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RNZB dancers China reunion

Respected Royal New Zealand Ballet dancer Qi Huan will enjoy a long awaited family reunion when the company arrives in Beijing tomorrow ahead of the opening night performance of Giselle.

Image from Giselle is courtesy of the Royal New Zealand Ballet.

In an opening night exclusive, Qi Huan reunites with internationally renowned ballerina Gillian Murphy in Beijing. Qi Huan as Albrecht partners Ms Murphy as Giselle and he is thrilled to know that his family will be in the audience. “I am excited to be touring with the company I love and to not only see my family, but also for them to see me perform this role with Gillian Murphy who is so respected in China and so very beautiful to dance with. This is a career highlight for me and for my family to be there is a dream come true.”

Ms Murphy is equally enthusiastic “I’ve danced in China a few times and am really excited to be dancing this role with Qi Huan in the very city where he trained. Knowing his family will be in the audience is the icing on the cake.”

Supported by the Asia New Zealand Foundation, Qi Huan has been with the RNZB since 2005 and enjoys a loyal following, with both audiences and critics agreeing that his talents on stage are captivating. One reviewer proclaimed “He stole the show with his solo” and “...in fine form, great clarity and elevation...” proclaimed another. Describing the partnering of Qi and Gillian in Giselle dance critic Jennifer Shennan said “Qi Huan as Albrect fair explodes with the thrill of partnering her, and dances better than he ever has. Such expressive play, such heroic heights, such strong partnering...the dancer and the lover are one.”

Qi Huan began his ballet studies in Shengyang, in China’s Liaoning Province; he then went on to train at the Beijing Dance Academy. He has performed many principal roles for the RNZB, including the title role in Dracula, the Prince in Cinderella, Siegfried in Swan Lake, Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, Basilio in Don Quixote & Prince Désiré in The Sleeping Beauty. He ended 2012 with acclaimed performances as Albrecht in Giselle, with the UK’s DanceTabs online magazine saying ‘His dance to death is breathtaking and he convinces you that he has given every scrap of energy just as dawn arrives. Technically he is on fire.

After opening night in Beijing the company continues the Giselle tour across China, visiting Tianjin and Guangzhou.

‘One of the finest Giselles I have ever seen ... A triumph for the company in every way. Production, choreography, direction and of course performances.’ Ann Hunt, Radio New Zealand Arts on Sunday.


Updated on 23rd July 2015