Royal New Zealand Ballet announces its 2013 season

The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s 60th year will open with Made to Move, the umbrella title for three new works, including a comedy choreographed by the company’s artistic director, Ethan Stiefel.

With the working title Bierhalle, it will be set in a Bavarian beer hall and danced to the music of Johann Strauss II.

The former RNZB dancer, and now choreographer, Andrew Simmons, will create a follow up to his A Song in the Dark, that premiered in 2010 and Javier de Frutos will choreograph a new work inspired by the Pacific. The triple bill will open in Wellington in late February.

In April 2013, Stiefel and Johan Kobborg’s production of Giselle (premiering in November this year) will tour to five cities in China – Shanghai, Beijing, Tianjin, Guangzhou and Suzhou.

The company’s production of Swan Lake by its former artistic director, Russell Kerr, and restaged by Kerr and Gary Harris in 2007, with designs by Kristian Fredrikson, will tour to seven NZ cities.

Completing the 2013 season is Tutus on Tour, a mixed bill including a new Peter and the Wolf by Brendan Bradshaw and Catherine Eddy, with narration by the New Zealand writer and TV personality, Te Radar.

Tutus on Tour will be staged in 46 centres throughout New Zealand in the course of six weeks. Such a tour will include numerous bus and plane trips, and will no doubt be both ardous and (pleasantly) unforgettable for the dancers. Just looking at the list of towns and cities on the itinerary reminds me of the weeks-long provincial tours the Australian Ballet undertook in the early 1960s.

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Gillian Murphy as Giselle, photo © Ross Brown

Gillian Murphy as Giselle, photo © Ross Brown

Royal New Zealand Ballet 2013 poster, photo ©  Ross Brown

Royal New Zealand Ballet 2013 poster, photo © Ross Brown

Antonia Hewitt and Brendan Bradshaw in A Song in the Dark

Antonia Hewitt and Brendan Bradshaw in A Song in the Dark

Ethan Stiefel, photo © Rosalie O'Connor

Ethan Stiefel, photo © Rosalie O’Connor