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  Image: Rahi Rezvani. With variety being the spice of life, there was never a dull moment during the opening night of the Royal New Zealand Ballet's blistering triple bill Speed of Light at the Isaac Theatre Royal. Sure the mercury was sitting high last night, but that was nothing compared to the inferno of en-pointe perfection radiating off the stage as their triumphant trifecta of contemporary ballet classics Selon désir, In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated and Cacti (pictured) unfurled. Comprising three 30-minute sets and two intervals, Speed of Light delighted with its frenetic, fast-paced action, set to an astounding soundtrack. Minimalist staging in the first two performances, save for some genius lighting, ensured the focus was kept clearly on the ferocious talent on stage, while a few key pieces (white faced boxes, cacti, one cat and more of that genius lighting) in the finale brought performance art to dizzying new heights.Riffing on...
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You’ll never look at your garden the same after witnessing the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s glorious adaptation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The epic battle between the Fairy King Oberon (MacLean Hopper) and Queen Titania (Tonia Looker) plays out on the stunningly beautiful, magic fairy-dust sprinkled Isaac Theatre Royal stage; now a luminous, ethereal, shimmering elven landscape, courtesy of the talented Tracy Grant Lord (who also rocked some serious fairy cred with the costumes, which left many of the younger female audience pining after the butterfly-wing-delicate ensembles) kept suitably mystical by Kendall Smith’s lighting. Liam Scarlett’s seamless choreography with a youthful bent beautifully combines moments of wit with melodrama, while showcasing the stunning techniques of the talented cast en-pointe as they flit, sweep and float across the stage. Standouts include Kohei Iwamoto’s career-defining lightning in a jar performance of Puck –  as if the character had come to life...
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The Royal New Zealand Ballet seems to have a major hit on its hands after the sell-out world premiere of The Vodafone Season of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Wellington on the 20th of August – good news for Christchurch audiences with the production heading to the Isaac Theatre Royal from 27-29 August, to be accompanied by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra. The brand new ballet by 29 year old British choreographer Liam Scarlett, one of the most sought-after choreographers in the world today, seems to have won over critics and audience members alike. “The magic and delight never let up. This is an absolutely splendid production of which choreographer, Liam Scarlett and the Royal New Zealand Ballet can be justifiably proud” says dance critic Ann Hunt from the Dominion Post. “One can see why he (Scarlett) is the current wunderkind of British ballet.” Jennifer Shennan noted that “The dance rises...
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Image: Ross Brown Having recently dazzled us with their production of Don Quixote, the Royal New Zealand Ballet make their way back to the city in short order for a short season (4 performances May 28–30) of Salute,  a very special piece created in collaboration with New Zealand composers and choreographers Dwayne Bloomfield, Gareth Farr, Neil Ieremia and Andrew Simmons and the New Zealand Army Band to commemorate the centenary of the Gallipoli landings during WWI. The performance includes two world premieres, and the New Zealand Army Band will accompany the ballet live. More details are available at www.rnzb.org.nz, or jump straight into tickets for this very special showcase at Ticketek.  ...
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The Royal New Zealand Ballet goes tilting at windmills in March with the world’s favourite shaggy dog story, Don Quixote. Opening their 2015 season ‘somewhere in La Mancha’, the RNZB will perform the timeless (1605!) tale of adventure, chivalry, love and rambling that has inspired one of the greatest works in classical ballet. The RNZB’s  own production of the work is described as a fiery, flirtatious delight that combines virtuoso choreography with comic flair that is sure to appeal to all ages. The story moves along at a rapid clip as it follows dreamer Don Quixote, together with his long-suffering nephew Sancho Panza, as they nobly aid and abet lovers Kitri and Basilio in their struggles with the devious Gamache and his cohort of street dancers, Kitri’s pretentious father, and (of course) an actual shaggy dog. The spectacular dancing (choreography by Kiwi Adrian Burnett) is complemented by vivid storybook style...