An epic contemporary vision of ballet's favourite tale

Nutcracker - The Story of Clara

134 mins in all / 1 interval

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.

This “Gum-nutcracker”, made especially for The Australian Ballet, celebrates its 25th birthday in 2017.

From its first performance in 1992, Graeme Murphy’s Nutcracker – The Story of Clara was recognised as a masterpiece

The Age

Murphy transforms The Nutcracker’s famous snowflake scene into Clara’s memory of her St Petersburg childhood. 

Artists of The Australian Ballet in Graeme Murphy’s Nutcracker – The Story of Clara. Photography Branco Gaica

Clara’s performance of The Nutcracker’s grand pas de deux is an opulent set piece with Ballets Russes-inspired costumes. 

Image 1 - Justine Summers and Robert Curran in Graeme Murphy’s Nutcracker – The Story of Clara. Photography Branco Gaica. Images 2 and 3 - Leanne Stojmenov and Marc Cassidy in Graeme Murphy’s Nutcracker – The Story of Clara. Photography Branco Gaica

Clara with her lover, a young soldier who is killed in the Bolshevik Revolution. 

Vicki Attard and David McAllister in Graeme Murphy’s Nutcracker – The Story of Clara. Photography Jim McFarlane

Choreography Graeme Murphy
Creative Associate Janet Vernon
Concept Graeme Murphy and Kristian Fredrikson
Music Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Costume and set design Kristian Fredrikson
Original lighting design John Drummond Montgomery
Film collage Philippe Charluet
With Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra in Sydney
With Orchestra Victoria in Melbourne

NUTCRACKER: THE STORY

get acquainted with the story

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