The Royal New Zealand Ballet's recent tour of the UK and Europe has received unprecedented
Known for being notoriously tough, UK critics praised the RNZB's performances of the triple bill From Here to There - many noting the company punched above its weight.
"[The] Royal New Zealand ballet is a textbook case of how a small company can defy the definitions that size usually brings," wrote the Evening Standard. The RNZB performed seven shows to packed audiences in Cardiff, London, Nottingham, Bradford and Sisteron during the two week tour.
Audiences and reviewers alike particularly embraced the opportunity to see former RNZB dancer Andrew Simmons present his piece A Song in the Dark.
Critics also commended the eclectic choice of repertoire and the strength of the dancers. Many noted that when Ethan Stiefel takes over as Artistic Director in September he will find "a polished and versatile company." (The Sunday Times)
"The company is riding an all-time high, the tour was an absolute triumph," General Manager Amanda Skoog said. "To receive rave reviews from every broadsheet newspaper in London, standing ovations in packed theatres (especially the Barbican) and fabulous feedback from our fans via social media is thrilling."
There was a strong interest from local media and the RNZB featured in numerous magazine and newspaper articles, including a two page preview feature on the company in The Guardian written by matriarch dance reviewer Judith Mackrell. "Judith is the most revered of dance critics and her interest in the RNZB and New Zealand in general is extraordinarily valuable. This is our version of a Rugby World Cup win", says Skoog. The company return to the studios today in preparation for The Meridian Season of The Sleeping Beauty which opens in Wellington on 28th of October.
"These New Zealanders are more than capable of hot-blooded abandon" The Telegraph "The company look wide awake, sexy and charged" The Guardian
"All ballet companies dream of finding a genuine creative talent among their ranks, and the Royal New Zealand ballet, visiting from the farthest end of the world ballet map, have one in Andrew Simmons. The unknown name on their triple bill on this rare visit to London shows a young mind drawn naturally to grace and understated expressiveness." The Arts Desk
Plan to A, is choreographed by Jorma Elo - the 2010 winner of the prestigious Benois de la Danse prize for best choreography. Influenced by his experience of working with some of the world's most respected and ground-breaking choreographers, it will be the first time one of Elo's major works has been performed in the UK.
A Song in the Dark, is by New Zealand's own Andrew Simmons, a former RNZB company member and up-and-coming choreographer who is now based in Europe. Set to the music of Philip Glass, it is inspired by themes of love and missed opportunities.
Banderillero, is choreographed and designed by Javier De Frutos. Banderillero is the follow-
up to the Olivier Award-nominated and Critic's Circle Dance Award-winning Milagros (2004) and takes its name from the bullfighter that teases the bull.
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