Stravinsky Triple Bill Stravinsky Triple Bill CREDIT: Ross Brown
The Meridian Season of The Sleeping Beauty The Meridian Season of The Sleeping Beauty CREDIT: Ross Brown
TOWER Tutus on Tour TOWER Tutus on Tour CREDIT: Ross Brown


Thursday 9 September 2010, 3:28PM
By Royal New Zealand Ballet

2011 sees the Royal New Zealand Ballet presenting four new ballets, working with one of the biggest names in New Zealand fashion and taking on the world with an exciting international tour to Europe.

The RNZB will premiere its biggest, most lavish production to date next year. The Meridian Season of The Sleeping Beauty has been more than three years in the planning and this grand-scale, traditional ballet will be a must-see.

In an exciting first, legendary New Zealand designer Karen Walker will create the costumes for a new work by Kiwi choreographer Cameron McMillan. The work, which has the working title Scenes de Ballet, will be part of our Stravinsky Triple Bill season. The other two works are the Russian classic Petrouchka and an encore performance of Javier de Frutos’ powerful and evocative work, Milagros.

Our famous biennial TOWER Tutus on Tour is all about families in 2011. Featuring two new works, the whimsical Pinocchio and a sparkling classical showpiece, Verdi Variations is the perfect occasion for young and old to enjoy together.

Another highlight of 2011 will be a tour to London, Cardiff and France where the RNZB will present the Triple Bill From Here to There featuring three short ballets, including A Song in the Dark by young Kiwi choreographer Andrew Simmons, Jorma Elo’s Plan to A and Javier de Frutos’ Banderillero.

“There’s no doubt 2011 will be a huge year for the company,” says General Manager Amanda Skoog. “We’re honoured and thrilled to be invited to perform in the City of London Festival in July, as well as in Cardiff and France.”

2011 is shaping up to be one of the most exciting years ever for the RNZB, she says. “We’ve are not only premiering four new works, we’ll also be under the wing of a new Artistic Director. While we are still in the final stages of making a selection, the candidates have been outstanding and I know we have some very exciting times ahead.” 

TOWER Tutus on Tour

TOWER Tutus on Tour is our opportunity to share what we do with as many New Zealanders as possible. Every two years our company divides in half and one group heads south and the other north. Over the following six weeks, they’re on the road performing in more than 40 towns and cities. The ultimate ‘tiki tour’, Tutus sees the dancers performing in community theatres, town halls and school gymnasiums.

Logistically it’s a huge challenge, we take everything with us from washing machines to kettles – but we love it.

Verdi Variations

choreography Greg Horsman

music Giuseppe Verdi, I Vespri siciliani (Le Quattro stagioni)

design Gary Harris

lighting Nigel Percy

A classical ballet lover’s dream come true, Verdi Variations promises to be a stunningly grand showpiece peppered with dramatic solos and dazzling duets, complete with exquisitely made tutus and tiaras.

With choreography and design by in-house dream team Greg Horsman and Gary Harris, the piece pays homage to classical Russian ballet and its poise and grace. Verdi Variations will be breathtakingly beautiful.

choreography Toby Behan

music Andre Messager, Les Deux Pigeons

design Julian Southgate

lighting Nigel Percy

The antics of Pinocchio, Geppetto and friends come to life as the Royal New Zealand Ballet presents a fun, traditional story-ballet for the whole family. Written in 1883, the tale of Pinocchio, a wooden puppet who yearns to be a real boy, continues to be adored by children around the world. As he stumbles his way through life, will he ever be able to realise his dream? Follow Pinocchio on his exciting adventures as he encounters the evil Fox and Cat, Strombolli’s travelling puppet show, the Blue Fairy and a giant whale. It’s a rollicking ride – one that you’ll never forget.

Triple bills are tense affairs. Dancers are pushed to their physical limits by performing three often dramatically contrasting ballets. The creators of the works are exposed. Thirty minutes of pure dance and minimal stage design means there is nowhere to hide. Triple bill audiences are a discerning bunch. The usually mild-mannered become ruthless critics as they argue the merits of one work over another.

Our 2011 triple bill features one of the world’s hallmark ballets, the return of an acclaimed work by Javier de Frutos and a new creation by former RNZB dancer Cameron McMillan.

The three ballets are performed to the music of Stravinsky.

Scènes de Ballet (working title)

choreography Cameron McMillan

music Igor Stravinsky, Scènes de Ballet

design Karen Walker

lighting Nigel Percy

Ex-pat dancer and choreographer Cameron McMillan returns to New Zealand from London to create a new work, set to Stravinsky’s highly melodic and stunning Scènes de Ballet. Featuring discordant lines that seamlessly melt from one theme to the next, McMillan emphasises the dynamics of Stravinsky’s ravishing score with this thought-provoking new work.
choreography Javier de Frutos

music Igor Stravinsky, The Rite of Spring

design Javier de Frutos

lighting Nigel Percy

A rare piano recording of The Rite of Spring inspired UK-based choreographer Javier de Frutos to create Milagros on the RNZB in 2003. Exploring Stravinsky’s darkly evocative music about the Chosen One and the ultimate sacrifice, Milagros - meaning miracle – is a fusion of influences, from Latin American church traditions to Southern Gothic traditions and medieval religious rituals. Nominated for best new dance production in the 2005 UK Laurence Olivier Awards and Best Choreography (Modern) at Britain’s Critic’s Circle Dance Awards, Milagros is a powerful and evocative theatrical experience.
choreography Michael Fokine

music Igor Stravinsky, Petrouchka

design Raymond Boyce after Alexandre Benois

lighting Nigel Percy

Petrouchka is one of the most enduring works from the Russian choreographer, Michael Fokine. Set in a bustling Russian fairground, it tells the story of three puppets - Petrouchka, a sad little clown doll; the ballerina doll he so desperately loves; and the handsome Moor, whom the ballerina cannot resist. Petrouchka’s futile attempts to be with the love of his life can only end in heartbreak. Stravinsky’s engaging composition for Petrouchka helped cement his place as one of the world’s greatest musical innovators.

One of the great ballets from Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, Petrouchka was originally performed by the legendary Vaslav Nijinsky, and remains one of the most coveted roles for a male dancer.

The Meridian Season of The Sleeping Beauty

Spectacular sets, sumptuous costume design and breathtaking classical choreography bring one of the most traditional ballets to life. Three years in the making, The Meridian Season of The Sleeping Beauty will be the highlight of 2011.

The Sleeping Beauty is the pinnacle of the classical ballet repertoire. The Royal New Zealand Ballet has spent the last three years creating this magical version of a fairytale favourite in order to bring you our biggest production to date.

Set to Tchaikovsky’s soaring score, The Sleeping Beauty tells the timeless story of young Princess Aurora who falls prey to the evil fairy Carabosse – only a kiss from a handsome prince will break the spell and ensure her future happiness.

The Sleeping Beauty features some of the most famous and demanding choreography and, to this day, remains one of the must-see ballets of all time.
choreography Greg Horsman (after Marius Petipa)

music Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

design Gary Harris

lighting Jon Buswell

This spellbinding traditional masterpiece will take your breath away.



TOWER Tutus on Tour


Blenheim / 5 & 6 March

Nelson / 8 & 9 March

Westport / 11 March

Greymouth / 12 March

Christchurch / 15 March #

Oamaru / 17 March

Dunedin / 19 & 20 March #

Invercargill / 23 March #

Gore / 24 March

Te Anau / 25 March

Queenstown / 26 March

Wanaka / 27 March

Alexandra / 29 March

Twizel / 30 March

Timaru / 31 March

Ashburton / 1 April

Kaikoura / 3 April


Wellington / 24, 26 & 27 Feb #

Rotorua / 26 February

Taupo / 27 February

Hastings / 1 March #

Greytown / 1 March

Palmerston North / 2 March #

Gisborne / 3 March

Paraparaumu / 3 March

Tauranga / 5 March

Putararu / 6 March

Hamilton / 8 March

Takapuna / 10-12 March #

Epsom / 15 March

Kerikeri / 17 March

Whangarei / 18 & 19 March

Warkworth / 20 March

Manukau / 22 March

Papakura / 24 March

Te Kuiti / 25 March

New Plymouth / 26 & 27 March

Hawera / 29 March

Wanganui / 30 March

Taihape / 31 March

# Available on subscriptions



20 – 22 May

St James Theatre

Featuring the Vector Wellington Orchestra


25 – 28 May

ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre, THE EDGE

Featuring the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra

Hawke’s Bay

31 May & 1 June

Municipal Theatre, Napier


4 & 5 June

Isaac Theatre Royal

Featuring the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra


8 & 9 June

Civic Theatre

The Meridian Season of THE SLEEPING BEAUTY


28 – 30 October & 2 – 5 November

St James Theatre

Featuring the Vector Wellington Orchestra


8 & 9 November

Civic Theatre


12 & 13 November

Regent Theatre


16 –19 November

Isaac Theatre Royal

Featuring the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra

Palmerston North

22 & 23 November

Regent on Broadway


26 & 27 November

Municipal Theatre


30 November – 4 December

Featuring the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra

The Civic THE EDGE


7 & 8 December

Civic Theatre