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Cut crystal ballet taught by Balanchine Associate

For immediate release
From: New Zealand School of Dance

2 August, 2006

Cut crystal ballet taught by Balanchine Trust Associate

Diana White, a ballet teacher, coach and repetiteur with the George Balanchine Trust is currently in New Zealand to teach students from the New Zealand School of Dance, George Balanchine's Divertimento No. 15 for presentation within the November Graduation Season.

Divertimento No. 15 is the second ballet that legendary choreographer George Balanchine created to Mozart's Divertimento in B flat major K.287. A pure dance work that seeks to visualise the understated elegance, exquisite filigree, and sweet playfulness of Mozart's score, Divertimento No. 15 has been characterized by dance historian Nancy Reynolds as "cut crystal rather than diamond glitter." Among its numerous fine moments are delicately-wrought variations for four ballerinas; and the climactic allegro variation where the fifth ballerina's virtuosity must match that of the violinist.

Born in Park Ridge, Illinois, Diana shares with her students the extensive knowledge of ballet technique and repertoire which she acquired during her twenty year career with the New York City Ballet, where she was a soloist. She worked closely with George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins and Peter Martins, dancing principal roles in works by all three, and was coached by Suzanne Farrell and Maria Tallchief.

Diana is the author of a series of books entitled "Ballerina Dreams", published by Scholastic. In these books she recounts how her dream of becoming a ballerina came true from her first dance class at age four to her work with the New York City Ballet.

Diana's visit will also include a special behind-the-scenes look at Divertimento No.15, performed by students from the New Zealand School of Dance in association with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, part of the Mozart festival. Internationally recognised musicologist Nicholas McGegan and Balanchine Trust Associate Diana White will discuss the interface between Mozart's music and the choreography. This event will take place at the New Zealand School of Dance on Thursday 10 August at 5pm and Friday 11 August at 1pm.

Diana White's visit to the New Zealand School of Dance has been made possible through a grant from the Embassy of the United States of America.


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