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Alymer

Ethan Stiefel to be AD for Royal New Zealand Ballet

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I've just seen a press release from the Royal New Zealand Ballet stating that Ethan Stiefel is to take over the artistic direction of the company from the start of the 2011 season. It's not a huge company but has nice dancers and an interesting repertory. I wonder in which direction he'll take it.

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So much for spending more time performing with ABT...

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So much for spending more time performing with ABT...

And we also have to wonder how much time Gillian Murphy will continue to spend with ABT. Note this, well into this article:

"His partner on stage and in life, Gillian Murphy, also a principal dancer at ABT, will join him in New Zealand when her own schedule allows and it would be another coup if she joined the RNZB ranks."

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/entertainment/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501119&objectid=10684103

It's a heck of a commute from New York to New Zealand! This article suggests she's moving to New Zealand with him:

http://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/arts/4288734/NZ-Ballet-secures-rock-star-pair

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Hope this goes better than Ballet Pacifica....and I guess he is abandoning that school in North Carolina he has talked about so much about.

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I hope this doesn't sound disrespectful of a lovely country and its dancers ... but ... isn't New Zealand rather distant from the the place where Stiefel/Murphy made their careers, and where Murphy will continue to dance? Via Quantas, New York to Wellington, it takes 26 and a half hours.

On the other hand, according to one of the articles linked by California:

Stiefel has a Kiwi connection. His grandmother was born and raised in Christchurch and he has relatives in Invercargill and Manapouri.

The company website, with the announcement:

http://www.nzballet.org.nz/

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Hope this goes better than Ballet Pacifica....and I guess he is abandoning that school in North Carolina he has talked about so much about.

Yes, I hope this opportunity is more successful for him that Ballet Pacifica, but IS he resigning from the UNC position too? Where's the announcement of that? He seems to be have been involved with a lot of initiatives in the last few years, but though much is said of his dedication to these endeavors, he hasn't stayed very long at any of them. He is a talented dancer and insightful person, I hope he can 'dedicate' a few more years to this opportunity and truly make his mark at RNZB and elsewhere so that we in the USA notice too.

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And we also have to wonder how much time Gillian Murphy will continue to spend with ABT. Note this, well into this article:

"His partner on stage and in life, Gillian Murphy, also a principal dancer at ABT, will join him in New Zealand when her own schedule allows and it would be another coup if she joined the RNZB ranks."

This article suggests she's moving to New Zealand with him:

http://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/arts/4288734/NZ-Ballet-secures-rock-star-pair

Put a ring on it, sister!

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Hope this goes better than Ballet Pacifica....and I guess he is abandoning that school in North Carolina he has talked about so much about.

Yes, I hope this opportunity is more successful for him that Ballet Pacifica, but IS he resigning from the UNC position too? Where's the announcement of that? He seems to be have been involved with a lot of initiatives in the last few years, but though much is said of his dedication to these endeavors, he hasn't stayed very long at any of them. He is a talented dancer and insightful person, I hope he can 'dedicate' a few more years to this opportunity and truly make his mark at RNZB and elsewhere so that we in the USA notice too.

Yes, he is leaving UNCSA at the end of the school year. This was announced to the UNCSA community several weeks ago, by Ethan Stiefel himself. Here is UNCSA's press release. Press release

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I still don't understand what Gillian's involvement will be. The only reason I ask is because all the articles have made a point of mentioning her in the articles.

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The company is quite accomplished, and had an interesting Danish connection, from Poul Gnatt, who toured there as a principal with the RDB and then returned to found the company in 1953. They've since developed the British connections you'd expect from a company in a Commonwealth country, but they've also spent time networking with the local contemporary dance community.

Yes, it does take a long, long time to get to NZ, but they have a very independent point of view and Stiefel could gain an incredible amount of experience directing there.

From their website

The Royal New Zealand Ballet was launched in 1953, just a month after Edmund Hillary climbed Mt Everest. To the question “Why Everest?” Hillary would quote the stock reply “Because it’s there”. If you’d asked Gnatt the question “Why a national ballet company?” he’d probably have answered “Because it isn’t there”.

Jennifer Shennan, A Time To Dance

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