Royal New Zealand Ballet in Awards Spotlight

Tuesday 15 November 2011, 8:56AM

Royal New Zealand Ballet (RNZB) is in an awards spotlight both nationally and internationally – with a win at Saturday night’s Film & Television Awards, and a company nomination for a top international award in the 2011 UK National Dance Awards.

The behind the scenes television programme The Secret Lives of Dancers which aired on TV3, won the Best Observational Reality Series at the recent Aotearoa Film and Television Awards. Produced by Eyeworks and funded through NZ on Air, the eight-part prime time documentary captivated the public with a rare glimpse inside the workings of the RNZB.

Amanda Skoog, RNZB Managing Director, is delighted with the win.

“The programme was great fun, and the company was really pleased to be able to share what happens behind the curtain with a television audience.”

We hoped it would challenge stereotypes and give people a real insight into the dancers’ lives. We certainly feel the programme has achieved this. It’s a thorough endorsement of the talent and hard work of this remarkable company to be recognised by this award.”

RNZB has also been advised that it is a finalist in the UK’s prestigious 2011 Critics Circle National Dance Awards. The company has been nominated for the “Outstanding Company” award alongside English National Ballet, Mariinsky Ballet and Richard Alston Dance Company.

“We are absolutely blown away by this nomination,” says RNZB Managing Director, Amanda Skoog.
“We had a fantastically successful tour to the UK and France in July and getting this nod from the critics themselves is the icing on the cake.”

RNZB performed seven shows to packed audiences in Cardiff, London, Nottingham, Bradford and Sisteron during the two week tour of the triple bill From Here to There which featured Jorma Elo’s Plan to A, Andrew Simmons’ A Song in the Dark and Javier De Frutos’ Banderillero.

“Royal New Zealand Ballet is a textbook case of how a small company can defy the definitions that size usually brings,” wrote the Evening Standard.

Up-and-coming choreographer and former RNZB dancer Andrew Simmons, who was commissioned by the company to create A Song in the Dark, is also a finalist in the prestigious awards. He has been nominated in the Best Classical Choreography section.

The UK’s National Dance Awards have been organised by the Dance Section of the Critics’ Circle in each year since 2000 and they celebrate the vigour and variety of Britain’s thriving dance culture. They are the only awards given by the body of professional dance critics in the UK and bring together more than 50 dance writers and critics.

The awards will be held in London on 23 January, 2012. RNZB Managing Director, Amanda Skoog will travel to London for the Awards ceremony courtesy of Qantas.