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Something for everyone at the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s Tower Tutus on Tour

Filed by Jack Yan/October 24, 2013/10.56

The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s Tower Tutus on Tour, which débuted at the St James Theatre in Wellington last night, offers something for everyone—especially younger ballet-goers, who will enjoy the second half.
   As the intent of Tutus on Tour is to showcase the RNZB in different centres, especially those that might not have had a chance to experience New Zealand’s world-class ballet company first-hand, there is a simple set, with five vignettes in the first half.
   Flower Festival at Genzano, ‘Charlie’ from Frenzy, Little Improvisations, Through to You and the wedding pas de deux from Don Quixote form the first, with the second ballet the highlight. Set to Split Enz’s ‘Charlie’ and danced by Maree White and Loughlan Prior on the first night, the contemporary routine was choreographed by Mark Baldwin, and impressed with the style and movement shifting naturally.
   The pas de deux from Don Quixote was the other “grown-up” highlight, with leaps and fouettés concluding the first half.
   The second half is definitely for the younger audience. Peter and the Wolf, narrated by Te Radar, is more literal, and in case an audience member couldn’t work out the interpretation, the narrator stepped in to explain what was going on. There were humorous moments for adults, too—watch for the wolf attack on the duck—and the audience was definitely entertained by a different, modern take on the Prokofiev ballet, choreographed by Catherine Eddy and Brendan Bradshaw.
   Tutus on Tour succeeds in its aim of sharing the Royal New Zealand Ballet with the country—as is its intent. There are 46 centres to go after Wellington, with the tour concluding December 5. More details are at the RNZB’s website, with prices starting at NZ$25.—Jack Yan, Publisher

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