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The Royal New Zealand Ballet Has Announced Its Jam-Packed 2021 Season

The prestigious dance company is returning to the stage with new performances, Russian classics and a Shakespearean comedy.
By Stephen Heard
November 11, 2020
By Stephen Heard
November 11, 2020

This year, amid the COVID-19 outbreak, the Royal New Zealand Ballet (RNZB) remained indoors to offer free broadcasts of recent performances. In 2021, the prestigious ballet company will return to the stage with a lineup of performances that celebrates the past and boldly looks to the future. From February, the RNZB brings some of the world's best-loved dance masterminds to theatres across Aotearoa.

From 12 May to 9 June, the popular production of Giselle returns. RNZB's production of the classic ballet first toured in 2012 to sell-out audiences, before returning in 2016 to great acclaim. It has since been performed in China, the USA, the UK and Italy, and turned into a feature film by director Toa Fraser. Live orchestral accompaniment will lift performances for the 2021 run.

'Giselle', Ross Brown.

July closes with a double bill, including new commission from choreographer in residence Loughlan Prior, The Firebird, and Russian classic Paquita. The former is set to a spine-tingling score from Stravinsky, while Paquita is a performance in which classical technique takes centre stage — there'll be sparkling tutus, fleet footwork, soaring leaps and turns like spinning tops.

From 28 October to 11 December, Shakespeare's classic comedy A Midsummer Night's Dream will bring lovers, fairies, mischievous sprites and moonlight to the stage. The performance arrives on the stage courtesy of choreographer Liam Scarlett.

Rounding off the 2021 season is the ever-popular Tutus on Tour which sees RNZB stop at 16 theatres around the country. The mixed bill of work will deliver the 'White Swan' from Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake and Jules Perrot's Pas de Quatre — alongside two brand new ballets from 2020's cancelled Venus Rising season.

The Royal New Zealand Ballet's 2021 season kicks off from 26 February. For more information, visit

Top image: Ross Brown.

Published on November 11, 2020 by Stephen Heard
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