New Zealand Dance News – October/November 2023

Ty King-Wall in 'Giselle'. Photo by Lynette Wills.
Ty King-Wall in 'Giselle'. Photo by Lynette Wills.

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

The Royal New Zealand Ballet (RNZB) has anounced the appointment of its new Artistic Director, New Zealander Ty King-Wall. Born in Waihi, King-Wall moves from his current role of Dancers’ Director on the Board of The Australian Ballet to the RNZB in November. Trained at Tauranga’s Dance Education Centre and as a Junior Associate with the New Zealand School of Dance, King-Wall won the 2002 PACANZ National Young Performer Award before leaving Aotearoa New Zealand to study at The Australian Ballet School, where he graduated Dux with Honours. He won the silver medal at the 2005 Asia Pacific International Ballet Competition, was accepted into The Australian Ballet in 2006, won Australia’s prestigious Telstra Ballet Dancer Award in 2010, and was promoted to Principal Artist with The Australian Ballet in 2013. His choreographic debut, The Art of War, was performed as part of The Australian Ballet’s Bodytorque season in 2013.

Ty King-Wall. Photo by Erik Sawaya.
Ty King-Wall. Photo by Erik Sawaya.

RNZB Chair Dame Kerry Prendergast says, “The appointment of Ty alongside our recent announcement of Tobias Perkins as Executive Director completes and secures our senior leadership team. It is a ballet ‘brains trust’ of strong arts leaders who have industry virtuosity, global views but local understanding, and with the broad minds and big hearts to guide New Zealand’s national ballet company in its forward trajectory and into the future.”

On returning home to take up the top artistic job at Aotearoa New Zealand’s national ballet company, King-Wall says, “It is such an honour to be the next Artistic Director of The Royal New Zealand Ballet, the company I grew up with and the company which first inspired me to become a dancer. I’ve always admired the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s ability to defy expectations, to create beyond what seemed possible through their tenacity and aroha for the art form. There is so much possibility in front of us, and the prospect of building towards this together with Tobias is very exciting. I cannot wait to get into the studio and begin the mahi with the dancers, the artistic team, and the entire Royal New Zealand Ballet whānau. Ngā mihi nui kia koutou katoa.”

RNZB Acting Artistic Director David McAllister says, “Huge congratulations to Ty. He has always been a passionate New Zealander and a fantastic artist, teacher, and advocate for our artform. I am sure he will be a devoted and inspiring leader for the RNZB and, along with Executive Director Tobias Perkins, will usher in an exciting future for the company.”

King-Wall will move from Melbourne to Wellington and commence the role in mid-November.

NZDC in 'ArteFact'. Photo by Melissa Banks.
NZDC in ‘ArteFact’. Photo by Melissa Banks.

The New Zealand Dance Company (NZDC) will return to Taranaki this October, as part of the Reimagine Festival, presenting ArteFact – How to Behave in a Museum. The playful, site-specific dance/theatre work was created by Arts Laureate Ross McCormack. Ngāmotu’s Puke Ariki Museum offers rabbit holes of possibility for a synthesis of performers, museum hosts and visitors. You never know who might be leading you on this whimsical journey, where they may take you or what they may teach you about the taonga of objects, texts and contemporary dance. McCormack masterfully uses his signature elements of physical theatre and comedy interwoven with his iconic style of movement to reveal some irresistible secrets of the human experience. ArteFact – How to Behave in a Museum will be presented 11 and 12 October. You can watch the trailer here. For more information and to book tickets, head to www.reimaginefestival.co.nz/whats-on/artefact.

The New Zealand School of Dance (NZSD) is thrilled to announce that registrations for the NZSD Summer Intensive 2024 are open. The NZSD Summer Intensive 2024 is a unique opportunity for young dancers aged 12-17 to experience the highest levels of training in classical ballet and contemporary dance from the School’s renowned teaching staff and guest tutors. The intensive will be held 23 – 26 January 2024 at Te Whaea – National Dance and Drama Centre. To sign up, visit https://nzschoolofdance.ac.nz/training/summer-intensive/

NZSD 1st Year Classical Ballet Student Patrick McCrory. Photo by Stephen A'Court.
NZSD 1st Year Classical Ballet Student Patrick McCrory. Photo by Stephen A’Court.

The last quarter of the year sees preparations moving ahead for the NZSD Performance Season at Southwards Car Museum (November 16 to 18) and Te Whaea Theatre (November 28 to December 2), demonstrating the talents of the School’s exceptional students. Presenting two alternating programmes of ballet and contemporary dance, these annual performances are an opportunity to watch the rising stars of the dance world. In these specially curated programmes, students from across the School’s three-year groups will showcase their artistry, skill and versatility on stage, performing extracts from existing pieces alongside newly commissioned contemporary works. The ballet programme will include Val Caniparoli’s Double Stop and Street Songs, Helgi Tomasson’s Meistens Mozart and Lew Christensen’s Vivaldi Concerto Grosso. The contemporary dance programme includes extracts from The Beginning of Nature, choreographed by former Australian Dance Theatre Artistic Director Garry Stewart, as well as a revival of Amber Haines’ 2016 work, Incant.

By Laura Di Orio of Dance Informa.

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