Based in Wellington, the Royal New Zealand Ballet (RNZB) is a company of 32 dynamic dancers, performing a broad repertoire of outstanding dance for national and international audiences, whilst continuing to build a style that is unique to this company and to New Zealand. Since November 2014, the company has been under the artistic direction of the Italian dancer and choreographer Francesco Ventriglia, who assumed the role in succession to Ethan Stiefel.
Recent seasons have seen the Royal New Zealand Ballet complete three major tours in China, including Beijing, Suzhou, Guangzhou, Wuhan, Zhengzhou and three visits to the Shanghai Oriental Arts Center. Repertoire for these appearances included Giselle, in a stunning new production by Ethan Stiefel and Johan Kobborg, Prokofiev’s masterpieces Romeo and Juliet and Cinderella in vibrant modern versions by Christopher Hampson, as well as triple bill repertoire by Hampson, Javier de Frutos and Cameron McMillan.
In 2004, RNZB undertook a major six week tour of the United Kingdom, winning two prestigious Olivier Award nominations for its performances at Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London. Subsequently the company has returned to the UK on two further occasions, garnering much critical and audience acclaim, including further nominations at the Olivier and UK National Dance awards, most recently for Javier de Frutos’ Pacific-inspired work The Anatomy of a Passing Cloud.
Askonas Holt’s latest project with the Royal New Zealand Ballet saw the company give sell-out performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, in a new production by Liam Scarlett, at Hong Kong’s Sha Tin Town Hall during October 2016.