Monday, 25 May 2015

The All Blacks of the Art World are coming to Leeds

On the 3 and 4 Nov 2015 the Royal New Zealand Ballet will dance in the Stanley and Audrey Burton Theatre in Leeds. A visit by a national ballet company is a great compliment to Yorkshire especially as the dancers are coming to Leeds before touring High Wycombe, Canterbury and London.

The New Zealanders are bringing two works to this country:
  • Giselle which the inimitable Adult Beginner reviewed in This is what happens when you don’t read the plot synopsis 3 Feb 2014 and Giselle 8 Feb 2014 when they visited Los Angeles last year; and
  • The Anatomy of a Passing Cloud, a mixed bill consisting of Javier de Frutos's ballet of that name, Andonis Foniadakis's Selon Desir and Neil Ieremia's Passchendaele.
The last of those works is to mark the centenary of the First Word War and New Zealand's participation in that conflict and honours the mant New Zealand troops who fell in Passchendaele. The company has performed that ballet with the band of the New Zealand army as part of Salute a tribute to that nation's war dead.

The company will dance Giselle in Wycombe and Canterbury and The Anatomy of a Passing Cloud in Leeds and London. I don't know whether it is a coincidence but the Maori name for New Zealand is Aotearoa which translates literally as the "land of the long white cloud".

I visited that beautiful country in February 1992 and travelled everywhere from Cape Reinga in the North to Bluff in the South. I saw a great performance of The Mikado in the Aotoa Centre in Auckland. Equally remarkable was the sight of two young women meeting on a pedestrian crossing in Wellington Street Auckland and two lines of traffic at 18:00 at the height of the rush hour waiting patiently for them to finish their conversation. Not a single motorist hooted his horn. I do hope the New Zealand dancers don't try to do that in Wellington Street in Leeds. Our motorists just wouldn't understand.

I am no expert on rugby but I believe that the All Blacks are one of the best national sides in the world.  If the Royal New Zealand Ballet aspires to be the All Blacks of the art world I think we are in for a treat.

Post Script

@tweeting_nik who lives in New Zealand has just tweeted
I responded to her tweet as follows:

Nik has just pointed out that the mixed bill will also include "Dear Horizon" which has recently been premièred in  New Zealand.

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