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Event: RNZ Ballet cancel Venus Rising


The Royal New Zealand Ballet (RNZB) will be one of the first ballet companies in the world to rise from the artistic decimation of the global pandemic and return to the stage with an audience, come 20 August.

Four extraordinary works created by four formidable and internationally renowned choreographers make up the powerful and vibrant programme. Each captures the spirit of Venus – the brightest of stars, and herald of the dusk and the dawn. A sacred goddess of love, beauty and victory over adversity.

Twyla Tharp is one of the world’s greatest living choreographers. In Waterbaby Bagatelles, 27 dancers leap and spin across the stage in an ever-changing ocean of light; the music flowing seamlessly as groups of dancers sparkle and glow.

Meditative and moving, Alice Topp’s award-winning Aurum is inspired by the Japanese art of kintsugi, the practice of mending cracks in precious ceramics with gold, creating a new whole which celebrates the beauty of the broken. Topp, while an Australian, started her career dancing with the RNZB.

Venus Rising is completed by two works by leading choreographers whose earlier works for the company have been hailed by audiences and cherished by dancers.

The acclaimed recent commission by Andrea Schermoly, Within Without, has been described as having “a language that is complex, subtle…and candid”. The New Zealand premiere of this commanding work by the sought-after South African choreographer who works across both ballet and film/TV will deliver a piece in which overcoming pain becomes a thing of immense beauty.

Finally, one of New Zealand’s foremost choreographers Sarah Foster-Sproull, the RNZB’s Choreographer in Residence for 2020/21, will create her third work for the company, Ultra Folly, which has been inspired by Antonio Vivaldi’s Baroque La Folia.

“The pleasure of returning to the stage in Venus Rising could not be more joyous for our dancers, choreographers, stagers, and for the organisation. We embrace the feeling of a butterfly emerging from a cocoon spreading its wings to fly.

“The four works on this monumental occasion capture and embody unique stories about rising from pain and being a lifeline to those in need. The Royal New Zealand Ballet is proud to join New Zealand in leading the world back to what makes us human,” says RNZB Artistic Director Patricia Barker.

With four challenging works on the programme, all of the RNZB’s dancers will have the chance to shine. This includes both established soloists and principals such as Sara Garbowski, Paul Mathews, Joseph Skelton and Katherine Minor, as well as recently arrived artists Ana Gallardo Lobaina and Levi Teachout.

The national tour of Venus Rising commences 20 August in Wellington and concludes on 19 September in Auckland, stopping at Christchurch, Dunedin, Palmerston North and Napier along the way.

Tickets are on sale from 3 July.

NOTE – Copy for this article supplied by Royal New Zealand Ballet

Venus Rising performances

Wellington | 20 to 22 August | Opera House
Christchurch | 28 & 29 August | Isaac Theatre Royal
Dunedin | 5 September | Regent Theatre
Palmerston North | 9 September | Regent on Broadway
Napier | 12 & 13 September | Municipal Theatre
Auckland | 17 to 19 September | Kiri Te Kanawa Theatre, Aotea Centre

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