Beyond Twelve, commissioned by the Australian Ballet from Graeme Murphy, opened on 8 May 1980 at the Sydney Opera House. Danced to Ravel's Piano Concerto in G Major it had designs by Alan Oldfield and was lit by Christopher Maver. The opening night cast was David Palmer as Beyond Twelve, David Burch as Beyond Eighteen, Kelvin Coe as Beyond Twenty-Five and Sheree da Costa as First Love.
In his program notes for that first season Murphy wrote: 'The storyline for Beyond Twelve is my own, though much inspiration comes from the artistry of Kelvin Coe, the exuberance of the unique David Burch and the freshness and energy of David Palmer. Sheree da Costa, with whom I have often worked, continues to delight this choreographer with her talent and understanding of my style'. The work was Murphy's look at the life and loves of a young boy growing up and maturing as a dancer. In 2002 it was the inspiration for the Australian Ballet's fortieth anniversary program Beyond 40.
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A collection of clippings mostly relating to Murphy as artistic director and choreographer of Sydney Dance Company, including articles relating to performances such as Vast, Poppy, Beyond Twelve, Meander and Nutcracker. Also included is material relating to Sydney Dance Company under its previous name, the Dance Company (NSW).
Steven Heathcote begins this interview with a discussion of his family background, his education and his early dance training in Perth with Kira Bousloff and Shelly Rae. He recounts some anecdotes about first seeing Rudolf Nureyev and discusses his student scholarship with West Australian Ballet and his work with Sian Stokes. He goes on to talk about moving to Melbourne to join the Australian Ballet School, his friendship with Paul Mercurio and his teachers and his fellow students, including teacher Bruce Morrow and student colleague David McAllister.
Heathcote then turns to his career with the Australian Ballet and discusses some of his early roles including those in Spartacus, Beyond Twelve, Equus and Romeo and Juliet and gives his opinion of the importance of the Australian Ballet's John Cranko repertoire. He talks at length about the nature of the Australian Ballet under the directorship of Maina Gielgud and also records his impressions of Anne Woolliams. The Australian Ballet's international tours are analysed, especially the Bicentennial tour to Russia, London and Greece, and the company's several tours to Asia and New York. There is also some discussion of the need for the Australian Ballet to tour.
Heathcote continues by talking about his guest appearance with American Ballet Theatre and in Cuba and spends some time talking about being coached by Gelsey Kirkaland while with American Ballet Theatre. Some of the choreographers in whose works he has performed and whom he talks about throughout the interview include Graeme Murphy, Stephen Page (including his role in Page's Alchemy), Stanton Welch, Natalie Weir and Jiri Kylian. He also discusses his own interest in choreography, talks briefly about coaching and teaching and discusses the differences in the company while it was under the directorship of Ross Stretton and as it is under David McAllister.
This interview was recorded at the end of Heathcote's twentieth year as a dancer with the Australian Ballet and the contents of the interview reflect the breadth and depth of Heathcote's experience and knowledge about the Australian Ballet. It also contains his thoughts about the responsibilities associated with his role as principal artist. Heathcote concludes the interview by discussing his wife and children and their attitude towards his career.