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Ballet tours US for first time in 21 yrs

Saturday 25 Jan 2014 11:55 a.m.

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It's not only the Royal New Zealand Ballet's first trip to the US in 21 years, it's a homecoming.

New Zealand's national ballet company will be pirouetting around the US from the end of January, opening its tour of Giselle in Los Angeles at the LA Music Centre where the Academy Awards were held until the late 1990s.

The company will continue its one-month tour in Santa Barbara and Minneapolis, finishing in New York.

The troupe will perform the ballet Giselle, which is co-produced by artistic director Ethan Stiefel, and other works by both New Zealand and international choreographers.

Stiefel spent much of his career as a principal dancer in New York with the American Ballet Theatre before joining RNZB in 2012 as artistic director.

"I look forward to returning to my homeland as the artistic director of the RNZB and having the opportunity to remain connected with American audiences in this different capacity."

It's also a homecoming for his wife Gillian Murphy, who will be making her American debut as Giselle with the RNZB in Santa Barbara and LA.

Several performances in New York are already booked out, says RNZB managing director Amanda Skoog.

"Being invited to perform at these prestigious venues, as part of their seasons, is a testament to the abilities, talents and reputation of our ballet company."

Dunedin-based fashion designer Tamsin Cooper will also join the company at the end of its tour in New York where she will launch her clothing and accessory range to the US.


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