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New Zealand Dance News – May 2019

RNZB dancers Paul Mathews, Nadia Yanowsky and Katherine Minor in 'Black Swan, White Swan'. Photo by Ross Brown.
RNZB dancers Paul Mathews, Nadia Yanowsky and Katherine Minor in 'Black Swan, White Swan'. Photo by Ross Brown.

Find out what’s happening in New Zealand dance news this month!

NZDC's 'Kiss the Sky'.

NZDC’s ‘Kiss the Sky’.

The New Zealand Dance Company (NZDC) performs the second leg of its first national tour of Kiss the Sky, which kicks off on 1 May at The Opera House in Wellington. The May tour expands into a triple bill featuring Korean choreographer and composer Kim Jae Duk’s Sigan, New Zealand’s Victoria Colombus’ The Fibonacci, and Stephanie Lake’s If Never Was Now. For more information on Kiss the Sky or to book tickets, visit www.nzdc.org.nz/node/kiss-the-sky.

With official approval from the George Balanchine Trust, International Ballet Workshops (IBW) is very excited to be bringing the IBW Winter 2019 “Balanchine Series” to Australia and New Zealand this July. This is a rare opportunity for Australian and New Zealand ballet  

Elizabeth Walker.

Elizabeth Walker.

IBW will have Elizabeth Walker, travelling from New York City, to join the workshops as International Guest Teacher. Walker spent 19 years with the New York City Ballet, during which time she performed multiple principal roles by George Balanchine and Peter Martins, and was a featured dancer/demonstrator in the video series, “Balanchine Essays”, a visual catalogue of Balanchine’s teaching points and style.

Other supporting teachers for the IBW Winter 2019 workshops will be Iona Marques (Brisbane, Melbourne) and Jane Inglis-Keen (Perth, Auckland, Sydney). For more information, visit www.internationalballetworkshops.com.

Dance Aotearoa New Zealand (DANZ), with support from Sport New Zealand, has embarked on a programme aimed at boasting physical literacy, activity and movement among New Zealanders, with special attention to children and young people. Initiatives for 2019 include the expansion of New Zealand Dance Week to a greater number of regions and many more dance workshops for teachers. DANZ Executive Director Sheryl Lowe says, “These initiatives, with an emphasis on youth participation, flow from consistent research findings that confirm the critical role of childhood experiences in the development of skills, attitudes and confidence required for lifetime participation in active pursuits that promote health and well-being.  It also has a focus of contributing outcomes of long-term cultural, economic and social value that are consistent with the ‘intergenerational well-being’ approach to national growth adopted by Government.”

RNZB's 'Black Swan, White Swan'.

RNZB’s ‘Black Swan, White Swan’.

The Royal New Zealand Ballet (RNZB) embarks on a nationwide tour with the NZ premiere of Black Swan, White Swan – Mário Radačovský’s electrifying retelling of Swan Lake which enjoyed sell-out seasons in Europe and the United States.

RNZB Artistic Director Patricia Barker originally commissioned the work in 2012, and also designed the costumes for the production. Barker describes it as a Swan Lake for our time and says, “It tells the classic story, expressing the complexity of human emotions and speaking directly to the heart and mind.”

Siegfried is caught between two women – the black swan and the white. Tormented by his alter-ego Von Rothbart, Siegfried fights desperately against his own mortality while seeking refuge in relationships with two women as he struggles with ideal love, seduction, infidelity, guilt and betrayal.

Black Swan, White Swan opens in Wellington on May 31 then travels to Auckland, Palmerston North, Tauranga, Christchurch, Dunedin and Blenheim until July 6. For full tour dates and to book tickets, click here.

RNZB will also present Tutus on Tour during May, with performances in Kerikeri, Whangarei and Gisborne. The programme will be a mixed bill of family-friendly classical favourites and contemporary works, as well as educational events for local school children.

The company revisits its roots with August Bournonville’s Napoli and Flower Festival at Genzano, which have been part of the RNZB repertoire since the 1950s, when they were staged by Danish founding Artistic Director Poul Gnatt. The company will also perform contemporary work Nae Regrets by award-winning choreographer Brian Enos, the Flames of Paris pas de deux by Vasily Vainonen, and the enchanting Fairy Doll pas de trois from 19th century Vienna. For more, visit rnzb.org.nz/shows/tutus-on-tour-2019.

NZSD 3rd Year Student Nadiyah Akbar. Photo by Stephen A'Court.

NZSD 3rd Year Student Nadiyah Akbar. Photo by Stephen A’Court.

New Zealand School of Dance (NZSD) is proud to announce recent results from participating full-time students at the recent Alana Haines Australasian Awards, Rench Soriano (Supreme B 1st place and Audience Choice Award), Sook Meng Lim (Supreme B 2nd place) and Timothy Ching (finalist), as well as NZSD Associate and Scholar Kohana Williams (Supreme A 1st place), who trains at Mount Eden Ballet Academy.

NZSD has announced full-time audition dates for 2020. The School’s full-time programme prepares dancers for careers in dance performance. Students major in either classical ballet or contemporary dance but maintain a strong base in both disciplines. Around 75 percent of its graduates receive contracts with dance companies. Recent graduates are dancing with West Australian Ballet, Black Grace, Sydney Dance Company, The Royal New Zealand Ballet, Singapore Dance Theatre, Footnote Dance, Australian Dance Theatre, Chunky Move and the New Zealand Dance Company. Auditions will be held in Wellington (28 September), Melbourne (1 October), Brisbane (3 October) and Sydney (5 October). Applications to audition open 25 June. For more, head to nzschoolofdance.ac.nz.

By Laura Di Orio of Dance Informa.

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