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Don Quixote opens the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s 2015 season


February 3, 2015/2.35

Ross Brown

The Royal New Zealand Ballet opens its 2015 season in March with Don Quixote, marking its first production under the company’s new artistic director Francesco Ventriglia.
   The sets and costumes have been conceived by former artistic director and designer Gary Harris, whose prior work for the RNZB included The Nutcracker and The Sleeping Beauty, with choreography by Adrian Burnett after Marius Petipa.
   This version of the classic ballet, set in Barcelona, was first seen at the end of 2008 and is known as a vibrant, effervescent take, set to the music of Ludwig Minkus, conducted by Nigel Gaynor. Sir Jon Trimmer had the lead role in the earlier production.
   Ventriglia said in a release, ‘I’m very happy that in my first season I can push our young talented dancers to rise to the challenge that this ballet presents to combine brilliant balletic technique with the great acting ability. The dancers have a superb story to tell and they will give it their all.’
   The story follows the ageing Don Quixote and his young nephew Sancho, as they aid the two lovers, the beautiful Kitri and the penniless Basilio, while dealing with the villainous Gamache, and Kitri’s pretentious father.
   Don Quixote opens at the St James Theatre in Wellington on March 4, touring until April 1 to Christchurch, Invercargill, Dunedin, Auckland and Palmerston North. More details can be found at
   The following season sees Salute, a collaboration between the Royal New Zealand Ballet, the New Zealand Army Band, and Dwayne Bloomfield, Gareth Farr, Neil Ieremia and Andrew Simmons, commemorating the centenary of World War I.

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