#48: Graeme & Janet


19 December 2019

The partnership between Graeme Murphy and Janet Vernon is one of extraordinary creative richness, resulting in an enviable body of work for Sydney Dance Company, The Australian Ballet, Opera Australia and the world of musicals (Love Never Dies) and film (Mao’s Last Dancer).

Photo by Branco Gaica

“Janet was Graeme’s muse from the earliest years of his choreographic career but their collaboration has developed over their whole working lives together,” says David McAllister, Artistic Director of The Australian Ballet. “With designer Kristian Fredrikson, they made a magical trio. We saw their brilliance in so many of their productions, including the Ballet’s Swan Lake and Nutcracker, but for me After Venice was the highlight of their Sydney Dance Company repertoire, and the zenith of their collaboration. It carried the themes Graeme has woven through many of his works, including using different generations on stage together, and the whole work resonated with the theatricality and inventiveness that defines them, with the sumptuous beauty of Fredrickson.”

“Sometimes they were Jekyll and Hyde, and sometimes they were mum and dad, and sometimes they were friends,” says Sydney Dance Company alumni Paul Mercurio. “But Graeme and Janet were always creatively magnificent. Dance is so physically intimate, but with them it was not just a collaboration of bodies, but a collaboration of minds and spirit.”

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