Breathe: A celebration of song and dance in aid of Cystic Fibrosis

Te Papa: Soundings, Wellington

07/07/2012 - 08/07/2012

Production Details

Breathe: A celebration of song and dance in aid of Cystic Fibrosis

Five years ago, Royal New Zealand ballet dancer, Medhi Angot, was so inspired after meeting a young girl with Cystic Fibrosis that he became determined to help fight against this heartbreaking disease. 

Five years on and he has set the stage for two incredible gala performances to raise funds for the Cystic Fibrosis Association of New Zealand.  

Breathe: A celebration of song and dance in aid of Cystic Fibrosis will be performed on Saturday 7 July, 7.30pm and Sunday 8 July, 2.30pm at TE PAPA’S Soundings Theatre.

Medhi has gathered together contemporaries from the Royal New Zealand Ballet including The Secret Lives of Dancers stars Lucy Green, Jaered Glavin and Lucy Balfour. Alongside the dancers are Wellington’s top musical theatre performers including Ivy Padilla who starred as Kim in the 2010 production of Miss Saigon at the St James Theatre.

Although Medhi has independently put the show together, he has received full encouragement and support from the Royal New Zealand Ballet.

Its General Manager, Amanda Skoog, says,  One of the great rewards of my job is to see dancers grow, both as artists and as individuals, and so I am very proud that this group of dancers have shown the initiative and the generosity to see this independent project become a reality.

 CEO of the Cystic Fibrosis Association, Kate Russell says, “we’re delighted to be the recipient charity for this wonderful celebration. This event is a true testament of how a small group of individuals who have a passion for a cause can create something very special to raise funds. But this takes determination, generosity and lots of time and we are so grateful to all the incredible artists who have given us their time, their talent and their hearts.”

Tickets are available now from

For further media enquiries or to arrange an interview please contact Glenn Horsfall on 021 116 7364.

Dancers:  Jaered Glavin, Antonia Hewitt, Lucy Balfour, Dimitri Kleioris, Ginny Gan, Qi Huan and Lucy Green;

Singers:  Ivy Padilla, Jody McCartney and Glenn Horsfall;

Accompanist :  Sue Windsor

Stage Manager : Charlotte Gordon

Lighting & Sound: Ellis Thorpe;

Photographer : Stephen A’ Court

Graphic Designer : Danica Prowse;

Other: The Royal New Zealand Ballet; Greg Horsman;Tonia Looker; Abigail Boyle; and Kate Marshall.

90 mins

A sublime and special fundraising event

Review by Lyne Pringle 10th Jul 2012

Artists from the Royal New Zealand Ballet join forces with Musical Theatre singers and the Cystic Fibrosis Association to present Breathe at the Soundings Theatre in Te Papa. This was a special concert. The dancers were sublime. It is a rare treat to see the great pas de deux from the classical ballet canon clustered together, and it is a rare treat to see them performed so beautifully in such an intimate setting.  They were interspersed with two contemporary ballet duets and musical interludes.  

The project is the brainchild of Medhi Agnot and he is ably assisted by his partner Glenn Horsfall to bring it to fruition alongside Caroline Wagteveld McKenzie from the Cystic Fibrosis Association of New Zealand. Horsfall and Agnot perform with stature and grace throughout the evening.

The pas de deux from Sleeping Beauty is one of my favourite pieces of music; soaring, romantic, surging and swelling – a perfect expression of romantic love. The marriage of Pyotr Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa has an enduring perfection which is matched by the precise dancing and partnering of Ginny Gan and Jaered Glavin. The triple fish dive sequence is seamlessly executed.

The Bayadére Pas de Deux danced by Lucy Green and Medhi Angot shows off their wonderful ballon and technique. They sparkle with excellence and make a fantastic couple with seductive glances, lovely turns and needle-like jêtes .

Aprés La Pluie is a contemporary piece danced by Lucy Balfour and Dimitri Kleioris, with choreography by Pierre Doncq and music by René Aubry. The work exploits their sinuous strength and athleticism in choreography depicting the nuances of a partnership struggling to find communication. With flung movements that drip duende, the two dancers embrace the physicality of this piece.

Corsaire Pas de Deux is danced by Antonia Hewitt and Qi Huan, choreographed by Petipa, who features largely in the programme, to music by Leon Minkus. It is breath-taking and exquisitely executed with tenderness and musicality. The very famous solos are whipped off with great virtuosity.

Through to You another contemporary piece danced by Antonia Hewitt and Jaered Glavin is choreographed by Andrew Simmons to enduring music by Arvo Part: a favourite of choreographers, this interpretation is sublime, both choreographically and performatively. Circular movements match the swirling music as the dance builds to a climax of tenderness and yearning as the dancers walk side by side away from us to finish – together/alone in love.

Ginny Gan epitomizes the doomed swan in the White Swan Pas de Deux and Qi Huan is her perfect Prince. These classical pas de deux have such clearly defined male and female roles, both have strength, the male lifts and displays the woman allowing the woman to create exquisite arabesques and poses with liquid expressive arms. In this very famous variation Gan and Huan are wonderful; Huan is statuesque and noble whilst Gan has extraordinary extension and fluidity – a beautiful partnership.

The last dance item on the programme is also stunning; Lucy Green and Medhi Angot dance the Don Quixote Pas de Deux. Again their dynamic chemistry is on display. Green whips her way through the fan variation with fiery passion, fantastic fouettes and pointe work that sizzles whilst Angot leaps and whirls, commanding the stage with his skill.

It is a darn good idea to have an evening of dance pas de deux  – and a privilege to attend.

Having cystic fibrosis is likened to spending life breathing through a straw :  as the performers sing and move we sense their breath, artistry and skill. It is a brilliant and generous contribution of their vitality for this fund-raising venture, breathing life into a ‘small charity with a big heart’. Performers and organisers all deserve congratulations and the fully deserved standing ovation as the cover girl for the project, Eva, is held aloft by Medhi Angot and Jaered Glavin.

It is great to see art being used for community good: deeply heart-warming.


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