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New dancers for Royal New Zealand Ballet

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Media Release – for immediate release

9 December 2013

Royal New Zealand Ballet welcomes new dancers.

The Royal New Zealand Ballet welcomes five new dancers to the company for 2014 and bids farewell to two dancers. The RNZB has recruited from within New Zealand, in addition to attracting dancers from all over the world. The RNZB welcomes Bryn Watkins (from American Ballet Theatre), Lori Gilchrist (from Northern Ballet,) Jiang Peng Fei (from New Zealand School of Dance), and Alexander Idaszak (from Queensland Ballet).

The RNZB is also happy to welcome Oscar Hoelscher as the 2014 Todd Scholar. New Zealand's top ballet scholarship, provided by the Todd Corporation, is awarded annually to an outstanding graduate of the New Zealand School of Dance.

Dancers Matthew Slattery and Helio Lima will leave the company this month to pursue careers with the Boston Ballet. Earlier this year dancer Lucy Balfour left to join Rambert Dance Company in London, while Medhi Angot joined Ballet Nice.

Rehearsals are already underway for the 2014 season which sees the RNZB opening in the USA on 31 January with performances in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Minneapolis and New York. Following the US tour, the RNZB will present three New Zealand tours, with a total of 61 performances in centres from Auckland to Invercargill.

For interviews, images or further information contact:

Andrea Tandy & Sally-ann Moffat, Media & Communications Manager


/ 021 2 44 44 50 or (04) 381 9002

2014 programme

Coppélia – touring to Wellington, Palmerston North, Invercargill, Dunedin, Napier, Rotorua, Takapuna and Auckland City, 17 April – 31 May 2014.

Choreography: after Marius Petipa

Music: Léo Delibes

Design: Kristian Fredrikson

Lighting: Jason Morphett

Conductor: Nigel Gaynor

Allegro: Five Short Ballets – touring to Auckland City, Hamilton, Napier, Palmerston North, Wellington, Invercargill and Dunedin, 30 July – 23 August 2014.

Lighting design for all five ballets by Nigel Percy.

Allegro Brillante

Choreography: George Balanchine

Music: Tchaikovsky

Les Lutins (‘The Goblins’)

Choreography: Johan Kobborg

Music: Bazzini, Wieniawski-Kreisler

Satellites (world premiere)

Choreography: Daniel Belton

Music: Jan-Bas Bollen

Animation: Jac Grenfell

Kinetic sculpture: Jim Murphy

Costumes: Donnine Harrison

Mattress Suite

Choreography: Larry Keigwin

Music: Stevie Wonder, Bill Withers, Giuseppe Verdi and Etta



Choreography: Larry Keigwin

Music: Steve Reich and MIA

The Vodafone Season of A Christmas Carol – touring to Wellington, Dunedin, Christchurch, Palmerston North, Napier, Auckland City and Takapuna, 30 October – 14 December 2014.

Director: Christopher Gable

Choreography: Massimo Moricone

Production design: Lez Brotherston

Music: Carl Davis

Original lighting: Paul Pyant

Conductor: Nigel Gaynor

The Royal New Zealand Ballet (RNZB) was founded in 1953 by Danish dancer Poul Gnatt, as a touring professional ballet company for all New Zealanders. Now based at Wellington’s St James Theatre, the Royal New Zealand Ballet is an intrinsic part of New Zealand’s national heritage, and has the largest following of all New Zealand performing arts companies.

The Royal New Zealand Ballet continues to invest in live music, performing with Orchestra Wellington, the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, the Southern Sinfonia and the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra for both Coppélia and The Vodafone Season of A Christmas Carol. Live music will also feature in Allegro: Five Short Ballets, with Johan Kobborg’s Les Lutins incorporating a live pianist and violinist onstage.

The RNZB enjoys a reputation for strong and unique interpretations of full-length dramatic works. To this base have been added many masterworks and major ballets of the 20th century, such as Balanchine's works and the Stravinsky ballets. The company has an enviable track record in commissioning new works from New Zealand and international choreographers. The RNZB regularly represents New Zealand on the international stage, with recent tours to the UK, Australia and China.

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