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RNZB’s Swan Lake To Tour China

Media release
5 June 2002
RNZB’s Swan Lake To Tour China

The Royal New Zealand Ballet (RNZB) is spreading its wings to take its critically acclaimed production of Swan Lake to China.

The company will finish its New Zealand tour in Invercargill before heading to China for its first major international tour in close to a decade. Performances are scheduled for Beijing, Nanjing, Suzhou, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Wuhan, Changsha and Guangzhou from 20 August to 14 September 2002.

“The Royal New Zealand Ballet is deeply honoured to be invited to China to perform our wonderful New Zealand production of Swan Lake,” says General Manager Sue Paterson.

“Touring internationally is essential to the company’s artistic growth. The Ballet has been going from strength to strength, and now’s the perfect time to show the world what we’re made of, “ she says.

Sue Paterson says the company enjoys a long-tradition of cultural exchange with China. The company’s Assistant Director Ou Lu is a ballet icon in New Zealand. Born in Shang Shun in north-east China, Ou Lu danced virtually all the leading roles in the company’s productions till his recent retirement. The New Zealand tour of Swan Lake also features principal dancers from the National Ballet of China.

Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Judith Tizard says: “New Zealand’s arts mark us as a dynamic and innovative nation. With its universal appeal, Swan Lake is the ideal platform to showcase the excellence and professionalism of our national ballet company. The Prime Minister’s visit to China last year confirmed the excellent relations between New Zealand and China, our fifth largest trading partner. It is wonderful to see the longstanding links between our countries continue to grow through arts and cultural exchanges.”

The two-month tour of USA’s East Coast in 1993 was the company’s last major international tour before a three-week season of Dracula in Melbourne during 2000.

The New Zealand tour of Swan Lake, sponsored by Lotto, opened in the Capital on Friday night to rave reviews. The Sunday Star-Times called it “a stylish, sophisticated production”, The Dominion said it was “a production all New Zealanders can take pride in”. The RNZB’s production of Swan Lake is choreographed by Christchurch’s Russell Kerr and designed by New Zealand-born Kristian Fredrikson.

The tour to China has been made possible by funding support from The Asia 2000 Foundation and the Guiness Peat Group (GPG).

ENDS

For more information, please contact: George Hills, Communications Advisor phone 04 381 9018, mobile 025 2100 998, email george@nzballet.org.nz

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