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Fast, flirty, and fresh – a ballet sampler from the RNZB

Fast, flirty, and fresh – a ballet sampler from the RNZB

In what will be the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s last season under Ethan Stiefel’s artistic direction, Allegro: Five Short Ballets is a powerhouse of extraordinary and diverse ballets from some of the world’s leading choreographers.

Opening in Auckland on 30 July ahead of a six centre tour, the programme is described by Ethan as a showcase of the breadth of ballet styles.

“This programme features a world premiere from New Zealander Daniel Belton; two pieces from New York choreographer Larry Keigwin, who quickly became a Kiwi audience favourite after the success of his work Final Dress in 2012; a neo-classical work by one of the most celebrated chorographers of all time – Balanchine; and a brilliant and fun piece from Johan Kobborg.”

Dunedin based choreographer and director Daniel Belton, best known for his multi-award-winning dance films will create a brand new work for the RNZB. Renowned for his cross-pollination of art forms, dance will be integrated with kinetic sculpture, animation and electronic music in an other-worldly piece called Satellites.

The Huffington Post called him ‘choreographer extraordinaire’, and he certainly took New Zealand audiences’ breath away in 2012 with his style and vision. New Yorker Larry Keigwin is coming back with two pieces this time. Mattress Suite creates six scenes about love affairs, either on or near a mattress and is the first time Keigwin has allowed a company other than his own the privilege of performing his signature work. Megalopolis has been described by the New York Times as a divinely well-structured encounter between formalism and club culture.

Gillian Murphy will make her last appearance as RNZB’s Principal Guest Artist showing off her virtuoso technique in Allegro Brillante by legendary choreographer George Balanchine.

Johan Kobborg, who co-choreographed the RNZB’s acclaimed 2012 production of Giselle with Ethan Stiefel, returns with his signature work. Les Lutins is a work for three dancers and a violinist and pianist playing live on stage. The New Zealand Development Prize Winner at the 2013 Michael Hill International Violin Competition, Kiwi Benjamin Baker returns home for the tour, and Wellington based RNZB rehearsal pianist Michael Pansters makes his official RNZB debut.

“The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s mixed bills have become an audience favourite and this one guarantees to impress,” says Amanda Skoog RNZB’s Managing Director.

“It’s a fresh line-up with something for everyone – like a ballet sampler – and a great option for those new to ballet and keen to see its various styles, from the finest classical to the most extraordinary contemporary works”.


Allegro: Five Short Ballets: Auckland, Hamilton, Napier, Palmerston North, Wellington, Invercargill and Dunedin 30 July – 23 August

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