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Stunning Swan Lake Returns

6 May 2002

“The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s production of Swan Lake is stunning. The brilliance of the dancers, the set design, costumes and choreography is enthralling.” - National Business Review, 1996.

Swan Lake, ballet’s enduring masterpiece, returns this year in a stunning production by the Royal New Zealand Ballet.

The Lotto Season of Swan Lake brings the romance and magic of this enchanting fairytale to the stage in a production that stars principal dancers from the National Ballet of China together with the company’s own acclaimed artists. Tchaikovsky’s much-loved score will be performed live by regional orchestras in Auckland, Wellington, Dunedin and Christchurch.

Last performed by the Royal New Zealand Ballet to capacity crowds in 1996, Swan Lake received critical acclaim for its spectacular choreography, opulent set, costume designs and impeccable dancing.

Swan Lake is widely considered to be the pinnacle of the classical art form with its virtuoso solos and graceful corp de ballet scenes. The seven-centre tour will showcase the extraordinary talents of five top ballet stars from Japan and China. Japanese Yurie Shimomura travels the world as a guest soloist for international dance companies, she will be joined in New Zealand by Sun Jie, Zhu Yan, Zhang Jian and Han Po, all principal dancers with the National Ballet of China. All five dancers boast an impressive collection of awards and accolades from major international ballet competitions.

Royal New Zealand Ballet Artistic Director Gary Harris restages Russell Kerr’s choreography for the upcoming season. Harris promises a faithful interpretation of ballet’s great classic, with the love story between Prince Siegfried and Odette, the beautiful Swan Queen, at its heart.

“I first came to this country as a guest teacher for the Royal New Zealand Ballet in 1996. While I was here I met Russell Kerr who was putting together this production of Swan Lake. I'm thrilled to revive his version of this ballet classic and work once again with him,” he says.

“Restaging a ballet is always an adventure. The piece comes together as old performance videos emerge from the archive, notes from the technical department are dusted off, and dancers recall their memories of the performance. Suddenly the work lives and breathes again, thanks to the vast input of the whole company.”

Ariane Burgess, Chief Executive of the New Zealand Lotteries Commission says: "The New Zealand Lotteries Commission is delighted to continue our support of the

Royal New Zealand Ballet with our sponsorship of the production of Swan Lake. As a community focused organisation we are especially proud to be associated with this classic enchanting ballet which is always a favourite with all ages throughout New Zealand."

The season, sponsored by Lotto, opens in Wellington on 31 May at the WestpacTrust St James Theatre. It will tour Palmerston North, Auckland, Napier, Dunedin and Christchurch.

The company will also perform a special two-night season in Invercargill. The Swan Lake Southland Gala features programme highlights from Swan Lake, FrENZy and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Choreographer – Russell Kerr (after Petipa/Ivanov)
Restaged by Gary Harris
Composer – Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Designer – Kristian Fredrikson
Lighting Designer – Joe Hayes
Conductor – Kenneth Young


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