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Dance with daring: Royal NZ Ballet's triple bill

Media release
15 April 2005

Dance with daring: Royal NZ Ballet's new triple bill

The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s new triple bill, The Peugeot Season of A Million Kisses to My Skin, reflects the company’s commitment to adventurous programming.

The season features Javier De Frutos’ much-feted Milagros, Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s Concerto and the New Zealand premiere of David Dawson’s A Million Kisses to My Skin.

“This is dance with daring: ballet with a sense of adventure,” says Artistic Director Gary Harris.

“These works breathe new life into our classical traditions. They take the art form into challenging and exciting new territory,” he says.

The season borrows its name from Dawson’s passionately titled ballet A Million Kisses to My Skin. An elegant display of free-flowing classical technique, the work shows the qualities that earlier this year earned its creator a rare commission for Russia’s legendary Mariinsky Ballet Company, better known to New Zealanders by its old Soviet name The Kirov.

The 33-year-old Englishman is only the third foreign choreographer to be invited to create a new work on the Kirov in its 250-year history.

Says Harris: “David is a major choreographic talent. He has a deep reverence of ballet’s traditions, which he uses to create works with a modern energy.”

De Frutos’ riveting and ritualistic Milagros is set to a piano roll recording of Stravinsky’s iconic Rite of Spring. Described by The Guardian as "one of the great Rites" after its showing at Sadler's Wells last year, Milagros earned the Royal New Zealand Ballet an international reputation for gutsy programming and secured it invitations to perform in Sydney and this year’s San Francisco International Arts Festival.

In February the work received a Laurence Olivier Award nomination for Best New Dance Production and helped De Frutos win Best Choreography (Modern) at Britain’s Critics’ Circle Dance Awards. Milagros last toured New Zealand in 2003.

The season marks the company’s first foray into the vast MacMillan repertory in more than 30 years. With its rise and shine charm, Concerto has become one of the late British choreographer’s most popular works.

Says Harris: “MacMillan was a master of the pas de deux and Concerto's second movement contains one of the most powerful and beautiful duets ever choreographed. It is without doubt one of his finest short works.”

Harris, who worked as an assistant to MacMillan in the 1990s, has updated the work’s costumes. The company has also commissioned a special New Zealand Symphony Orchestra recording of the Shostakovich score for its performances.

Peugeot New Zealand representative Steve Kenchington says: “This season showcases the dancers’ skills and artistic flair in a vibrantly modern, lively and exciting performance. We hope our investment promotes positive community awareness and encourages involvement.”

Wellington, Westpac St James Theatre
Thursday 12 May 7.30pm
Friday 13 May 7.30pm
Saturday 14 May 2.30pm
& 7.30pm
Sunday 15 May 6.30pm
Book at Ticketek 04 384 3840
Adult $30 - $65 Child $18 - $39

Auckland, Aotea Centre at THE EDGE®
Wednesday 18 May 7.30pm
Thursday 19 May 7.30pm
Friday 20 May 7.30pm
Saturday 21 May 2.30pm
& 7.30pm
Book at Ticketek 09 307 5000
Adult $35 - $65 Child $21 - $39

Dunedin, Regent Theatre
Tuesday 24 May 7.30pm
Book at Ticketek 03 477 8597
Adult $25 - $55 Child $15 - $33

Christchurch, James Hay Theatre
Friday 27 May 7.30pm
Saturday 28 May 2.30pm
& 7.30pm
Book at Ticketek 03 377 8899
Adult $35 - $55 Child $21 - $33

San Francisco, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (RNZB debut)
In association with the San Francisco International Arts Festival
Friday 3 June 8pm
Saturday 4 June 8pm
Bookings: +1 415 978 2787,
$20 - $35

Sydney, Sydney Theatre (RNZB debut)
Thursday 9 June 7.30pm
Friday 10 June 7.30pm
Saturday 11 June 7.30pm
Sunday 12 June 5pm
Bookings: +61 2 9250 1999,
$49.90 - $62.70

Creative team
Choreography: Sir Kenneth MacMillan
Music: 2nd Piano Concerto by Dmitri Shostakovich
Original design: Jurgen Rose
Design for the RNZB: Gary Harris
Lighting design: Jason Morphett

Choreography and design: Javier De Frutos
Music: The Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky
Lighting design: John Rayment

A Million Kisses to My Skin
Choreography and set design: David Dawson
Music: Piano Concerto No.1 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Costume design: Yumiko Takeshima
Lighting design: Bert Dalhuysen

The company will perform to a recording in all venues.

Please note: Javier De Frutos’ The Celebrated Soubrette replaces Concerto in the programme for the San Francisco and Sydney performances.


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