#15: New York City debut a triumph (1981)


23 May 2019

In the five years since Graeme Murphy was appointed head of the Company, Sydney Dance Company forged its reputation as one of Australia’s leading performing arts companies and became recognised on the world stage. Known for its risk-taking repertoire, the Company made its American debut at the City Center-55th Street Theater in New York in 1981.

In the early 80s, the near-bankrupt city was bustling with creativity. It was dirty, dangerous and dazzling. Sydney Dance Company’s program was comprised of ten ballets, seven of them choreographed by Murphy, including his signature works Poppy, Shéhérazade, Rumours (Act 1), Daphnis and Chloe.

The tour was a huge undertaking, but an overwhelming success, with the Company’s debut described as one of the high points of the New York dance season.

‘Daphnis & Chloe’ (1980) starring Kim Walker as Cupid. Photo by Branco Gaica.


The Company was then invited by the venue to return in 1985 (Some Rooms, After Venice, Wilderness, Homelands, Black and Blue).

Sydney Dance Company’s 1985 New York Tour pamphlet.


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