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Prestigious Appointment For Rehearsal Director


Media release
Friday 16 November 2001

Prestigious Appointment For RNZB’s Rehearsal Director

Fiona Tonkin, the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s Rehearsal Director, will leave the company at the end of this year to take up the prestigious position of Assistant Artistic Director at English National Ballet.

She joins Matz Skoog, the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s former Artistic Director, who left New Zealand in September to become English National Ballet’s Artistic Director.

Sue Paterson, the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s General Manager says: “Fiona has simply been an exceptional rehearsal director during her time with the Royal New Zealand Ballet. Since she joined the company she has significantly improved the technical and performance standards of the dancers.

“The dancers deeply admire and respect Fiona as a teacher, coach, rehearsal director and personal adviser. She will be sorely missed, however, we wish her all the best for her future career at English National Ballet."

Fiona is a former Christchurch dancer and Senior Principal Artist with the Australian Ballet. In January 2000 she joined the Royal New Zealand Ballet as Rehearsal Director, a position that she says will stand her in good stead for her exciting new job.

“I learnt a great deal from working with the company and this has provided me with a strong foundation for the future.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity to be asked to work with the English National Ballet. I’m sure I’ll be able to put to good use the experience I gain in the UK when I return to New Zealand,” she says

Fiona’s 25 year career has included guest performances with overseas companies such as the Kirov Ballet and the Royal New Zealand Ballet; performing at Covent Garden and the Metropolitan Opera House; and study scholarships to the USA, Canada and Germany.

Since retiring from dancing in 1993, Fiona has graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (University of Canterbury) and Advanced Teachers Diploma for Professional Dancers (Australian Ballet School). She is a former Patron and Co-Artistic Director of the Southern Ballet Theatre.

ENDS
For images, interviews or more information, please contact George Hills, Communications Advisor, phone (04) 381 9018 or 025 2100 998.

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