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Abigail Boyle to retire from Royal New Zealand Ballet in March

The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s principal dancer will retire from the company after 13 years, with her last appearance in Artemis Rising, a ballet created for her
February 12, 2019/6.34

Evan Li

Ross Brown

Top: Boyle in Swan Lake in 2011. Above: In a promotional image for the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s 2018 season.

The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s principal dancer, Abigail Boyle, has announced that she will retire from the company after appearing in Artemis Rising, which runs from March 1 to 9.
   Artemis Rising was created for her by choreographer Sarah Foster-Sproull, and forms part of the RNZB’s Choreographic Series.
   Raised in Wellington and Auckland, and an alumna of the International Ballet Academy in Christchurch, Boyle has been with the RNZB since 2005.
   Boyle will head into teaching as the next stage of her career, and is completing the Royal Academy of Dance Professional Dancers Postgraduate Training Certificate. She will join RNZB Education and teach open classes during the RNZB’s Black Swan, White Swan tour in May–July 2019. She will also coach privately, and teach pre-vocational and full-time students at the New Zealand School of Dance.
   In a release, Boyle said, ‘I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the audience members who appreciated my work and supported me throughout my career. It is now my turn to give back to the arts’ industry in New Zealand.’
   RNZB artistic director Patricia Barker said, ‘Abigail is an outstanding artist. Her long and rich career with the RNZB is an inspiration to dancers throughout New Zealand, and to those who may aspire to join our profession one day. I know that many New Zealanders will have special memories of seeing her onstage, and I am delighted that we are able to honour her through the creation of a new work which will encapsulate many of those memories.’
   Highlights include her starring role in The Piano: the Ballet, by Jiří and Otto Bubeníček last year, the title role in Carmen, Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, Myrtha, Queen of the Wilis, in Ethan Stiefel and Johan Kobborg’s Giselle, and created the role of Helena in Liam Scarlett’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

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