Black Swan, White Swan

We asked audiences what they thought of Black Swan, White Swan, here’s the feedback received.

Did you like it?

A major theme throughout your feedback was that you “loved” it!

For some, this was an unexpected delight: “Quite unexpected but absolutely wonderful.

Most of the audience loved the rendition: “It was innovative, whilst staying faithful to the traditional roots of this iconic ballet.

For some more partial to classical ballet, they missed the pointe shoes and tutus: “I do prefer traditional ballets but I really enjoyed this despite the lack of tutus!

RNZB Principal Paul Mathews. Photo credit: Stephen A’Court.

You appreciated the athleticism and skill of the Royal New Zealand Ballet dancers

Although no pointe shoes were in sight, you appreciated the hard working dancers and their talent. The pared back set, simple costumes and striking lighting emphasised the choreography and “allowed the dancers to shine” and “full appreciation of body form and movement.

The male leads especially impressed you: “A dancer in a three piece suit was impressive” and was a nice chance to focus on male protagonists.

Our corps de ballet, some of whom stayed in their swan-like pose with hands and feet in the air for 20 minutes, also received a few mentions!

RNZB Dancers. Photo credit: Stephen A’Court.

The music was mesmerising

Everyone loved the music – how could you not. It was “a new contemporary version of Swan Lake but with the same beautiful music”.

Many of you mentioned live music would have added to the experience – and we agree! The provision of live orchestra in three or four main centres represents a substantial cost: a six figure sum and so we can’t have an orchestra in the pit as often as we would like.

For 2019, as Hansel and Gretel will feature a newly commissioned score, this will be our season with live music. We would have loved to have utilised live music for Black Swan, White Swan, but just couldn’t stretch the budget for both.

RNZB Principal Paul Mathews and Soloist Sara Garbowski. Photo credit: Stephen A’Court.

You love to know more

We had a great response to our pre-performance talks in Wellington, Takapuna, Auckland and Christchurch with some of you indicating that you always book on Fridays so that you can come to these. You value the chance to learn more about productions “from the inside”.

RNZB Principal Paul Mathews and Dancer Kihiro Kusukami. Photo credit: Stephen A’Court.

What can we do better?

While it’s clear you love the ballet experience , from grand (yet perhaps squishy) foyers to sore hands during curtain calls, you had some suggestions that would make your experience all the better. Here’s a selection: A desire for Häagen-Dazs ice cream, shorter queues, lack of cloakrooms, hatred of plastic glasses, not enough parking, no tall people in front of you and no latecomers…  we appreciate your comments and will pass on your suggestions to the theatres and their staff. We’ll continue to do everything in our power to make sure everybody enjoys their performance.

If you have any feedback you’d like to give, please email us at

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