staatsopera etc etc of an evening. I devoured the entire program of Ruhrtriennale in the country’s west.  And on the last of the warm days in October, staged a street art intervention with the children of Liegnitzer Strasse to rival all other design pursuits…

While living in Berlin, I designed the State Library of Victoria’s Victor Hugo exhibition (opened mid 2014); the research for which took me to France and Guernsey for discussions with conservators and curators at Maison de Victor Hugo, Hauteville House, the Musee Rodin and the Bibliothèque nationale de France.

Come December and across the North Sea, I attended lectures marking the eightieth anniversary of the clandestine transportation of Aby Warburg’s formidable Kulturwissenschaftliche Bibliothek from Hamburg to London, and was humbled to meet the grandson and great grandchildren of the man himself.

Now in 2015, I’m designing for Sydney Festival, Melbourne festival, STCSA, Griffin & Arts House, lecturing at the Victorian College of the Arts and looking after Louis, the other magical project to grow from my time in Berlin.