October 30, 2010


One of the world’s most acclaimed dancers has been appointed Artistic Director of the Royal New Zealand Ballet.

Ethan Stiefel – currently a Principal Dancer with American Ballet Theatre (ABT) and Dean of The School of Dance at the University of North Carolina School of Arts – will take up the position next year.

Ethan Stiefel in his own words

“I am enormously appreciative and enthusiastic about having been appointed the next Artistic Director of the Royal New Zealand Ballet. Becoming RNZB’s Artistic Director provides me with an exceptional opportunity to professionally and personally evolve and to contribute to the art form I truly love. It is very encouraging to see how much the company has already achieved, the potential it possesses and how the nation embraces its national ballet company. I look forward to building on the company’s fine reputation, while seeking to be a fresh, innovative and inspiring new leader for the RNZB in any way I can.

"Both myself and my partner in life; American Ballet Theatre Principal Dancer, Gillian Murphy, are ready for this new chapter in our lives and wholeheartedly make a commitment to the new adventures and prospects it holds. Finally, I also look forward to connecting with my relatives living in New Zealand today and, being a sports enthusiast with Kiwi blood, I’m also looking forward to supporting the All Blacks!”

My basic goals are to:

* Build upon the appreciation and pride many New Zealanders already have for their Ballet company and, in turn, use that momentum to further expand audience growth and interest, through continually enhancing the quality of our work and the new innovations we will seek to nurture and promote.

* Provide opportunities for New Zealand artists to share in and contribute to the success of the RNZB.
* Foster strong RNZB relationships within the population and with cultural, creative, political and business leaders on the local and national level.
*Energetically develop and elevate the company artistically by presenting inventive and original programming that embraces both traditional and contemporary sensibilities.
* Utilize the extensive knowledge and connections my prior performing and managerial experiences have provided, so as to engage and present acclaimed artists, choreographers and repertoire that has yet to be seen in New Zealand.
* Achieve more international recognition and acclaim for the RNZB and the country, through increased off shore touring and by seeking to have a greater presence in the American market. Essentially, seek to make the RNZB a primary international ambassador of New Zealand and its inherent qualities.
* Employing a strong work ethic and passion for what I do, see that the RNZB contributes to the quality of life, imagination, culture and economic vibrancy of a nation and its identity.
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