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Interview with Ethan Stiefel, Artsitic Director, RNZB
Media Release – 6am Friday 5 September (NZ)
RNZB celebrates 60 years with 2013’s stunning line-up
Award-winning international and local choreographers, an icon of New Zealand dance, a collaboration with Te Radar, a tour of heartland NZ, and a five city tour to China make up the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s 2013 programme: a year-long celebration of the RNZB’s 60th birthday.
The line-up was revealed on Thursday [4 October] evening at an event held at Premier House with distinguished guests including the Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, the Hon. Christopher Finlayson.
“I’m delighted to be with the RNZB and to celebrate its 60th birthday. I hope that audiences will share my enthusiasm for what I believe is a festive year of programming. To honour the company‘s significant milestone we will revisit works that have helped elevate the RNZB to its current place in people’s hearts and present new works which keep us moving forward,” says Ethan Stiefel, Artistic Director.
The 2013 season opens on 27 February with Made to Move: Three brand new dance works that celebrate the joy of dance. The triple bill will see Ethan Stiefel create his first original work for the RNZB: a spirited comedy set in a Bavarian beer hall. Former RNZB dancer, turned choreographer Andrew Simmons creates the eagerly awaited follow-up to 2010’s haunting A Song in the Dark, a hit with NZ audiences and dance lovers in the UK and France during the company’s 2011 tour. Lastly, award-winning Venezuelan choreographer Javier de Frutos returns to create a new piece inspired by the Pacific. In the ten years since his first work with the RNZB (Milagros), he has continued to make dance works to both critical and popular acclaim around the world, including a recent collaboration with Pet Shop Boys.
The TelstraClear Season of Swan Lake takes pride of place as the centrepiece of the 60th birthday year. Dance icon Russell Kerr’s stunning production of one of the greatest of all classical ballets is the perfect synthesis of music and dance with opulent designs by the late Kristian Fredrikson. Tchaikovsky’s sweeping score will be played live by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra in Wellington and the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra in Auckland.
HEARTLAND NZ TOUR
The RNZB closes 2013 with a 46 centre tour of heartland New Zealand, sharing the celebration of the company’s rich past and lively present. TOWER Tutus On Tour will include a selection of highlights and hits from the company’s repertory including excepts from Flower Festival at Genzano, Ihi FrENZy, Through to You and Don Quixote. RNZB dancers turned choreographers Brendan Bradshaw and Catherine Eddy create a sparkling new version of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf which will feature narration by Te Radar.
An international tour (in April) will see the company take its upcoming production of Giselle, co-produced by Ethan Stiefel and The Royal Ballet’s Johan Kobborg, to China (Shanghai, Beijing, Tianjin, Guangzhou and Suzhou).
RECORD AUDIENCES IN 2012
“I’m very proud of how far the company has come in 60 years. The ever-increasing interest and support of New Zealanders of all ages is by far our greatest measure of success. Already in 2012 we have connected with over 100,000 kiwis, with the highly anticipated TelstraClear Season of Giselle still to come. I would like to thank all who have been with us on this stellar journey – especially our Friends, funders and sponsors who enable us to take dance into communities throughout New Zealand,” says Amanda Skoog, Managing Director.
NOTES TO EDITORS
END OF YEAR PRODUCTION:
The TelstraClear Season of Giselle
7 November – 12 December 2012
Wellington, Christchurch, Invercargill, Dunedin, Auckland, Rotorua, Napier and Palmerston North
Made to Move – Three new works that celebrate the joy of dance
27 February – 24 March 2013
Wellington, Napier, Auckland*, Takapuna*, Palmerston North, Dunedin, Ashburton
*presented in association with Auckland Arts Festival
The TelstraClear Season of Swan Lake
18 July – 1 September 20113
Wellington, Dunedin, Christchurch, Takapuna, Auckland, Palmerston North, Napier
TOWER Tutus on Tour
23 October – 4 December 2013
Wellington, Auckland, Takapuna, Napier, Palmerston North, Christchurch, Dunedin, Invercargill, Hamilton, Carterton, Wellsford, Manukau, Papakura, Whangerei, Rotorua, Kerikeri, Putaruru, Kaitaia, Dargaville, Taupo, Tauranga, Whakatane, New Plymouth, Gisborne, Hawera, Whanganui, Taihape, Hastings, Dannevirke, Waipawa, Paraparaumu, Blenheim, Nelson, Kaikoura, Westport, Greymouth, Akaroa, Ashburton, Timaru, Oamaru, Twizel, Gore, Alexandra, Te Anau, Wanaka, Queenstown.
Royal New Zealand Ballet (RNZB):
Founded in 1953 and 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 RNZB enjoys a reputation for strong and unique interpretations of full-length dramatic works. To this base have been added the masterworks and major ballets of the 20th century, such as Balanchine’s works and the Stravinsky ballets, and 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.