Royal New Zealand Ballet receives standing ovations in the US
The Royal New Zealand Ballet has received an enthusiastic response and several standing ovations from near-capacity crowds in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Minneapolis and New York.
This was the company’s first tour to the US in over 21 years, and with it they have won the hearts of American arts lovers. During the three week tour, the RNZB performed for more than 16,000 people, including sold-out shows in Santa Barbara and New York.
Leading American dance critics who attended opening night at the prestigious Dorothy Chandler Pavilion at the LA Music Center were impressed by the company’s performances of Giselle, the acclaimed 2012 production by Ethan Stiefel and Johan Kobborg, in which American ballerina and RNZB Principal Guest Artist Gillian Murphy made her US debut as Giselle.
The RNZB closed the tour in New York [16 February] at The Joyce Theater (New York’s home of contemporary dance). There Christchurch-born choreographer Andrews Simmons’ work Of Days made its international debut, alongside Benjamin Millepied’s 28 Variations on a Theme of Paganini and Javier de Frutos’ Banderillero.
The dancers now will take a well-earned break before returning to New Zealand to start rehearsals for Coppélia which opens in Wellington on 17 April and tours nationally until 31 May.
Coppélia 17 April – 31 May
Touring to Wellington, Palmerston North, Invercargill, Dunedin, Napier, Rotorua, Takapuna and Auckland City
Choreography: after Marius Petipa, Music: Léo Delibes
Allegro: Five Short Ballets
30 July – 23 August
Touring to Auckland City, Hamilton, Napier, Palmerston North, Wellington, Invercargill and Dunedin
Allegro Brillante: Choreography: George Balanchine, Music: Tchaikovsky
Les Lutins (‘The Goblins’): Choreography: Johan Kobborg, Music: Bazzini, Wieniawski-Kreisler
Satellites (world premiere): Choreography: Daniel Belton, Music: Jan-Bas Bollen
Mattress Suite: Choreography: Larry Keigwin, Music: Stevie Wonder, Bill Withers, Giuseppe Verdi and Etta James
Megalopolis: Choreography: Larry Keigwin, Music: Steve Reich and MIA
The Vodafone Season of A Christmas Carol
30 October – 14 December
Touring to Wellington, Dunedin, Christchurch, Palmerston North, Napier, Auckland City and Takapuna
Director: Christopher Gable, Choreography: Massimo Moricone, Music: Carl Davis
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 for both Coppélia and The Vodafone Season of A Christmas Carol and the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra for 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.