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Ballet Pays Tribute To Design Great

Royal New Zealand Ballet Pays Tribute To New Zealand Theatre Design Great

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The Royal New Zealand Ballet pays tribute to set and costume designer Kristian Fredrikson by dedicating its current tour of The Nutcracker, which he designed, to the theatre great who died earlier today.

Wellington-born Kristian Fredrikson’s illustrious career includes a relationship with the Royal New Zealand Ballet that spanned more than 40 years beginning with a production of The Wintergarden in 1963. He was 65 years old.

Kristian Fredrikson

Artistic Director Gary Harris says “Kristian was a creative genius whose breathtakingly beautiful work took audiences into another world.”

“He’s the ballet designer in New Zealand and Australia who everyone has looked to for his knowledge, skill and experience. His work is rich and layered with real depth, quality and class.”

Harris says Fredrikson’s legacy will live on. "In decades to come his name
will continue to be synonymous with New Zealand ballet and theatre design."

Kristian Fredrikson

Leaving New Zealand in the early 1960s, Kristian Fredrikson became one of Australia’s most experienced and sought after designers.

Fredrikson’s designs have featured in productions for opera, drama, ballet, film and television.

His relationship with the Royal New Zealand Ballet spanned more than 40 years – beginning in 1963 with The Wintergarden. His latest work can be seen in The Nutcracker that is touring New Zealand.

He was one of a specialised team of designers working on the Opening Ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games and he also designed the costumes for The Man of La Mancha (produced by SEL/Gordon Frost Organisation/Macks Entertainment).

Fredrikson designed a large number of productions in New Zeland and Australia including for the Australian Ballet (Cinderella, Coppelia and The Nutcracker, Swan Lake), The Australian Opera (Turandot, The Merry Widow and Salome), the Royal New Zealand Ballet (The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Peter Pan and A Christmas Carol), South Australian Opera (Verdi’s Macbeth), the Sydney Dance Company (King Roger and Body of Work) and Sydney Theatre Company (Macbeth, The School for Scandal, and A Doll’s House).

He created the costume designs and scenario (with Graeme Murphy) for the Australian Ballet/Sydney Dance Company co-production Tivoli, which toured nationally, and recently designed and co-conceived Graeme Murphy’s acclaimed production of Swan Lake for the Australian Ballet.

Film and television designs in Australia include the costumes for Undercover – a film produced by Palm Beach Pictures, Vietnam – television series directed by John Duigan and Chris Noonan (1986), and the mini-series Dirtwater Dynasty directed by John Power (1987). He has also worked as a production designer on the films Sky Pirates for Motion Pictures (1984), Short Changed directed by George Ogilvie for Magpie Films and The Shiralee – a four hour mini-series directed by George Ogilvie for South Australian Film Corporation.

In 2004, he designed Tales of Texas for Houston Ballet, Norma for Opera Australia and Hedda Gabler for Sydney Theatre Company.

Aside from The Nutcracker, his commissions for 2005 included The Sleeping Beauty for the Australian Ballet, a new three-act ballet for Munich Ballet, and a new production of Swan Lake for Houston Ballet.

Kristian Fredrikson recieved four Erik Design Awards and won a number of prestigious Green Room Awards. In 1999 he received the Australian Dance Award for Services to Dance.


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