Royal New Zealand Ballet announces 2014 line up
61 performances in New Zealand and a four centre US tour
The Royal New Zealand Ballet today announced the company’s 2014 season, opening in January with performances in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Minneapolis and New York. Following the US tour, the RNZB will present three New Zealand tours, with a total of 61 performances in centres from Auckland to Invercargill.
“I am excited to be returning to the US as Artistic Director of the RNZB’ says Artistic Director Ethan Stiefel. ‘The ballets we are taking, including our acclaimed production of Giselle and a trio of contemporary works, will show the RNZB and New Zealand at its very best.”
The RNZB’s New Zealand season opens in April with Coppélia, an enduring classic which combines ballet with comedy and a touch of magic. The production, designed by Kristian Fredrikson (creator of the RNZB’s stunning Swan Lake) for The Australian Ballet, opens in Wellington on 17 April before touring to Palmerston North, Invercargill, Dunedin, Napier, Rotorua, Takapuna and Auckland City.
The winter will bring one of the RNZB’s popular mixed programmes of short ballets. Making the most of the company’s versatility in styles from classical to contemporary, Allegro: Five Short Ballets, includes works by ballet great George Balanchine, Johan Kobborg (co-creator with Stiefel, of the RNZB’s Giselle), Larry Keigwin and the world premiere of a new work by New Zealand choreographer Daniel Belton. Allegro: Five Short Ballets will have its opening night in Auckland on 30 July, touring to Hamilton, Napier, Palmerston North, Wellington, Invercargill and Dunedin.
The RNZB year ends with The Vodafone Season of A Christmas Carol, a dazzling retelling of Dickens’ classic yuletide tale, perfect for family celebrations and festive treats. The production, new to New Zealand, comes from the UK’s Northern Ballet, a company renowned for its story telling and stylish productions – including previous RNZB favourite Dracula. The original score is by film and television composer Carl Davis, and incorporates Christmas carols. The Vodafone Season of A Christmas Carol will open in Wellington on 30 October, touring to Dunedin, Christchurch (where the company will perform for the first time in the rebuilt Isaac Theatre Royal), Palmerston North, Napier, Auckland City and Takapuna.
“Having just celebrated the RNZB’s first sixty years in 2013, the 2014 season has the company looking forward to the next sixty. The programming includes a bright and charming classic, a night of energetic and inventive works and a ballet that couldn’t be better suited for getting everyone into the holiday spirit. All of the productions have their own distinct personality and come together to form a year of performances that offer audiences an extensive and entertaining experience in dance.”
The RNZB’s last tour of 2013 kicks off in Wellington on 23 October, taking in 47 centers nationwide from Kaitaia to Stewart Island.
TOWER Tutus on Tour: 23 October – 4 December 2013
TOWER Tutus on Tour will appeal to all ages, with a first half of highlights and hits from the RNZB’s first 60 years, including the pas de deux from Flower Festival at Genzano, ‘Charlie’ from Ihi FrENZy, Through to You, the New Zealand premiere of Antony Tudor’s Little Improvisations and the show-stopping pas de deux from Don Quixote. The second half features a fresh new version of Peter and the Wolf, choreographed by RNZB dancers turned choreographers Brendan Bradshaw and Catherine Eddy, and narrated by Te Radar.
Coppélia – touring to Wellington, Palmerston North, Invercargill, Dunedin, Napier, Rotorua, Takapuna and Auckland City, 17 April – 31 May 2014.
Choreography: after Marius Petipa
Music: Léo Delibes
Design: Kristian Fredrikson
Lighting: Jason Morphett
Conductor: Nigel Gaynor
Allegro: Five Short Ballets – touring to Auckland City, Hamilton, Napier, Palmerston North, Wellington, Invercargill and Dunedin, 30 July – 23 August 2014. Lighting design for all five ballets by Nigel Percy.
Choreography: George Balanchine
Les Lutins (‘The Goblins’)
Choreography: Johan Kobborg
Music: Bazzani, Wieniawski-Kreisler
Satellites (world premiere)
Choreography: Daniel Belton
Music: Jan-Bas Bollen
Animation: Jac Grenfell
Kinetic sculpture: Jim Murphy
Costumes: Donnine Harrison
Choreography: Larry Keigwin
Music: Stevie Wonder, Bill Withers, Giuseppe Verdi and Etta James
Choreography: Larry Keigwin
Music: Steve Reich and MIA
The Vodafone Season of A Christmas Carol – touring to Wellington, Dunedin, Christchurch, Palmerston North, Napier, Auckland City and Takapuna, 30 October – 14 December 2014.
Director: Christopher Gable
Choreography: Massimo Moricone
Production design: Lez Brotherston
Music: Carl Davis
Original lighting: Paul Pyant
Conductor: Nigel Gaynor
The Royal New Zealand Ballet
The Royal New Zealand Ballet (RNZB) was founded in 1953 by Danish dancer Poul Gnatt, as a touring professional ballet company for all New Zealanders. Now based at Wellington’s St James Theatre, the Royal New Zealand Ballet is an intrinsic part of New Zealand’s national heritage, and has the largest following of all New Zealand performing arts companies. The Royal New Zealand Ballet continues to invest in live music, performing with Orchestra Wellington, the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, the Southern Sinfonia and the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra for both Coppélia and The Vodafone Season of A Christmas Carol. Live music will also feature in Allegro: Five Short Ballets, with Johan Kobborg’s Les Lutins incorporating a live pianist and violinist onstage.
The RNZB enjoys a reputation for strong and unique interpretations of full-length dramatic works. To this base have been added many masterworks and major ballets of the 20th century, such as Balanchine’s works and the Stravinsky ballets. The company has an enviable track record in commissioning new works from New Zealand and international choreographers. The RNZB regularly represents New Zealand on the international stage, with recent tours to the UK, Australia and China.