Direct from Neverland, the boy who never grew up – Peter Pan.
‘All the world is made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust’ – J.M. Barrie
Flying in from Royal New Zealand Ballet, J.M. Barrie’s enchanting children’s novel will captivate both the young and young at heart in the upcoming performance season by West Australian Ballet. Choreographed by Russell Kerr in 1999, his whimsical world includes all the well-known and beloved characters, including the jealous and feisty Tinkerbell, the Lost Boys, the Crocodile and the villainous Captain Hook.
With a little help from some fairy dust, Peter Pan whisks the Darling children from their London home to the magical realm of Neverland. Wendy, John and Michael find adventures and dangers hidden around every corner, while the wickedly wonderful Captain Hook lurks close behind. Children have been captivated by the story of Peter Pan since its original inception in 1904, and this high energy production won’t fail to continue the joyous tradition.
Kristian Fredrikson’s picture-book inspired set and costume designs, along with Philip Norman’s vibrant score performed by WA Philharmonic Orchestra, enhance the fantasy-filled world these magical characters inhabit. Staged by Toby Behan, one of the original Peters, and West Australian Ballet’s own Ballet Master Craig Lord-Sole, Peter Pan is ‘…madcap, energising and quite simply… fun!’(Theatreview).
Leave the mundane behind, and follow West Australian Ballet past the second star on the right and straight into a Neverland adventure at His Majesty’s Theatre from 22 November to 15 December.
22 November > 15 December
His Majesty’s Theatre with West Australian Philharmonic Orchestra
How to book Tickets $25 – $108.
Bookings through Ticketek on 1300 795 012 or visit www.waballet.com.au
For further information please contact:
Rosita Stangl, Publicist West Australian Ballet
Ph: 9367 8884 Email: email@example.com waballet.com.au
Choreography: Russell Kerr
Rehearsal Director: Toby Behan
Rehearsal Director: Craig Lord-Sole
Music: Philip Norman
Set and Costumes: Kristian Fredrikson AO
Lighting: John Buswell
Conductor: Kenneth Young
RUSSELL KERR QSM, ONZM
Born in Auckland in 1930, Russell Kerr displayed an early talent for both dance and piano, studying ballet with Auckland teacher Kathleen Whitford. In 1950 he was awarded a New Zealand Government Bursary to travel to Europe and danced first with the Jose Greco Spanish Company before Sadler’s Wells (now Royal Ballet). He also performed with Ballet Rambert and London’s Festival Ballet before returning to New Zealand in 1957.
Turning to choreography, he also held many key positions including Director of the Nettleton-Edwards-Kerr School of Ballet (1959-61), Artistic Director of the Royal New Zealand Ballet (1962-69), Director of the New Zealand Dance Centre (1969-77), Director of the Southern Ballet Theatre (1978-1990), Vice-Patron of the Auckland Dance Company, Patron of the International Ballet Academy and a Trustee of the Christchurch Dance Education Bursary Trust.
Additionally, Kerr was awarded a QEII Arts Council Fellowship in 1977, a Queen’s Service Medal for Services to Ballet in 1986, and in 2000, was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit.
Across his career, he has choreographed 72 ballets including Swan Lake, Peter Pan, and A Christmas Carol. He is known for his ability to ‘convey drama and poetry through his choreography’ (Raewyn White, New Zealand Herald).
From organs to orchestras, car horns to choirs, ballads to ballet, Philip Norman’s experience as a composer spans the breadth of the performing arts. Based in Christchurch, and one of a handful of New Zealand composers in full-time practice, he has had works commissioned or performed by most of the leading music, theatre and ballet companies in New Zealand.
His works include the stage musical Footrot Flats, which, since its successful Australian premiere in Perth thirty years ago has enjoyed performances throughout Australia. Another musical, Love Off the Shelf, continues to be performed in Australia, England and New Zealand.
He has enjoyed a particularly fruitful partnership with choreographer Russell Kerr, collaborating on five ballets including an electronic score for A Christmas Carol, which was subsequently converted into an opera and then back again into a ballet, with orchestral score, for the Royal New Zealand Ballet. Peter Pan was a commission from the Royal New Zealand Ballet at the instigation of then Artistic Director Matz Skoog, since 1999.
Recent compositions by Philip include settings of poems and stories by New Zealand author and friend Margaret Mahy who died in 2012. These settings were brought together in a memorial concert for orchestra, singers and narrator, conducted, coincidentally, by Kenneth Young.
Philip Norman is also an award-winning author and holds a PhD in musicology. He is currently the holder of the inaugural Lilburn Research Fellowship at the National Library of New Zealand working towards completing a book on the history of New Zealand composition.
Kristian Fredrikson was a New Zealand-born, Australian journalist and newspaper critic who turned to art in the 1960’s and designed sets and costumes for theatre, opera, dance, film and television. He studied design in Wellington and his first stage design was Winter Garden for the New Zealand Ballet. In 1963 he was invited to design a staging of Aurora’s Wedding for The Australian Ballet and then went on to become resident designer for the Melbourne Theatre Company.
Fredrikson established an acclaimed collaborative partnership with Graeme Murphy, which began in earnest when Fredrikson designed Murphy’s Sheherazade for Sydney Dance Company in 1979 and continued with The Australian Ballet as well as for Opera Australia and included Murphy’s Nutcracker in 1992, Tivoli in 2001 and Swan Lake in 2002. He also enjoyed a collaborative relationship with Stanton Welch for whom he designed Pecos Bill in Welch’s Tales of Texas for Houston Ballet (2004) and The Sleeping Beauty for The Australian Ballet (2005). He also created designs for Welch’s new production of Swan Lake to premiere by Houston Ballet in 2006.
Fredrikson also continued to work in his native New Zealand in both opera and ballet. In addition to Winter Garden, works he designed for the New Zealand Ballet include Cinderella, Swan Lake, Jean, Peter Pan, and A Christmas Carol. He also was one of a specialised team of designers who worked on the opening ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.
Fredrikson received four Erik Design Awards and won a number of prestigious Green Room Awards including the 2003 award for concept and realisation with his designs for The Australian Ballet’s Swan Lake. In 1999 he received the Australian Dance Award for services to dance and in 2003 his work on Swan Lake also earned him a Helpmann Award. He died in Sydney in November 2005.