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Dance Student Follows In Poul Gnatt's Footsteps

New Zealand School Of Dance Student Follows In The Footsteps Of Poul Gnatt, Sir Jon Trimmer And Martin James

After two years training with the New Zealand School of Dance, Christopher Rickert is following in the footsteps of Royal New Zealand Ballet founding artistic director Poul Gnatt, leading artist Sir Jon Trimmer and former principal dancer Martin James by joining the Royal Danish Ballet.

The Royal Danish Ballet, directed by Frank Andersen, is one of the finest dance companies in Europe and has just returned to Denmark following highly successful performances at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. (Martin James, a New Zealander who trained at the New Zealand School of Dance, is one of the company's principal dancers and was recently knighted for his services to ballet).

Christopher was invited to audition for the Royal Danish Ballet after Frank Andersen saw him perform at the New York International Ballet Competition in June 2003. He auditioned in Copenhagen on Saturday 21 February and takes up his contract with the company today.

Christopher is feeling anxious but very excited about accepting his first professional contract, "This is an amazing opportunity and I'm looking forward to what lies ahead."

The 20-year-old dancer was born in Townsville, Australia, and studied ballet at The Sayers Dance Centre and Queensland Dance School of Excellence, before completing his classical training at the NZSD.

New Zealand School of Dance director, Garry Trinder said: "This is a wonderful achievement for both Christopher and the School. Christopher is a very athletic dancer and to have been snapped up by a prestigious international company renowned for the calibre of its exemplary male dancing is acknowledgment of Christopher's talent and training. His career will be followed with much anticipation."

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