May 21, 2007


The Royal New Zealand Ballet is giving The New Dowse over 30 costumes and 200 design drawings by internationally acclaimed designer Kristian Fredrikson.

TheNewDowse and the Royal New Zealand Ballet are working in partnership to preserve our national design heritage by ensuring the conservation of some of New Zealand’s most prized ballet costumes by the late Kristian Fredrikson.

Several costumes and a significant archive of drawings have been gifted to TheNewDowse in Fredrikson’s memory by The Royal New Zealand Ballet and Kristian’s brother James Sams.

The gift of over 200 design drawings and 30 costumes follows a highly successful exhibition by the New Dowse in 2004, Inside the Royal Wardrobe, which detailed the brilliant career of this internationally recognised Petone-born costumier.

Currently, TheNewDowse is exhibiting a tutu that Fredrikson designed for the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s 1985 production of Swan Lake.

"We are incredibly honoured to be entrusted with Kristian’s spectacular costumes and designs. Our 2004 exhibition, Inside the Royal Wardrobe, illustrated the way Fredrikson’s imaginative designs decorated our national dance company’s shows in a manner that was unparalleled at the time. The overwhelming response we had from the public, both here and on the exhibition’s national tour, was unprecedented," says the Director of TheNewDowse Tim Walker says.

"Becoming the guardians of this substantial gift will not only help to augment our ever-growing design collection, but will also allow us to show the way in which Fredrikson’s signature designs became the hallmark of our national dance company."

At 15, Fredrikson’s talent was first recognised, when he dressed his younger brother as an Indian prince and won top prize at a local competition. He received his first commission for dance costumes from the New Zealand Ballet in 1963.

The same year he was invited to design for the Australian Ballet. Choosing to stay in Australia, Fredrikson forged a stellar career, designing for dance, opera, theatre, film, television and even for the 2000 Sydney Olympics Games.  Up until death in November 2005, Fredrikson maintained a strong relationship with the Royal New Zealand Ballet.

"I’m thrilled Kristian’s fantastic designs and costumes are going to such a good home," says Royal New Zealand Ballet General Manager, Amanda Skoog. "Kristian came from the Hutt and I can’t think of a more appropriate place than TheNewDowse to ensure future generations have access to his extraordinary vision."

From May 25th, you will be able to see Fredrikson’s glorious costumes in action in the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s 2007 Season of Swan Lake.

Share on social