The Royal New Zealand Ballet recently announced that Managing Director Amanda Skoog, who has led the administration of the national ballet company since 2006, will leave the company in November for a new career in the UK.
“Amanda has made a wonderful contribution to the RNZB, and to the arts in New Zealand,” says RNZB Chair Candis Craven. “Over the last nine years she has worked alongside Artistic Directors Gary Harris, Ethan Stiefel and Francesco Ventriglia to continuously grow and improve the company. Her achievements have been many, but I would particularly like to highlight her very strong ambassadorship for the RNZB linked to her raising the RNZB’s international profile, with recent successful tours to the UK, China and the US.
“At home, initiatives such as TV3’s The Secret Lives of Dancers, which ran for three series between 2010 and 2014, an ever-growing education and community programme, and impressive ticket sales, with The Vodafone Season of A Midsummer Night’s Dream currently selling out around the country, have ensured that the RNZB is truly a company that belongs to all New Zealanders.
“Amanda is widely admired in the wider arts sector for her enthusiasm, passion and has helped create strong links between orchestras, theatre companies, opera and festivals.
“The board and executive of RNZB know she will carry those attributes into the UK arts scene and every organisation she works with will be enhanced by her leadership. We thank her for her extraordinary contribution.”
“The RNZB will always have a special place in my heart,” says Amanda Skoog. “As a young dancer, it was the company that I looked up to and aspired to join, and in my later career in arts administration, it was the company that brought me and my family home to New Zealand. After nine years, I feel that it is time to move on, knowing that the company has an exciting future with Francesco Ventriglia as Artistic Director. I am certainly leaving on a high, with Liam Scarlett’s wonderful Midsummer Night’s Dream, and then taking the company and two programmes of work made in New Zealand, to venues in the UK and Italy.”
Amanda Skoog grew up in Auckland, leaving New Zealand as a teenager to pursue a career in ballet and dancing professionally with English National Ballet. After retiring from dancing she undertook roles in dance education and in administration at London’s Design Museum, Central School of Ballet and the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre, prior to becoming Managing Director of the RNZB in 2006. In 2014 she was honoured for her services to ballet by becoming a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM).