November 5, 2010

Former Royal New Zealand Ballet Artistic Director Matz Skoog will return to the helm of the company as acting Artistic Director for eight months next year.
Existing commitments mean newly appointed Artistic Director Ethan Stiefel cannot begin his term until September next year so Skoog will return to the RNZB to oversee the company’s TOWER Tutus on Tour and the Stravinsky Triple Bill seasons.
Skoog has a long history with the RNZB and was the right person to lead the company until Stiefel takes up the reins, said RNZB Board Chair Anne Blackburn.
“It was important to us that the company wasn’t rudderless for two seasons and Matz, who is married to RNZB General Manager Amanda Skoog, knows the company inside out so we’re delighted he has agreed to return,” Blackburn said. “Ethan Stiefel is well-aware of Matz’ international reputation and also his familiarity with the RNZB and so the board made this appointment at his recommendation.”
Artistic Director of the RNZB from 1996 – 2001 and English National Ballet from 2001 – 2005, Skoog currently works internationally as a dance teacher with some of the most renowned ballet companies in the world including The Royal Swedish Ballet, Netherlands Dance Theatre, The Australian Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, National Ballet of Canada and the National Ballet School of Canada. 
Currently teaching with The Royal Swedish Ballet, Skoog said he was looking forward to returning to the RNZB in January 2011. “We’ve got two fantastic seasons of dance lined-up. TOWER Tutus on Tour continues to be an iconic RNZB tradition and the Stravinsky triple bill season includes Petrouchka which we last did in 1997 when I was with the company.“
Current Artistic Director Gary Harris leaves New Zealand at the end of December.
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