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New Zealand Dance News – June 2019

NZSD 3rd Year Student Cheyanne Teka. Photo by Stephen A'Court.
NZSD 3rd Year Student Cheyanne Teka. Photo by Stephen A'Court.

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

The New Zealand School of Dance (NZSD) audition registrations for full-time training open 25 June 2019, for commencement January 2020. The 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.

NZSD 3rd Year students Riley-Jane Dickie and Isaak McLean. Photo by Stephen A'Court.

NZSD 3rd Year students Riley-Jane Dickie and Isaak McLean. Photo by Stephen A’Court.

The NZSD has an outstanding faculty of teaching staff. Guest tutors and specialists in anatomy, dance history, nutrition, yoga and performance psychology round out the holistic training. The School’s impressive purpose-built facilities house five dance studios, a 160-seat theatre, library, Pilates/GYROTONIC® and physiotherapy areas, and a cafe. Students have access to a state-of-the-art gym with personal trainer and hostel accommodation. Secondment opportunities are available through the NZSD’s excellent relationships with leading dance companies.

Most graduates enter careers in dance performance, around 75 percent receiving 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 for the year starting January 2020 will be held in September/October 2019: Wellington(28 September), Melbourne (1 October), Brisbane (3 October), Sydney (5 October). Apply in June at www.nzschoolofdance.ac.nz.

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 students to learn the Balanchine Style® and Technique®. 

IBW has invited 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, where 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.

IBW guest tutor Walker has spent six years on faculty at the School of American Ballet, and 11 years on faculty at Ballet Academy East (BAE). She brings with her opportunities for students who attend the IBW Winter 2019 “Balanchine Series” to train on a scholarship at BAE, both in the full-time annual program and the summer intensive.

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

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's 'Black Swan, White Swan'.

RNZB’s ‘Black Swan, White Swan’.

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 opened in Wellington on May 31, then travels to Auckland, Palmerston North, Tauranga, Christchurch, Dunedin and Blenheim until July 6. For tickets and more information, visit rnzb.org.nz/shows/black-swan-white-swan.

The annual Pacific Dance Festival will be held 5 – 23 June, with a feast of entertaining and thought-provoking theatre, workshops, screenings, choreographic labs and more. “The annual Pacific Dance Festival showcases some of the country’s most exciting contemporary Pacific dance choreographers,” says Festival Director Iosefa Enari, “giving audiences an opportunity to familiarise themselves with the incredible diversity of performance Pasifika choreographers are creating throughout New Zealand.” For more information, visit www.pacificdance.co.nz.

By Laura Di Orio of Dance Informa.

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