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The Royal New Zealand Ballet Announces Sensational 2019 Season

Featuring a new series of world premieres, Swan Lake for the 21st century and a classic fairytale.
By Keely Allen
November 19, 2018
By Keely Allen
November 19, 2018

The Royal New Zealand Ballet celebrates local and international talent in 2019 with a firecracker season of new and traditional works. Dance lovers across Aotearoa can indulge in a flurry of elegant shows including RNZB's New Choreographic Series, Black Swan, White Swan, Bold MovesHansel and Gretel, and Tutus on Tour.

Kicking off the year is the inaugural season of the New Choreographic Series in Wellington and Christchurch early March 2019. RNZB Artistic Director Patricia Barker establishes a new repertoire exploring four original works commissioned especially for our homegrown dancers and local audiences.

From May, critically acclaimed Black Swan, White Swan by Slovak choreographer Mario Radacovsky will hit the stage in seven cities to explore a new interpretation of the full-length classic Swan Lake. Described by critics as captivating, the piece stays true to Tchaikovsky's original score while stripping down the story to tell a tale of love, temptation and self-reflection for the 21st century audience.

To pull Aotearoa out of the gloomy winter, five cities will see the stage flooded with colour and light. Bold Moves encompasses three distinct works from George Balanchine, William Forsythe and Andrea Schermoly. The performances capture dance in different decades, each offering a unique story. Returning to our shores after more than 40 years, Balanchine's iconic Serenade from 1934 marries structure with fluidity as 26 dancers float across the stage to Tchaikovsky's Seranade for Strings. Forsythe's 1984 rebellion to the classical art of dance splices Bach with electronica in the full-length experience Artifact. The last and most recent commission is Schermoly's 2018 choreography, Stand to Reason, returning to the stage in a bold ode to the brave women who sought suffrage.

Rounding out the year is a newly created retelling of quintessential Brothers Grimm tale Hansel and Gretel. RNZB Choreographer in Residence Loughlan Prior developed the two-act ballet using a specially commissioned score by Claire Cowan. The piece promises to bring Christmas cheer as audiences watch the classic story unfold.

Alongside the 2019 season, Tutus on Tour returns to the regions with additional cities added to the schedule. From March to May, families in eleven towns will witness the visual feast, while schools in seven centres will host the educational experience Ballet in a Box.

Booking for RNZB 2019 subscriptions are now open. For more information, visit

Image: Ross Brown.

Published on November 19, 2018 by Keely Allen


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