Royal New Zealand Ballet

As choreographers like Wayne McGregor push the aesthetic boundaries of ballet, even the most contemporary work still adheres to recognizable elements of the form. There are gradations—and yes, there’s the eventual hair-splitting difference between contemporary ballet and contemporary dance, when too many of those recognizable elements have been stripped away—but when a ballet company performs something “contemporary,” it’s likely that the piece will fit safely within a handful of stylistic guidelines.

Ethan Stiefel's sojourn abroad will soon come to an end: The former American Ballet Theatre principal has not renewed his artistic director contract with Royal New Zealand Ballet.

What makes a great ballet partnership? To most of us, it seems to be some mysterious combination of sweat and magic.

 

Exciting things are happening down under: To commemorate Royal New Zealand Ballet’s 60th anniversary, the company is teaming up with local fashion designer Tamsin Cooper to create a new ballet-inspired fashion line. Cooper’s collection, based on “Swan Lake” (which the RNZB will perform in July), will feature tutu-like skirts, jackets, coats and bags—in only black and white, of course. The items will be unveiled next month as part of New Zealand’s iD Dunedin Fashion Week.

Ethan Stiefel's only been in charge of the Royal New Zealand Ballet for a year, but he's already brought his signature pizazz to the company. The former ABT star is currently co-choreographing and producing a new Giselle with The Royal Ballet's Johan Kobburg—and the rehearsals and performances are being recorded for an upcoming feature film. The live ballet premieres Wednesday night, with none other than Gillian Murphy in the title role. Stay tuned for details about the film's release.