Sydney Dance Company Heritage Collection The Works Of Graeme Murphy
Sydney Dance Company rounds out its 45th Anniversary celebrations with the announcement of a new filmic resource preserving the works of one of Australia’s greatest choreographers and most influential artists, Graeme Murphy.
Sydney Dance Company is excited to announce that work has commenced on the editing and digitising of film and video recordings of some of the major works created by long-standing former Artistic Director, Graeme Murphy AO and his Creative Associate, Janet Vernon AM.
The Heritage Collection will include re-mastered films of many full evening works created by Murphy on the Sydney Dance Company ensemble during his 31 year tenure from 1976 to 2007, in addition to a new documentary resource of Murphy in conversation, interweaving a myriad of interviews filmed over a period of three decades, with new footage in which he reflects on his body of work.
Dating from 1979 to 2005, the works document the growth of Australia’s leading contemporary dance company, and the rise of some of Australia’s most well known and highly acclaimed dance luminaries, including Graeme Murphy, Janet Vernon, Paul Mercurio, Gideon Obarzanek, Stephen Page and Kim Walker.
Originally captured in various formats, the films are currently being digitised and edited by filmmaker Philippe Charluet, who began working with Sydney Dance Company whilst still a student at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS), and continued to film both performances and behind the scenes activity for a period of 30 years.
The Heritage Collection films will include Berlin, 2007; Grand, 2005; Shades of Gray, 2004; Ellipse, 2002; Tivoli, 2001; Mythologia, 2000; Air & Other Invisible Forces, 1999; Salome, 1998; Synergy with Synergy, 1992; Poppy, 1991; King Roger, 1990; Kraanerg, 1988; and Rumours, 1979.
Sydney Dance Company also has an ambition to achieve a second phase of the Heritage Collection, enabling the preservation of film archives of commissioned works created on the Company by guest Australian and international choreographers.
The Sydney Dance Company Heritage Collection is an ongoing project linking past, present and future to inform dancemakers, students and historians.
Preservation of the Collection has been made possible due to the initiative of Julian Knights, Chair of the Australia Council’s Major Performing Arts Panel and a former Chair of Sydney Dance Company, and generous support from Rowan and Annie Ross (matched by the Macquarie Group Foundation), Dr Kristine Dery and Tom Dery, Joe Skrzynski, AO and Ros Horin (The Sky Foundation), Andrew Messenger, Julian and Lizanne Knights, and Sylvie Mutschler.
A free screening of a selection of works from the Collection is being planned for October 2014.
Graeme Murphy was born in Melbourne and studied at The Australian Ballet School. He has danced with The Australian Ballet, Sadler’s Wells Ballet (London) and Ballets Félix Blaska (France). In 1976 he was appointed artistic director of Sydney Dance Company (then known as The Dance Company NSW), a position he held until 2007. During his 31-year tenure, he and his creative associate, Janet Vernon AM, created more than 50 works for the Company, including 30 full-length productions. In 1982 Graeme received a Medal of the Order of Australia (AM) for his Services to Dance, and in 2012 was awarded an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO).