Tutus on Tour (2013)

Q Theatre, 305 Queen St, Auckland

26/10/2013 - 27/10/2013

New Plymouth Girls' High School, New Plymouth

10/11/2013 - 10/11/2013

St James Theatre 2, Wellington

23/10/2013 - 26/10/2013

Founders Theatre, Hamilton

25/10/2013 - 26/10/2013

Aurora Centre, Burnside, Christchurch

23/11/2013 - 23/11/2013

Regent Theatre, The Octagon, Dunedin

29/11/2013 - 29/11/2013

Production Details

The Royal New Zealand Ballet returns to its roots in its 60th birthday year with a 47 centre tour of heartland New Zealand.

In celebration of our rich past and lively present, we perform a selection of highlights and hits from the company’s repertory, including excerpts from Flower Festival at GenzanoIhi FrENZyThrough to YouLittle Improvisations and Don Quixote. RNZB dancers-turned-choreographers Brendan Bradshaw and Catherine Eddy create a sparkling version of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf – suitable for audiences of all ages and the perfect introduction to classical music and live dance.

A new recording of Prokofiev’s score will be made by Orchestra Wellington, complete with a special narration by Te Radar.

Running time: 91 minutes, including one interval


Cast varies - please check Royal NZ Ballet web site for cast list.

Dance ,

91 mins

A little something for everyone

Review by Hannah Molloy 30th Nov 2013

This season’s Tutus on Tour was a mixture, a mixture of styles, eras, music and energy. I think the more contemporary New Zealand choreography suited my mood this evening as Charlie from ihi FrENZy by Mark Baldwin and Through to You by Andrew Simmons were easily the pieces I wanted to drown in.

The excerpts from larger, more classical ballets left me a little uninspired, although Helio Lima was the epitome of masculine arrogance, strength and grace in the second part of the Wedding pas de deux from Don Quixote. I had been feeling faintly disappointed, wondering if Bronte Kelly’s exquisite tutu deserved more Mediterranean vitality – my qualms were thoroughly alleviated by Kelly’s and Lima’s pirouettes.

The structural simplicity of the set in the first half of the show was a perfect foil for the variety of movement. There’s something about severe but beautifully draped black and solid steel framework that fosters imagination and anticipation, which after all is what going to the ballet is all about.

The golden lighting and skin and silvery costumes in Charlie evoked an essence of Aotearoa and the discordant music of the Split Enz song folded itself around the dancers’ fluidity and perfect curves, angles and lines as they found themselves together and apart on the stage. Maree White and Loughlan Prior seemed to be in perfect harmony with each other, their bodies curving neatly around each other and the lines of graceful legs and arms more in sync than in some of the others.

During Through to You, it felt as if the audience’s breathing had slowed, as though everyone was lost in the peaceful surety of the movement. The simplicity of the costumes, the lighting and the music amplified the depth of expression in this dance and Abigail Boyle and Paul Matthews entirely deserved the whistles and cheers from the audience.

Perhaps my enjoyment of the other parts of the first half was disrupted by the incessant rustling and coughing in the audience – I’m even sure I heard a belch at one point. I’m not sure who decided it would be a good idea to sell chips and lollies before and during any performing arts show but I vote for a return to the days when you rustled your wrappers in the foyer during intermission–mingling with the crowd is an integral part of the experience anyway. Manners, people!

The second half of the show was Peter and the Wolf, an old favourite given an entirely different treatment – to any I or my guest had seen anyway. It was pretty spectacular to watch but I realised halfway through it that I hadn’t paid much attention to the actual dancing – it was really about the costumes and the narration.

The costumes were outrageously clever – the slinkiest, sauciest and ever so slightly dominatrix cat (Katherine Grange) I’ve ever seen, she could give Halle Berry a run for all her nine lives; a comic, buttercup yellow and sparkly duck (Kelly again); and the elegant bird swooping through the air (Adriana Harper). The shadow boys, (deus ex machina in black morph suits), were a touch of genius – funny, strong, graceful, and very helpful.

While my first impression was of a leprechaun (possibly not my most original observation), Te Radar was witty and smooth, working the slight technical hitch with some microphone static into his narration without a pause and eliciting much laughter from the audience. I had wondered if I would enjoy him working with the RNZB – two different worlds colliding – but it worked well.

Tutus on Tour is designed for the people of New Zealand, and, to reach an audience that large and disparate, it has to be a little of everything. It was certainly that tonight and, listening to others as we were leaving the Regent Theatre, there were many who were enthralled by different parts of the performance and that’s as it should be – imagine how dull life would be if everyone liked the same things. I applaud the RNZB for offering a little of something for everyone; it’s not an easy task.


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Cheerful and Lively new Peter and the Wolf

Review by Elizabeth O’Connor 24th Nov 2013

This round in the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s biennial national tour series commemorates sixty years of the company’s work.  It combines respectful nods to past and present, with a cheerful and lively new production of Peter and The Wolf, guaranteed to please those younger viewers who may be a little baffled by the five pas de deux which make up the first half. 

Peter and the Wolf, choreographed by Catherine Eddy and Brendan Bradshaw, is light-weight but refreshing and entertaining.  In a contemporary urban setting, a delightfully extrovert Peter (Helio Lima) weaves strands and characters from his everyday life into a dream of his favourite story.  Te Radar’s enthusiastic narrative (a little over-miked) punctuates Prokoviev’s lucid and lovely score.  The animals are a hit (my nine-year-old companion particularly enjoys the Duck) but older members of the audience appreciate the skilful efforts of “The Shadow Boys” who manipulate props and characters with unobtrusive ease.

The first half of the programme is a collection of duets which draws together the accomplishments of ballet and of the company quite simply and memorably. 

An extract from Bournonville’s The Flower Festival at Genzano, danced by Katherine Grange and Kohei Iwamoto, is a charming homage to springy and light-footed Danish ballet traditions. 

This simple courtship display is in striking contrast to the “Charlie” duet from Mark Baldwin’s Ihi Frenzy.  Here, the relationship is far more complex – erotic, tortured and dangerous.  Abigail Boyle and Dimitri Kleioris give masterful and compelling performances. 

Bronte Kelly and Helio Lima capture the playfulness and naivety of Antony Tudor’s Little Improvisations sequence – two children amusing themselves with fantasy-based games on a rainy day.  Another favourite with my young companion.

In Andrew Simmons’s Through to You, the graceful Maree White and Loughlan Prior portray a couple torn between isolation and a desire to connect.  Of all the pieces in the programme, this is the one most obviously belonging to a larger work, and I wish I could see the whole. 

The first half concludes with the bravura wedding pas de deux from Don Quixote, with choreography “after Petipa”.  Mayu Tanigaito and Arata Miyagawa bring admirable energy and just a touch of nerves to this demanding classical show-piece, its finale crammed with magnificent leaps and fouettés. 

For this matinee performance, the Aurora Centre is crowded with children, parents, grandparents and a scattering of older ballet-lovers and students.  Every item is received with warmth and often excitement.  The infectious sense of occasion augurs well for future tours by this versatile and generous company.



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Family Friendly Fun

Review by Holly Shanahan 11th Nov 2013

‘A celebration of the 60th year of the NZ Ballet’, Tutus on Tour is a family-friendly collection of company highlights alongside a new version of the popular children’s story Peter and the Wolf, in the biennial tour taking the best o’ the Royal NZ Ballet to heartland NZ.

It really is fantastic that such a company are committed to bring ballet to the grass roots communities of NZ; it is charming in itself to see this calibre of ballet in the old school hall of my hometown. It is always a chance for aspiring dancers, students and fans of dance to see the best that we produce in the country, and although I felt the numbers on the night weren’t as many as I would have liked, everyone there – from the tiny tots in tutus to the older ballet fans – left with a satisfied buzz.

The first half consists of five pas de deux showcasing a range of style and technique, with pieces from across a wide span of eras.

Flower Festival at Genzano opens the show, and unfortunately to me feels the weakest piece of the night as some focus and trust seemed to be lacking between Madeleine Graham and Arata Miyagawa. Despite this, both dancers handle the tricky style of Bournonville well.

The second pas de deux – Charlie from Mark Baldwin’s FrENzy – is an erotically charged, contemporary-slanted piece with unexpected lines and rhythms, depicting what I saw as a couple in transition. It was almost a little too sexy for some of the teenage students in the audience I’m sure! Maree White and Loughlan Prior dance with a fluid urgency, and great connection between the two make this piece really fly for me.

‘Little Improvisations’, danced by Katherine Grange and Kohei Iwamoto is delightfully light and playful. Both show great whimsy and genuine joy in dancing this piece. Katherine Grange really encapsulates the role of cheeky small girl and her work has very clear lines. Kohei Iwamoto has an effortless looking style with great elevation and clarity.

Andrew Simmon’s Through to you is the most recent piece included in the evening, and certainly the most moving. The two dancers, Mayu Tanigaito and Dimitri Kleioris, move in and out of light and dark, tangle in and out of each other, as if struggling to remain here, away, moving in and out of consciousness, sleep, death? The intensity with which they drive this piece is disarming, and Mayu Tanigaito dances with such beautiful form and easeful grace, combined with such charged choreography, that we feel everything from her, down to the fine detail in this piece.

Bronte Kelly and Helio Lima are very competent in the Wedding Pas de deux from Don Quixote, and show some beautiful technique in a demanding piece that really demands mastery. They are impressive in line and form, and Helio Lima shows some great elevation and extension.

The second half of the performance brings a new version of Peter and The Wolf which is a hit with the young ballet enthusiasts in the audience. Although slightly more panto in form than ballet, the piece is realised well, with some lovely comedic moments and touches. Kohei Iwamoto steals the show with his boyish charm as Peter, although I some of the choreography could demand more of some of the characters. Bronte Kelly as the duck is a delight, and the costumes and simple staging and set elements are a treat.

Overall, it is a great highlights package for a huge body of work over the past 60 years and great for the whole family. I hope the company continue in the tradition of taking such a great showcase of dance to the communities of NZ, and that people passionate about dance continue to support and enjoy the opportunity to be inspired and entertained by the excellent work the Royal NZ Ballet continue to offer.


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Medley of works

Review by Felicity Molloy with Emma Kemp 28th Oct 2013

Theatres are occupied by people who play a variety of roles. Emma (aged 10 years) and I had quite recently taken hold of the familiar space of Q Theatre and in our latest entry, amidst a new expectant capacity crowd, we felt as though we belonged.  

From Emma:

Thank you soooooo much for taking me to the ballet, I had such a great time. These are some things I thought about the dance.

Things I like:

  • I like their control over the dance and how they don’t wobble or show any different facial expressions when doing a balance.
  • I like the spinning, balancing on the balls of one foot using special shoes.
  • I like in one piece the lights go on and off at the beginning.
  • In some pieces you feel like the man and the woman have a great relationship.
  • I like how they smile throughout the whole piece.
  • I like that when the music speeds up the dance speeeds up.

Critical things:

I didn’t  think the pink leotard  costume for Little Improvisations was suitable. The dancer’s facial expressions didn’t seem to match the way they related to each other , and I didn’t like the way the female dancer was treating the man. 

I didn’t really like the fact that in some pieces you couldn’t tell the story.

I think kids and adults aren’t that different and they would probably think the same thing about the dance.

From Felicity:

Tutus on Tour is a way for the Royal New Zealand Ballet to bring ballet dance to a wide range of audiences. I remember another life in Impulse Dance Theatre and Limbs Dance Company days, and I don’t remember the programmes being adjusted accordingly. As Emma puts it in Critical points:  I think kids and adults aren’t that different and they would probably think the same thing about the dance.

A medley of duets commences the first half of the programme. Bournonville’s, Flowers Festival at Genzano strikes me as the beginning of an historical, with global references journey. Both Mayu Tanigaito and Kohei Iwamato dance with a requisite ballon and deft charm.

An early perplexity at the company’s decisions about programme narratives, parochialism and deeper objectives is forestalled in the second duet. The gloriously arch, camp and cool work, Charlie pas de deux from the longer ballet, Ihi FreNZy choreographed by New Zealander Mark Baldwin, is a throwaway slash of elegance. Barely costumed, Loughlin Prior plays the languid hero impeccably and his leggy, sulky woman, Maree White growls her way across and around his body.

Though culturally and choreographically secure, and danced with ease and grace by Katherine Grange and Kohei Iwamoto, the third duet is harder to rationalise. Little Improvisations, a simplistic tale of rainy weather in London and what little kids with fantastic ballet technique might do to while away the day. I am struck by the effort of a child to understand this work; see Emma’s points to this dance – see above!,

And Through to You is different. Here we see the place of ballet as divertissement in New Zealand by New Zealanders; beautifully etched dancing, intelligent couple work and lights that spark the imagination again and again.  the aesthetic contributions of lighting designer, Nigel Percy are of note here.  Abigail Boyle and her partner, Paul Mathews, through grace and effortless beauty, define each of their expressive moments as a generous and thoughtful gift. Sometimes the dancers back out of light, sometimes light captures the moment, making for a delicious dialogue within a range of intrinsic elements that make up any dance. Dancing and lighting are also in partnership with the music, Spiegel im Spiegel by Arvo Part, and this work is easily the mostly likely to have audiences feel and treasure the aesthetic memorabilia that ballet dance has to offer the world.

The final work in the first half is a pas de deux from Don Quixote, danced by Bronte Kelly and Helio Lima. Lima, though magnificently in charge of the theatrical intentions of the choreography, performs grand jetes minutely constrained by the space. Occasionally his frustration breaks open the performance ground for a potentially new offer of ballet reality inside the theatre, and even the ornate red tutu derives a sort of parodist question rather than fitting as the more obvious costume of pretense.

Funky self-made satirist, Te Radar (A J Lumsden) in a flash turquoise suit sets the scene as narrator for the second half’s panto work. Peter and the Wolf, choreographed by Catherine Eddy and Brendan Bradshaw is a tongue in cheek display with simple and fun references to the NZ Ballet Company’ own history of making work and provides multiple opportunities for the dancers to play comedic roles.  A pyjama’d Helio Lima settles in as a cheeky, precocious Peter, with lovely segues between technical display and storytelling matched by his grandmother, played by Abigail Boyle. Of particular note are the sweet and sassy duck, danced by Mayu Tanigaito, the Bird, danced by Bronte Kelly and the sexy Cat, half moggy-half Cat woman Madeleine Graham. The notion of flight is captured by two shadows, Dimitri Kleioris and Paul Mathews, and extended as a provocation to this evening’s performance. Prokoviev’s familiar music taunts us with familiar memories, of being a child at the ballet, of being in love with ballet, of being a child in the ballet, of wanting to do ballet forever.

 Touring dance around the country is important. Tutus on Tour is as much for the dancers to bust out of the eternal black boxes of rehearsal spaces, the ballet studio and maybe even the theatres, to be real people. As in the words of NZ Ballet company founder, Poul Gnatt, ballet “should truly belong to everyone”. In many ways Tutus on Tour succeeds as an introduction to the splendour and power of ballet to transport an audience out of the day to day, to ask questions about its relevance to today, and it sits well as a delicately poised rendering of a different version of culture and history, through the empathic eyes and dancing bodies of artists.



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It’s mad, it’s crazy!

Review by Dr Debbie Bright 26th Oct 2013

Congratulations RNZB on your 60th anniversary this year!

This performance is the Hamilton stopover of a tour covering 47 venues, from Kaitaia to Stewart Island, and running from 23 October to 4 December. For this biennial tour, the company divides into two mini companies – with two sets of costumes, props, scenery and transport – that travel and perform, so that all centres can be covered in the time frame. The repertoire chosen generally consists of a number of short dance works that demonstrate a wide range of styles and genres, ranging from classic divertissements to local emerging talent, chosen to appeal to both experienced and inexperienced audience members, and to be performed on small regional stages. 

The first half of this programme, reflecting the Tutus on Tour ethos, consists of five diverse pas de deux. For the second half of this 60th anniversary tour, the company offers a newly developed version of Peter and the Wolf . The two distinct halves of the programme provide a very satisfying and entertaining banquet. The adaptability and practicality of the production’s stage setting is indicated to the arriving audience by means of the open stage (no Act Drop) and a single visible spotlight which sheds a pool of yellow light on the stage floor. Yet, the easy mobility of the set should not fool the viewer into supposing that they will not see the professionalism, skill and virtuosity for which the RNZB is known both nationally and internationally. 


Flower Festival at Genzano – Choreographer: August Bournonville (1805-79)
Music: Edvard Helsted and Holger Simon Paulli  Costumes: Gary Harris  
Dancers: Katherine Grange, Kohei Iwamoto

This pas de deux is a short but satisfying taster of Bournonville’s work. According to the programme, this particular piece is offered as a tribute to the company’s Danish founder, Poul Gnatt, and also to the numerous times that the RNZB has presented Bournonville’s work over the company’s life time. In spite of the simplicity of stage set, I am drawn into the work and reminded of Danish and other European Classical Ballet traditions. I see Bournonville’s very rapid precise footwork and his (unusual for his time) insistence that both men and women have important roles in his works. Grange performs with skill and finesse the detailed footwork and quicksilver leaps demanded by the choreography, while portraying the shy demur young woman being wooed by her suitor. Iwamoto presents a strong masterful suitor who protects and guides his chosen, while performing with stunning accuracy his fast tight footwork and precise and (to use a cliché) gravity-defying leaps. 

‘Charlie’ From FrENzy – Choreography: Mark Baldwin
Music: Split Enz   Costumes: Tracy Grant Lord
Dancers: Abigail Boyle, Dimitri Kleioris

In startling contrast to the first pas de deux, Baldwin, in this 2001 work, brings together apparently disparate elements of highly skilled and articulate classical dance and the music of Split Enz. The result is that Baldwin creates a work that is demanding for performers and audience (not unlike the stage acts of Split Enz). According to the programme, the costuming was inspired by the highly distinctive visual style of Split Enz; here the contrasts and contradictions are also evident. The highly skilled, long-limbed, articulate dance offerings of both Boyle and Kleioris provide, in full, the dynamics, contrast and drama of the work. I am left with impressions of intertwining and interweaving of sinewy bodies, conflict, attraction and challenging juxtapositions. This is a case of Split Enz meets classical ballet with unexpected non-classical ballet moments. Well done, Boyle and Kleioris! 

Little Improvisations   – Choreography: Antony Tudor (1908-87)  
Music: Robert Schumann, Kinderscenen, Opus 15  Costumes:  RNZB wardrobe department. Dancewear by PW Dance & Sportswear
Dancers: Bronte Kelly, Helio Lima

This (1953) work is presented by arrangement with the Ballet Notation Bureau and the Antony Tudor Ballet Trust, and is staged and coached by Amanda McKerrow and John Gardner. In this work, I see a young man and woman, who embody the playful, quirky, sulking, affectionate and mischievous interactions reminiscent of children, adolescents and lovers. They can turn any object, even a tablecloth, into a plaything, or a symbol of something more serious. The children and adolescents are clearly being monitored by an unseen adult presence; the lovers have the last word. I gain all of these impressions from the dancing and acting skills of Kelly and Lima. These two dancers blend unerringly the demanding and witty elegance of Tudor’s movements with the rapport and relationship demanded by the roles. 

 Through to You  – Choreography: Andrew Simmons  
Music: Arvo Pärt, Spiegel im Spiegel  Costumes: Tracy Grant Lord  
Dancers: Maree White, Loughlan Prior

This 2009 dance duet is the work of an (at that time) emerging choreographer born in New Zealand but with a successful national and international career. The skillful lighting design allows the dancers to appear and disappear, to interact and to dance alone. I am left with images of long limbs intertwined and reaching, of lyricism, and a blending of sound, somberness, mystery, warmth and attraction, simple costumes, yellow lighting in shifting strips, satisfying choreography, and strong, well trained and beautiful dancing bodies. Thank you Simmons, White, Prior, Percy and others.

Wedding Pas de Deux from Don Quixote  – Choreography: After Marius Petipa
Music:  Ludwig Minkus Costumes: Original designs by Gary Harris 
Dancers: Kitri/Basilio: Mayu Tanigaito, Paul Mathews

This work blends the classicism of the original Russian take on a Spanish story with elements of modern choreography and design; nevertheless, this work retains its flavour of being among the classic divertissements offered by classical ballet companies worldwide: slow controlled and elegant pas de deux, solos and grands pas de deux that include the expected moments of virtuosity in leaps, turns, fouettés, high extensions and balances. Tanigaito and Mathews dance their hearts out and I am left with impressions of youth and experience, tentativeness and confidence, strength and vulnerability. 


Peter and the Wolf – Choreography: Catherine Eddy & Brendan Bradshaw  
Music: Sergei Prokofiev  Design: Robin Rawstorne  Orchestra: Orchestra Wellington  Narrator: Te Radar

Dancers:  Peter: Kohei Iwamoto; Sister/ Bird: Adriana Harper; Father/ Wolf: Paul Mathews; Duck: Bronte Kelly;
Cat: Katherine Grange; Grandmother: Maree White; Soldiers/ Hunters: Joseph Skelton, Helio Lima, Abigail Boyle, Arata Miyagawa; Shadow Boys: Dimitri Kleioris, Loughlan Prior

Woah, this is truly a show-stopper! As the programme states: “This is an eccentric and adventurous story that will appeal to children of all ages.” I agree!

Peter and the Wolf is an incredibly refreshing and very funny treatment of a classic children’s story of music and narration that was designed to teach children some of the key instruments in an orchestra while communicating a cautionary tale. The only element of this particular production that remains relatively unchanged is Prokofiev’s composition. The first setting of Rawstorne’s brilliant design is revealed towards the end of the interval, indicating immediately a treatment of the story outside of the usual. This set continues to intrigue and amuse as the dancers manipulate elements in unexpected ways and for unexpected uses. Te Radar’s narration is, predictably, Te Radar and New Zealand in tone; we hear of how the grandmother is “miffed”, and “nek minnit”, as tragedy strikes. Very clever and witty costuming, use of props, choreographic choices, and exaggeration in almost every aspect complete a danced story that is hilarious.  Having said that, I am not fooled into imagining that the physical danced elements are easy; they are not. Skill and control can often become more important when humour is portrayed. The virtuosity of the performers is not lost. Each of the characters appears well-cast, carrying his or her role with flair, skill and acting ability, and with a strong sense of the ridiculous. The audience is quickly loosened into giggling and freely laughing.  The shadow boys and soldier/ hunters are applauded as loudly as the key characters at the conclusion. It’s mad, it’s  crazy, I love it! 

For more production details, click on the title above. Go to Homepage to see other Reviews, recent Comments and Forum postings (under Chat Back), and News.


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Smorgasbord of short extracts

Review by Deirdre Tarrant 25th Oct 2013

The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s Tutus on Tour splits the company to tour smaller towns and venues throughout the country. It’s a tradition. This year will see  them in 47 towns from Kaitaia to Stewart Island in the next six weeks.

Tutus on Tour ends a very successful year celebrating the 60th birthday of the Royal New Zealand Ballet. Presenting something old and something new, something borrowed and something blue, the company shares roles in a smorgasbord of works.

It is lovely to see the classical touchstone pieces Flower Festival at Genzano and the Don Quixote Wedding pas de Deux as the bookends for a series of divertissements. Mayu Tanigaito and Kohei Iwamoto deliver the Bournonville ballon, precision and charm in the first, and this is a fitting acknowledgement of Poul Gnatt, founder of the company that has become our national ballet and his lasting Danish heritage. Bronte Kelly and Helio Lima are competent  in the demanding Don Quixote but still need to find the bravadura, style and scintillating technical mastery that brings audiences to their feet and is so integral to this most famous of duets.

Between these two classical showpieces are three duets from eras that span the time line of 60 years. Anthony Tudor is not a choreographer we have seen much repertoire from in New Zealand (I think Lilac Garden was staged some years ago?)but Katherine Grange and Kohei Iwamoto make Tudor’s Little Improvisations (1953) look effortless, and these vignettes bring a quiet smile as a range of uses for a swathe of blue material are invented and the intricacies of love and nostalgia are expressed.

The music of Split Enz and their heartland New Zealand song ‘Charlie’ sets the scene for a duet from  FrENzy (2001). Unexpected angles and rhythms, and broken lines tilted at in a contemporary style feature in this work by Mark Baldwin. Lifted out of the original work, this excerpt struggles to find a strong voice, although Maree White and Loughlin Prior bring a sense of playfulness that speaks of a transitory relationship they both are enjoying ‘for the moment’. 

Andrew Simmons’ Through to you is the most recently made work (2009) and is strongly danced with line and control by Abigail Boyle and Paul Mathews. Again, lifting this from the full work does not work for me and the lighting seems somehow not as effective as I recall the original being. Figures fade in and out of our consciousness and are often in shadow as they join and part. Perhaps this dissatisfaction and elusiveness are part of the intention, but here there is also a sustained quality and aesthetic beauty that and out.

Prokoviev’s music for Peter and the Wolf sees Orchestra Wellington take the musical reins in a new concept and choreography by Catherine Eddy and Brendan Bradshaw. Design by Robin Rawstorne sets us in a children’s bedroom where Peter – beautifully danced by Kohei Iwamoto – takes us on his fantasy journey to catch the wolf. Fun touches are the toy soldiers of Peter’s game reappearing as the Hunters in delightful canon and military movements, and a very energetic duck (Bronte Kelly) ruffling its feathers from the safety of the pond. Te Radar relishes narrating with some appropriate new zild-isms added in, and has a very effective onstage presence as he tells the story. Accessible and a little predictable this is never the less an entertaining and quirky rendition of a perennial favourite.

The evening, dance wise, belongs to Kohei Iwamoto who dances in three of the six works and constantly draws the eye for his command, interpretation and clarity. 

Three casts share the roles for this programme and audiences throughout the country will welcome their visit to realise and continue the tradition of the Royal New Zealand Ballet company to ” truly belong to everyone” Travel safe.


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