The first production of Nutcracker by an Australian company was staged by Laurel Martyn and Alison Lee for Ballet Guild in 1953. This two-act version designed by Leonard French featured Martyn as both Clara and the Sugar Plum Fairy and Laurence Bishop as the Nutcracker Prince. Prior to the Guild production, the Chinese Dance from the ballet was presented as a divertissement during the tour by Adeline Genee and members of the Imperial Russian Ballet in 1913, and excerpts were also performed by Pavlova during her tours to Australia in 1926 and 1929. Divertissements from Nutcracker were presented as interpolations into Aurora's Wedding by the Ballets Russes companies during their tours of Australia between 1936 and 1940, and Ballet Rambert staged Act II during its Australian tour of 1947-1949.
In 1955 David Lichine was invited to Australia to stage a full-length Nutcracker for the Borovansky Ballet. The world premiere performance took place in Sydney at the Empire Theatre on 6 December 1955. This Borovansky production was designed by Elaine Haxton and the opening night cast included Peggy Sager as the Sugar Plum Fairy and Royes Fernandez as the Nutcracker Prince. The Borovansky Nutcracker was a Christmas favourite in Australia and remained in the repertoire until the Borovansky Ballet folded in 1961. A slightly revised version was produced by Peggy van Praagh for the Australian Ballet's 1962-1963 season when Kathleen Gorham and Marilyn Jones shared the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy and Garth Welch danced the Nutcracker Prince.
In 1982 while the Australian Ballet was under the directorship of Marilyn Rowe, the company staged its first commissioned Nutcracker. This production was choreographed by Leonid Kozlov and Valentina Kozlova, designed by Hugh Oliveiro and lit by Francis Croese. It opened at the Palais Theatre, Melbourne on 8 October and featured Kozlova and Simon Dow in the leading roles.
In 1992 the Australian Ballet commissioned its second Nutcracker. The concept for the new work was created jointly by Graeme Murphy and Kristian Fredrikson. Together they reinterpreted the traditional story giving it an Australian context while retaining enough elements to make it recognisably a version of Nutcracker. With choreography by Murphy, design by Fredrikson, lighting by John Montgomery and film collage by Phillipe Charluet, Nutcracker - the Story of Clara opened at the Opera Theatre of the Sydney Opera House on 12 March 1992. The opening night featured Margaret Scott as Clara the Elder, Miranda Coney as Clara the Ballerina, Kellie-Ann Farrugia as Clara the Child, Steven Heathcote as the Doctor/Beloved Officer and Greg Horsman as the Nutcracker Prince. Later casts included Vicki Attard as Clara the Ballerina, Valrene Tweedie as Clara the Elder and David McAllister as the Doctor/Beloved Officer. The work has been revived twice by the Australian Ballet since its premiere season, once in 1994 when it was filmed, and once in 2000 when Murphy revised it slightly. It was most recently performed in the 2009 season.
The Australian Ballet performed the Australian premiere of British choreographer Peter Wright's Nutcracker in 2007. In 2008, Ivan Cavallari created a new version for the West Australian Ballet. This radical reworking, set to the Tchaikovsky score, harnesses the underlying theme of the transition from childhood to maturity but brings it firmly into the twenty first century, with the new setting embracing cyberspace.
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The Sydney Dance Company collection contains a number of photographs of Murphy in various works including Shining, Late Afternoon of a Faun and Poppy. Other shots show him as a child in Tasmania, and with his associate director Janet Vernon. A portrait in the series Australian Choreographers shows him rehearsing Nutcracker with Steven Heathcote and Miranda Coney of the Australian Ballet.
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).
A small selection of press articles from various Australian newspapers relating to Scott's career, including articles relating to her involvement with the Australian Ballet School, Ballet Victoria, Graeme Murphy's production of Nutcracker, and her choreographic work Recollections of a Beloved Place.