Ballet company's programme includes tour to the US next year
The Royal New Zealand Ballet recently announced the company’s 2014 season. Its US tour opens 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.
Artistic direcvtor Ethan Stiefel says he is excited to be returning to the US in his New Zealand role: "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, one of the classic works and which combines ballet with comedy and a touch of magic. The production, designed by Kristian Fredrikson (creator of the RNZB’s Swan Lake) for the Australian Ballet, opens in Wellington on April 17 before touring to Palmerston North, Invercargill, Dunedin, Napier, Rotorua, Takapuna and Auckland.
The winter season will be a programme 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 July 30, touring to Hamilton, Napier, Palmerston North, Wellington, Invercargill and Dunedin.
The RNZB year ends with the Vodafone season of A Christmas Carol, a retelling of Dickens’ classic Christmas tale, ideal 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. 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 60 years” says Mr Stiefel, “the company is 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.”