Originally from Australia, Tonia Looker trained at the Australian Ballet School. In 2007 she was awarded a scholarship to train with the School of American Ballet in New York and Toronto’s National Ballet School. Tonia joined the Royal New Zealand Ballet in 2008.
Career highlights for Tonia include performing the title role in the RNZB’s 2009 production of La Sylphide and appearing as Juliet to a home crowd during the 2010 Australian tour of Romeo and Juliet. In 2011, Tonia performed as Columbina in Pinocchio, the Doll in Petrouchka and Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, and in 2012 she performed the title roles in Cinderella and Giselle. 2013 saw Tonia creating roles in both Javier De Frutos’ The Anatomy of a Passing Cloud and Andrew Simmons’ Of Days, and in Swan Lake she appeared as one of the ‘cygnets’ and in the Act I Pas de Trois and Act III Neapolitan Dance. Tonia received special notice from critics on the RNZB’s 2014 US tour for her performances in Benjamin Millepied’s 28 Variations on a Theme by Paganini in Minneapolis and New York.
Tonia’s recent roles have included the Ghost of Christmas Past and Belle in A Christmas Carol (2014), Kitri in Don Quixote (2015) and Andrew Simmons’ Dear Horizon (2015) and Giselle in Giselle during the RNZB’s tour to UK and Italy (2015) and New Zealand restaging (2016). In 2015 Liam Scarlett created the role of Titania on her for his A Midsummer Night’s Dream a role for which she received critical acclaim – she has performed this role throughout New Zealand and in Hong Kong. A highlight of 2016 was performing in Alexander Ekman’s Cacti and William Forsythe’s In the Middle Somewhat Elevated as part of the RNZB’s acclaimed Speed of Light mixed bill.
In 2017, Tonia performed Alexander Ekman’s Episode 31 and Cacti as part of Three By Ekman triple bill, Carmen and L’Arlesienne by Roland Petit and the role of Juliet in the premiere season of Francesco Ventriglia’s Romeo and Juliet.