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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

The Royal NZ Ballet Has Announced Its 2018 Program and It's All About Girl Power

The national ballet institution's 65th anniversary year is all about mana wāhine.
By Georgia Munn
September 25, 2017
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The Royal NZ Ballet Has Announced Its 2018 Program and It's All About Girl Power

The national ballet institution's 65th anniversary year is all about mana wāhine.
By Georgia Munn
September 25, 2017
  shares

The Royal New Zealand Ballet have just announced their 2018 program, and it's a good'un. The national ballet institution's 65th anniversary year is all about mana wāhine, with a new ballet that adapts the work of one of our nation's greatest film directors and a show commemorating 125 years of Aotearoa's women being able to vote. The season's marketing material is also absurdly gorgeous, capturing surreal balletic images against dramatic New Zealand landscapes shot by Ross Brown.

The Piano is a brand new ballet based on the exquisite, heartbreaking Jane Campion film of 1993, The Piano. Set in the rugged north in early colonial New Zealand, the film tells the story of a mute piano player who has been married off to a local man, finding herself and her daughter absolutely miserable in the foreign and untamed land. Excerpts from the film's swoonworthy score are utilised, and the language of dance is used to give Ada a voice. The new evocative and cinematic full-length piece by Jiří Bubeníček is presented as part of both New Zealand Festival and Auckland Arts Festival.

Strength And Grace: Women celebrates the badass women of the ballet scene to coincide with the 125th anniversary of all New Zealand women being given the right to vote (cheers Kate Sheppard). The show will consist of lots of shorter pieces by female contemporary choreographers from around the world, celebrating the collective accomplishments of women in the 21st century and paying homage to the women who came before us. The evening will be curated by Artistic Director Patricia Barker, and sandwiched by talks and workshops on the theme of awesome women and their work.

The Nutcracker is a bit of a classic — a fun and charming ballet that never fails to get audiences into the festive spirit (even though the winter motifs don't really ring true in our antipodean Christmas climate). Tchaikovsky's fairy-tale score will be familiar even to folk who haven't seen this story on stage before, and folk in the main centres — Wellington, Christchurch, Auckland and Dunedin — will get a live score to boot. The show will tour the country for the first time since 2010, and this is a great one to treat your parents, and/or grandparents to at Christmastime.

Dancing with Mozart is a season of dance inspired by music. The show is made up of two works — the first is choreographed by Christchurch boy gone Birmingham lad Corey Baker, a choreographer who is just 26 years old and is a huge deal in the international dance scene. There's also a piece by Russian-American choreographer George Balanchine, who founded the New York City Ballet. These two bigwig choreographers have both created pieces inspired by Mozart's music, albeit in different eras, and the RNZB brings them to the stage together. Exciting.

For more information and the full 2018 schedule, visit the RNZB website.

Image: Ross Brown

Published on September 25, 2017 by Georgia Munn

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