Antonia Hewitt in Milagros Antonia Hewitt in Milagros CREDIT: Ross Brown
Medhi Angot in Petrouchka Medhi Angot in Petrouchka CREDIT: Ross Brown
Tonia Looker in Satisfied with Great Success Tonia Looker in Satisfied with Great Success CREDIT: Ross Brown

Royal New Zealand Ballet's winter collection the height of fashion

Wednesday 27 April 2011, 4:53PM
By Royal New Zealand Ballet

Stravinsky Selection triple bill includes a new New Zealand commission featuring designs by Karen Walker, on tour from 20 May. 

Ballet has taken a big leap in popularity thanks to the success of Hollywood blockbuster Black Swan and local TV3 series The Secret Lives of Dancers. It now looks to cement its fashionable following with the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s Stravinsky Selection, a winter season of dance featuring costumes by internationally recognised designer, Karen Walker.

The three-ballet Stravinsky Selection salutes the enduring influence of Igor Stravinsky. The 20th century composer revolutionised modern ballet with his groundbreaking collaborations with Pablo Picasso, Coco Chanel, Ballets Russes impresario Sergei Diaghilev and choreographer George Balanchine.

“Underscored by Stravinsky’s musical brilliance, these three vividly contrasting works span a century of extraordinary creativity. Passion, fashion and dazzling artistry; spend a night in our company and experience first-hand ballet’s genius for live spectacle,” says Matz Skoog, the company’s interim artistic director.

Walker lends her trademark style to the costumes in Satisfied with Great Success, a new ballet by expat dance star Cameron McMillan. Steeped in dance heritage, the line-up also features Petrouchka, a dramatic masterpiece created in 1911 for the Ballets Russes, lovingly restaged by Christchurch choreographer Russell Kerr; and Javier De Frutos’ Milagros, a powerfully modern retelling of The Rite of Spring, which earned the RNZB international awards attention following its 2003 premiere.

Wellington: 20-22 May, St James Theatre. Featuring the Vector Wellington Orchestra.

Auckland: 25-28 May, ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre, THE EDGE. Featuring the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra.

Napier: 31 May and 1 June, Napier Municipal Theatre.

Invercargill: 8 and 9 June, Civic Theatre.

Christchurch performances scheduled for 4 and 5 June have been cancelled due to the earthquake.

Stravinsky Selection

Three short ballets – one extraordinary experience.

Underscored by musical genius Igor Stravinsky, this stylish mixed programme features the lavishly-staged classic Petrouchka, alongside the cutting-edge cool of Satisfied with Great Success, a new ballet by Cameron McMillan with design by Karen Walker, and the mesmerising Milagros by Javier De Frutos.

Satisfied with Great Success

Choreography Cameron McMillan
Music Igor Stravinsky, Scènes de Ballet
Design Karen Walker
Lighting Nigel Percy
Radiating mystery and beauty, Satisfied with Great Success gives modern immediacy to classical ballet. Making its debut this season, the work is choreographed by one of the most exciting new talents in international dance, expat Kiwi Cameron McMillan, and features costumes by renowned designer Karen Walker. Taking his cue from the ravishing score, McMillan’s ballet unfolds in a series of electrically-charged scenes played out before 50-year-old film footage of Stravinsky in New Zealand.


Choreography Javier de Frutos
Music Igor Stravinsky, The Rite of Spring
Design Javier de Frutos
Lighting Nigel Percy
With an air of dangerous intent, Javier De Frutos’ Milagros puts a match to the composer’s most incendiary ballet score, The Rite of Spring. Created for the Royal New Zealand Ballet in 2003, the work’s ferocious imagination and mesmerising drama earned it major international awards attention. Sacrifice everything to see this landmark ballet.


Choreography Michel Fokine
Music Igor Stravinsky, Petrouchka
Design Raymond Boyce after Alexandre Benois
Lighting Nigel Percy
A lavish and lively restaging of the 1911 masterpiece Petrouchka takes pride of place in the programme. Set in the colourful world of a Russian fairground, the much-loved ballet follows a doomed love triangle between puppets: the tragic clown Petrouchka, the witless ballerina doll he loves, and the alpha male Moor. Sir Jon Trimmer stars as the puppet master – but the real person pulling the strings behind the scenes is the legendary choreographer Russell Kerr, who ensures this centenary production stays true to its grand heritage.