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RUMOURS – a trilogy

Graeme Murphy devised Rumours in 1978 (restaged 1979-81) as a three part ode to the city of Sydney.  Each part of this trilogy is related to the other by the source of its inspiration – Sydney in all of its colour, beauty and grittiness – and each part of the trilogy is quite distinct in flavor and style.

 Rumours I (sub-titled Weekday Dreaming) is awash with the colourful moods of summer in Sydney and illustrates just why every Sydney-sider tends to long for the weekend.  Rumours II (sub-titled Bare Facts and Fantasies) depicts a day spent at Sydney’s Lady Jayne beach – a well-known nudist beach at the foot of a cliff on Sydney harbour.  Rumours III  is in stark contrast:  a bold piece of dance theatre wherein the dancers present a moving picture of an elderly enclave of characters residing together in a nursing home.  The postscript is the unforgettable depiction, danced by Graeme Murphy and Robert Olup, of the couple who reside next door, fearing the inevitable while treasuring their past lives together.

Australian dance audiences were immediately captivated by the work’s wit and irony and also its pathos and depth.  Overwhelmingly Rumours impressed with its insightful choreography and with the tremendous style Graeme Murphy called upon to give us such a vivid reflection of our city and its often hedonistic lifestyle, all through the language of dance.

Designed by Sydney painter Alan Oldfield and set to a score selected by Graeme Murphy from the works of Australian composer Barry Conyngham, Rumours shows that contemporary dance can tell any story.  Rarely have issues of age, youth, love and loss been so beautifully depicted in dance.  This moving insight into the human condition was rare in an artist not yet 30 years old.  Graeme Murphy often returned to many of these themes during his career.

Featured Video (previous page): An excerpt from Rumours II

Video Tab above: Graeme Murphy’s Interview at the time

More on ‘Rumours’

Article: A Dance Troupe from Australia (1981)

The full program has now been fully mastered

  • Rumours II – Jennifer Barry as the Transistor Girl (photo ©Branco Gaica)
  • Rumours III – Graeme Murphy & Robert Olup (photo ©Branco Gaica)
  • Rumours II – Janet Vernon (photo ©Branco Gaica)
  • The Company (circa 1979)