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Royal New Zealand Ballet’s UK premieres receive rave reviews

The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s tour to the UK and Italy has opened to rave reviews for both of its touring programmes.

Giselle, created by Ethan Stiefel and Johan Kobborg in 2012 and now considered one of the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s signature works had its UK premiere in Edinburgh on 27 October with reviewers saying:

"a classic Giselle that shows off company strengths at all levels"..."this is a good-looking production from a company crammed with talent." The Herald - Scotland

“gorgeous, and unashamedly traditional, production of Giselle.” The Scotsman

"Giselle is elevated by pristine execution and two stunning leads"..."The nuance of the physical storytelling is masterful"..."This is a century-and-a-half-old ballet presented in a way that feels as authentic as the day it was born.” The List

"The Royal New Zealand Ballet has brought an enchanting production of Giselle to the UK.” The Stage

Also having its UK premiere was the RNZB’s mixed bill The Anatomy of a Passing Cloud.  This programme featured four contemporary works, two by international choreographers Javier De Frutos (The Anatomy of The Passing Cloud) and Andonis Foniadakis (Selon désir)*; and two by New Zealanders Andrew Simmons  (Dear Horizon) and Neil Ieremia (Passchendaele), which were created to mark the centenary of World War One as part of the RNZB’s acclaimed Salute programme.  Reviewers at opening night in London on 17 November said:

“RNZB are an attractive and versatile company”, ”Neil Ieremia’s Passchendaele is the best” The Guardian

“lively and likeable” The Telegraph

“both Anzac pieces were deeply felt and strongly danced” says the Financial Times

“an intriguing programme from this versatile and independent-minded company” London Evening Standard

“a very entertaining and thoughtful quadruple bill”, “incredibly moving”, “such a brilliant watch”, “This was a fine night at the theatre“ Dancing Review.

RNZB Artistic director Francesco Ventriglia is proud of the RNZB dancers.  “Here’s just another example of New Zealanders excelling internationally be it on the sports field or on international stages. We’re delighted to receive such great reviews for two very different dance programmes. It really proves the tremendous talent of our dancers - it’s very rare for a ballet company to be so strong in both the classical and contemporary repertoire,” he said from Leeds.

The tour travelled from Edinburgh to Leeds, High Wycombe, Canterbury and now London where the RNZB are performing for the first time at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, home of The Royal Ballet.  Following performances in the UK, Artistic Director Francesco Ventriglia will take the company to his home country of Italy with performances in Udine, Vicenza and Rome where the tour will end on 3 December.

*Selon désir will receive its New Zealand premiere as part of the RNZB’s Speed of Light mixed bill in 2016, appearing at the New Zealand and Auckland Arts Festivals and touring to Christchurch and Dunedin. 

The 2015 International tour details:

EDINBURGH: 27 – 31 October Giselle, Edinburgh Festival Theatre

LEEDS: 3 & 4 November The Anatomy of a Passing Cloud Mixed Bill, Northern Ballet, Stanley and Audrey Burton Theatre

HIGH WYCOMBE: 6 & 7 November Giselle. Wycombe Swan Theatre

CANTERBURY: 10 – 14 November Giselle and The Anatomy of a Passing Cloud Mixed Bill. Marlowe Theatre

LONDON: 17 – 21 November The Anatomy of a Passing Cloud Mixed Bill. Linbury Studio Theatre, Royal Opera House Covent Garden

UDINE: 25 November Giselle. Teatro Nuovo

VICENZA: 28 – 29 November Giselle. Teatro Comunale

ROME: 2 – 3 December The Anatomy of a Passing Cloud Mixed Bill

Updated on 19th November 2015