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The Royal New Zealand Ballet Visits Wellington

25 February 2011

The Royal New Zealand Ballet Visits Wellington

On Thursday evening, the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s TOWER Tutus on Tour delighted a large and enthusiastic audience at the Wellington Opera House as part of their six-week national tour.

The TOWER Tutus on Tour is divided into two distinct acts. The first half of the show, entitled Verdi Variations, is a collection of classical ballet pieces—solos, duets, and ensembles. The dancers stunned the audience with exceptional strength, poise, and grace. Each performance seemed to ooze seamlessly into the next, as each dancer seemed to welcome and celebrate the extraordinary talent of the other company members.

The second part of the show, though less technically impressive, distinguished itself in its theatrical nature. Adorned in designer Julian Southgate’s wonderfully impressive costumes, members of the RNZB performed their own rendition of the classic Pinocchio. Southgate attributes his inspiration for the beautiful and eccentric attire to the “colour and exaggeration of street theatre of the [early 19th century] , and the gaudy way that travelling companies shaped the lavish opera costumes and conceits of the century.” Tellingly, his creations evoked this time period flawlessly, as the audience sat enraptured by whirling flashes of energetic colours and outrageous patterns.

The members of the company contributed equally to Pinocchio’s success, not only in their striking dance numbers, but also in their impressive theatrics. Geppetto, the old craftsman, Pinocchio, the benevolent but foolish marionette, the Blue Fairy, the wily Fox, the cat, and a number of other characters displayed a level of acting ability uncommon to most dancers.

It was truly a lovely evening for both ballet and theatre in Wellington.


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