Royal New Zealand Ballet Has an All-Female Line-Up

It’s fitting that New Zealand, the first country to give women the right to vote, should also be the place where, for the first time, a major ballet company will pre­sent an entire 12-month dance season devoted to works by female choreographers, Steve Sucato writes for American publication, Dance Magazine.

According to Royal New Zealand Ballet’s artistic director, former Pacific Northwest Ballet star Patricia Barker, programming this historic season was far less difficult than it might sound.

Sucato asks Barker why an all-female choreographer season.

“Shopping for a new pair of glasses inspired my thinking about the new ‘2020’ season as being about vision and seeing clearly. An all-women-choreographers year seems like such a feat, but it should be common. It is just as easy to hire a woman as a man,” Barker explains.

“There are now more women directors of dance companies and in seats of power … What has worked well for us is to develop an ongoing relationship with choreographers. They create work for us more than once, and that helps build their popularity and connection with audiences.”

A new production of The Sleeping Beauty, choreographed by Australian Danielle Rowe, is on from 29 October until 12 December 2020.

Original article by Steve Sucato, Dance Magazine, January 21, 2020.

Photo by Stephen A’Court.


Tags: Dance Magazine  Patricial Barker  Royal New Zealand Ballet  

Hamish Bennett’s Bellbird Antidote to Winter Gloom

Hamish Bennett’s Bellbird Antidote to Winter Gloom

“Warming the cockles of audience hearts at last year’s Sydney Film Festival, New Zealander Hamish Bennett’s comedy Bellbird is a defiantly optimistic tribute to the Northland region where the primary school…