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By Stephen Heard
April 22, 2020
By Stephen Heard
April 22, 2020

Amid the COVID-19 lockdown, the Royal New Zealand Ballet is offering free broadcasts of recent performances via Facebook Premiere. First up was the classic fairytale of Hansel & Gretel filmed live onstage at the Opera House Wellington with accompaniment from a live orchestra.

In line with ANZAC Day 2020, this Saturday the national company will present a special broadcast of Dear Horizon and Passchendaele, two works that were commissioned for its 'Salute' program to commemorate the centenary of the Gallipoli landings in 2015.

Dear Horizon was Andrew Simmons' fifth choreographic commission for the RNZB. The choreographer wanted to focus on some human aspects and emotions of war — loss, fear, hopelessness — and serve as a reminder and reflection upon all that war takes away.

Neil Ieremia's Passchendaele is named after the Battle of Passchendaele, on 12 October 1917, the day on which the New Zealand Division suffered more casualties than on any other day in the First World War, or since. It features an intensely moving score by Dwayne Bloomfield.

Both pieces are performed live with the New Zealand Army Band and will be broadcast three times on Saturday, 25 April: 10.30am, 1.30pm and 7.30pm.

Alongside full productions, RNZB Education is putting together a wealth of digital resources for people of all ages staying at home, including online workshops and balletic exercises.

Image: Evan Li.


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