Wellington Scoop

Ballet welcomes its new artistic director with a haka

Press Release – Royal NZ Ballet

There were no pointe shoes in sight as the dancers of the Royal New Zealand Ballet greeted their new Artistic Director to his first day on the job.

As one of the world’s most acclaimed dancers, Ethan Stiefel has witnessed many different forms of dance, but being welcomed this morning by a stirring haka performed by RNZB dancers was a completely new experience.

“It was a very special moment,” Stiefel says. “I acknowledge the significance of the ceremony and am ready to take up the challenge of leading the company.”

Stiefel, a principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre, said he was looking forward to getting to know the 32 dancers as they prepare for The Meridian Season of The Sleeping Beauty, which opens in Wellington next month.

One of the first things on Stiefel’s agenda is to put the final touches on RNZB’s 2012 seasons, which will be announced at the end of this month.

To read more about Ethan Stiefel see: http://www.nzballet.org.nz/RNZBartisticdirector_EthanStiefel

• The Meridian Season of The Sleeping Beauty opens at Wellington’s St James Theatre on 28 October.

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