SWAN LAKE - Russian National Ballet Theatre

Opera House, Wellington

18/08/2015 - 19/08/2015

Regent Theatre, The Octagon, Dunedin

28/08/2015 - 29/08/2015

Bruce Mason Centre, Takapuna, Auckland

10/08/2015 - 11/08/2015

Municipal Theatre, Napier

16/08/2015 - 16/08/2015

Production Details

Swan Lake

Beautiful full length performances of one of the most cherished classical ballets of all time.

The Russian National Ballet Theatre was founded withsupport of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation. The basis for the creation of the theatre wasnecessity of promising young theatre with high creative potential, both the classical and contemporary. For aim and objective serves motto: “The talent and dedication to service to art”.

Today, the Russian National Ballet Theatre is located on a creative upswing. With more than 50 ballet dancers, The Russian National Ballet Theatre will give Russian ballet a new lease of life and will commence a New Zealand and Australian tour from August 2015.

The Sleeping Beauty has a special place in The Russian National Ballet Theatre’s repertoire. One of the most lavish theatrical events of all time, theoriginal St Petersburg staging of The Sleeping Beauty in 1890 was a spectacular illustration of the Russian Imperial style at its zenith. Today it remains the cornerstone of The Russian National Ballet Theatre’s repertory.

The Artistic director of the theatre is an honored artist of Russia, Evgeny Amosov. The coach of the company is Evgenya Rytova. The basic principle of the theatre is to preserve the creative heritage of the great masters of Russian ballet and to search for new forms in choreography. With its huge cast, fairytale settings and glorious Tchaikovsky score The Sleeping Beauty remains the very essence of classical grandeur. This version has all the elements of an enduring fairy tale: romance, poetry, fate, goodness versus evil, and of course, love!

In recent years, the company has repeatedly visited on tours many countries such as USA, China, Italy, France, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Guatemala, Poland, South Korea and Japan. Nowadays, The Russian National Ballet Theatre land ceremoniously in over 15 cities in New Zealand and more than 30 cities in Australia. They will enthrall audiences in a greatest classic

>Running Time
2 hours 30 minutes
Times are approximate

Ticket Prices
Adult$79.00*, Senior$69.00*, Child/Senior$59.00*, Group 10+$69.00*
Family 2 Adult + 2 Child$59.00*
*Service fees apply


Auckland – Auckland Bruce Mason Centre

Dates: Monday10 August, Tuesday 11 August & Wednesday 12 August at 7.30pm

Tickets: Adult $79.00*, Senior $69.00*, Child/Senior $59.00*, Group 10+ $69.00*, Family 2 Adult + 2 Child $59.00*

*Service fees apply

Bookings: http://aucklandlive.co.nz/Home.aspxor 0800 111 999


Rotorua – Rotorua Civic Theatre

Dates: Friday 14 August & Saturday 15 August at 7.30pm

Tickets: Adult $69.00, Student $49.00, Senior $59.00, Groups (8+) $59.00, Family of 4 (2 Adults + 2 Children) $196.00

Booking and credit card fees may apply.

Bookings: http://www.eventsandvenues.co.nz/


Napier – Napier Municipal Council

Dates: Sunday 16 August at7.30pm

Tickets: Adult $79.00, Child (14 years and under) $59.00, Concession (65+ & Unwaged with ID)       $69.00

Student (with valid ID) $69.00, Family (2 Adults and 2 Children) (Admits 4)  $236.00

Bookings: http://premier.ticketek.co.nz/


Wellington – The Opera House

Dates: Tuesday 18 August & Wednesday 19 August at 7pm

Tickets: Adult $79.00, Child (14 years and under) $59.00, Concession (65+ & Unwaged with ID)  $69.00

Student (with valid ID) $69.00, Family (2 Adults and 2 Children) (Admits 4)  $236.00

Bookings: http://premier.ticketek.co.nz/


Hamilton – Founders Theatre

Dates: Friday 21 August at 7.30pm &Saturday 22 August at 2.30pm

Tickets: Adult $79.00, Senior 65+ $69.00, Student with Valid ID $69.00, Child 14 years and under $59.00
Family 4 (2 adult, 2 children) (Admits 4) $236.00

Bookings: http://www.hamiltontheatres.co.nz/


Ashburton – Trust Event Centre

Dates: Monday 24 August & Tuesday 25 August at7.30pm

Tickets: Adult $71, Senior $61, Child/Student $51, Group10+ $61ea, Family 2A+2C $51ea (cc fees apply)

Bookings: http://ateventcentre.co.nz/http://www.ticketdirect.co.nz/


Oamaru – Oamaru Opera House

Dates: Wednesday 26 August & Thursday 27 August at 7.30pm

Tickets: Adult $69, Senior/Student $59, Child $49, Group Booking $59, Family Pass $49 each (Adults 2 Children)

Bookings: http://www.oamaruoperahouse.co.nz/


Dunedin – The Regent Theatre

Dates: Friday 28 August & Saturday 29 August at7.30pm

Tickets: Adult $75, Child $59, Senior/Student $69, Family price (2 adults / 2 children) $236.00

Bookings: http://www.regenttheatre.co.nz/


Invercargill – Civic Theatre

Dates: Sunday 30 August at 7.30pm

Tickets: Adult: $79, Senior $69, Child $59

Bookings: http://icc.govt.nz/or (03) 211 1692


Kaitaia – Te Ahu Centre

Dates: Tuesday 1 September at 7.30pm

Bookings: http://www.teahu.org.nz/


Kerikeri – John Dalton Theatre

Dates: Wednesday 2 September at 7.30pm

Tickets: Adult $69.00, Sen Citz/Groups 8+$59.00, Students (18 yrs & under)/Children; $49.00

Bookings: http://www.turnercentre.co.nz/


Whangarei – Te Kotahitanga Expo Hall

Dates: Thursday 3 September at 7.30pm

Tickets: Adults $69.00, Student & Children (5 years & over) $49.00, Seniors & Group 8+ $59.00, Family (2 adults & 1 child) $196.00

Bookings: http://www.venuesandeventswhangarei.co.nz/Pages/default.aspx


Wanganui – Royal Wanganui Opera House

Dates: Saturday 5 September & Sunday 6 September at 7.40pm

Tickets: Adult $69, Senior $59, Student $49

Bookings: http://www.royaloperahouse.co.nz/


Hamilton Founders Theatre

Dates: Monday 7 September at 7.30pm

Bookings: http://www.hamiltontheatres.co.nz/


Masterton Town Hall

Dates: Wednesday 9 September & Thursday 10 September at 7.30pm

Bookings: http://www.aucklandlive.co.nz/Home.aspx


Wellington – The Opera House

Dates: Friday 11 September at 7.30pm

Tickets: Adult $80.50, Child – 3-14 years $60.50, Concession – Senior $70.50, Student with I.D, $60.50,
Family – 2 Adults & 2 Children (Admits 4) $242.00

Bookings: http://premier.ticketek.co.nz/


Palmerston North

Regent On Broadway Theatre

Dates: Saturday 12 September & Sunday 13 September at 7.30pm

Tickets: Adult $79.00, Child $59.00 16 years & under, Student $59.00, Senior $69.00
Group $69.0, Groups of 8+, Family $236.00 (2 Adults 2 Child)

Bookings:  http://www.regent.co.nz/


New Plymouth

The TSB Theatre

Dates: Tuesday 15 September & Wednesday 16 September at 7.30pm

Tickets: Adult $79.00, Child $59.00, Group 8+/Concession $69.00,
Family Price (Per-person, 2x Adult & 2x Child) $59.00

Bookings: http://www.tsbshowplace.co.nz/




A Russian thing?

Review by Kim Buckley 17th Aug 2015

It was Sunday night. The weather was cold and wet. The patrons were elderly. The Napier Municipal Theatre was only quarter full. I sat down with a sense of bewilderment, wondering where everyone was. Maybe it was the Magpie’s rugby game keeping everybody away? No replied one of the younger patrons over my shoulder. We’ve been there, gone home for dinner, and now we are here she said.

When I collected my tickets from the box office, I had been told there were no programs or program notes because they’d not been given any from the Company. Then over the loud speaker, the Theatre patrons were all informed there were no programs because they had sold out along the way on the National tour. I looked at the flyer… they had only performed twice previously and still had thirteen shows to go!

With thoughts of the glorious Royal New Zealand Ballet’s Swan Lake production I had seen about a decade ago, I was excited imagining how the Russians would do it. I’ve never seen Russian Ballet, I assumed we would be privy to another glorious rendition of the story. I was very interested to see the Russian technique, what would distinguish the way they used their beautifully trained bodies and feet, displaying the majesty of European choreography and set design.

The costumes were detailed and beautiful. The scenery was gorgeously profiled and lake netting was stunning in its rendition. The curtain lifted on Scene Three and it was a sight to behold, with the swans, the netting, the lake, the mist… but then the dancing started. There were legs and heads everywhere.

Odette, Benno, Prince Siegfried, and one male corps de ballet dancer with green tights in the ballroom scene, saved the day with their energy, stage presence, and a level of technique that one would expect from an international touring company. Overall though, everything was quiet, dull, drab, and toned down. I wondered if perhaps, our Napier stage was too small for this production, with the dancers having to squeeze their movement into a smaller space than choreographed. Maybe this was a ballet built for a bigger stage?

Much of the movement from the corps de ballet was unfulfilled, and unbalanced. The dancers seemed tired and unenthusiastic. Von Rothbart had an evil face, but the rest of his character and stage presence was small, as his character tried, unsatisfactorily, to be evil by flapping his arms about. I’m sure the dance’s in this company performing this choreography, all work very hard and all have exquisite training. As I sat there, I wondered if this was the best they could do..?

I was disappointed.

I’m not one to clock-watch during a performance. I like to have the story unfold before me, to meander and journey along with the performers, exchanging energy with them, uplifting them with a return of pleasure. But I did look at the time, and sighed realising there was still half an hour to go.

The bows they took were outstanding. Our audience tried very hard to sustain a level of  the applause that seemed to be required, with three or four bows after every solo. I said to my friend sitting next to me, who is European, “Maybe it’s a Russian thing.”


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Being Russian - Swan Lake

Review by Jack Gray 11th Aug 2015

“Would you want to go to Russia?” said my friend as we were driving home in the rain. I paused, unsure and thought about recent behaviour of the Russian government, imagined snow and vodka and said, “I’m not sure if I’m a ‘Europe’ kind of guy? Hmmm perhaps I could do Japan?”

Earlier that night, I had been transfixed in a ghostly green light, with flittering white swans as the prima ballerinas of the Russian National Ballet Theatre performed the world famous Swan Lake.

I leapt (literally) at the opportunity to see this performance, having seen one of the most beautiful renditions of Swan Lake by the Royal New Zealand Ballet probably a decade ago, I was desperate to see this famous ballet again. To see if being ‘Russian’ made it better, to see the origin of the form itself.

When I was at high school and dreaming of being a world class flautist – I made a class project where I emerald-sequined the font of my heading: “Tchaikovsky”. I have always had a love affair with him and his sugar plum fairies, roaming the frontier of the 1812 overture in all its passionate glory.

History, whakapapa, genealogy, links that run through are the things that like a distillery, leave potent punches. In this presentation of Swan Lake, I was left more decidedly in Takapuna than in Leningrad. I was even moved to note that Takapuna was like a “rich, white, Henderson”.

Let these reflections not prick the sensitive skin of our nationalism, discarded as mere passing thoughts, falling like gentle rocks of ice.On our way home we also saw a family who had actually stopped and made a “snow man” on the side of the road, such was the cold wet, mid-winterness of it all.

The theatre is perhaps half full, which reminds me that New Zealand has not that many people. I note to my friend “There’s more people on a New York subway train than in this theatre.”

These thoughts I suppose have another relevance, as a choreographer myself, I wonder about how we bring people to experience the theatre. How apparently I am the only brown person in all of Takapuna to come (and I came because it was my job). I wonder about these events, accessibility and attraction.

Tickets are a hefty $80 a pop ($79 for the elderly — who let’s face it, are out in force tonight),and  I see the theatre becomes a bit out of reach to the masses. Whether or not this is the point of it all, is just a question I ask. It is important to ask. This is New Zealand after all.

So the show, well I personally have never loved the First Act. The ballroom set up of Prince Siegfried, is like vicariously watching someone else’s party. I think about these conventions, the muted red curtain (I prefer the curtain more blood red), the overture (on a really bad sound system) and how much more dramatic these effects could be (and have been).

I see the tights, men in tights, lots of buns and bulges. How is this even a thing anymore?  And the ballerinas in their tutus, pretty except when we see their undies. Surely someone can find ways to deal with the undies while the women are being spun around?

I want to spare a word for the ensemble, corps de ballet. I think they are the absolute unsung heroes/heroines. It’s an amazing thing to watch them pose, stand, fill space, be accommodating. I think about how they might be secretly envious. I wonder if the cast performing is even the first choice. Is this the best they can do?

I think about the Royal New Zealand Ballet and how they have a kiwi feistiness in their dance. I think about kapa haka and any other indigenous, cultural dance form, and think how everything is always about the exchange of energy.

This group have another particular type of aura. At first I see it as “effortless” and “subtle”. I don’t mind these qualities, in fact, it’s rather refreshing. I am curious about the lack of emotional expression in the face, and the austerity of the whole proceedings. I think that this is probably very “Russian” and then imagine the folk traditions, and wonder who is drinking the vodka and having fun around here?

I really love the second act. We really come to see the Swans. The swans are gorgeous, it’s hard to get it wrong. The cygnet dance, makes us feel very “cultured”. Like going to see the Mona Lisa at the Louvre (which I never have — but I did eat French fries on the Eiffel Tower just to be subversive).

The rest of it is a mixture of blurry, endless green tinged, moonlit scenes — not quite a swig of absinthe but more moody, permeating. There is a flappy black swan character that feels a little caricatured. There is a deliberately managed pace, telling to story in its own particular duration, that perhaps also is very contrary to the speed of today’s younger generations. During each interlude, cellphones pop out all over the audience little glowing consoles, and lots of talking.

Taking breaks in this 2 hour plus extravaganza is necessary. What isn’t is $10 for two ice creams!

I say to my friend that I feel that we have lost a type of elegance in the way we perceive things these days, and we are so used to (through social media and everything else) to being conditioned to having a say. In this case, the audience experience is all about sitting back and seeing the story unfold. So a classical tale, performed in a classic way. Of everything, I loved the way they bowed.

I wonder what the Russians thought of us.


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