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RNZB beds down for biggest production to date

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Tonia Looker as Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty
Tonia Looker as Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty

IT's the stuff dreams are made of - after three years of planning, The Meridian Season of The Sleeping Beauty is set to enchant New Zealand audiences.

Premiering in New Zealand in October, it is the Royal New Zealand Ballet's grandest production to date featuring spectacular sets, sumptuous costume design and breathtaking classical choreography.

In a coup, the company has also engaged American Ballet Theatre soloist Stella Abrera to perform the lead role of Aurora.

"We're delighted to have secured a star of Stella's calibre to perform In this spectacular production," says RNZB General Manager Amanda Skoog.

The Sleeping Beauty brings another new collaboration to the RNZB. WETA Workshop will be producing some astonishing props and masks. "To add this dimension of expertise to the production is proof of our commitment to making this the most enchanting production to date," says Skoog.

Set to Tchaikovsky's soaring score, The Sleeping Beauty tells the timeless story of young Princess Aurora who falls prey to the evil fairy Carabosse - only a kiss from a handsome prince will break the spell and ensure she can live happily ever after.

This brand-new production is the result of a three-year collaboration between choreographer and RNZB Ballet Master Greg Horsman and designer Gary Harris - who was Artistic Director of the RNZB from 2001 - 2010.

To celebrate the season, esteemed fashion accessory designer, Tamsin Cooper, has designed an exclusive Sleeping Beauty range which will be available only in theatres and online at and

NB: The season will be the first for the RNZB's new Artistic Director Ethan Stiefel. He will begin the role on September 1.

Wellington: 28-30 October & 2-5 November, St James Theatre. Featuring the Vector Wellington Orchestra. Invercargill: 8 and 9 November, Civic Theatre. Dunedin: 12 and 13 November, Regent Theatre. Palmerston North: 22 and 23 November, Regent on Broadway. Napier: 26 and 27 November, Municipal Theatre. Auckland: 30 November - 4 December, ASB Theatre, The Civic, THE EDGE. Featuring the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra. Rotorua: 7 and 8 December, Civic Theatre. Christchurch: performances scheduled for 16-19 November have been cancelled due to the earthquake.

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