Kirby Selchow joined the Royal New Zealand Ballet in 2014 as an Artist, and she was promoted to Soloist in 2020. Kirby is entering her tenth year with the RNZB. Her drive, passion, and desire to improve everyday set her apart as an accomplished dancer. The RNZB team and community have become a second family to her.
In 2022, she performed the role of Step-sister Nicolette, Stepmother and Queen in Loughlan Prior’s Cinderella. Among other roles she performed as Dew Drop in Waltz of the Pohutakawa Flowers from Val Caniparoli’s The Nutcracker, as part of Tutus on Tour. She danced in all three works as part of Venus Rising, Alice Topp’s Aurum, Sarah Foster-Sproull’s The Autumn Ball, and Twyla Tharp’s Waterbaby Bagetelles™. As part of the digital season Ballet Bites she performed in Penny Saunders’ Berceuse. In 2021, Kirby debuted in the role of Myrtha in Giselle and she continued with a strong performance year as a soloist in Paquita and performances as Elizaveta, a role created for her, in Loughlan Prior’s The Firebird.
Kirby has established herself as an influential and compelling performer at the RNZB, especially during the 2020 season when she finished the year on a high note as Carabosse and the Fairy of Curiosity in The Sleeping Beauty.
2019 was another strong season for Kirby as she performed in the lead role of Gretel in the world premiere of Loughlan Prior’s Hansel & Gretel. Other solo roles in 2019 included The Ground Beneath Our Feet by RNZB Choreographer-in-Residence Shaun James Kelly, Black Swan in Mário Radačovský’s Black Swan, White Swan, Serenade by George Balanchine, Stand to Reason by Andrea Schermoly, and Artifact II by William Forsythe.
Kirby kicked off 2018 in the dramatic role of Aunt Morag in The Piano: the ballet, from there Kirby displayed her remarkable versatility in Dancing with Mozart, Balanchine’s Divertimento No. 15, Jiří Kylián’s Petite Mort and Sechs Tänze. Kirby has also garnered praise for her emphatic performances in Penny Saunder’s So to Speak and Andrea Schermoly’s Stand to Reason, which premiered in the RNZB’s Strength & Grace programme (2018). Deirdre Tarrant reviewed her performance as, “A stand out solo by Kirby Selchow brought applause mid ballet” (18 August 2018).
One of Kirby’s career highlights occurred in 2016 when she played Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream during the company’s Hong Kong tour, and on her return to New Zealand, she fulfilled the role for the Wellington season.
During the company’s tour to the UK and Italy at the end of 2015, Kirby performed in Ethan Stiefel and Johan Kobborg’s Giselle and all four works in the demanding mixed bill A Passing Cloud.
Since the start of her career with the RNZB in 2014, Kirby has performed nationally and internationally. Her performances include the lead Gypsy Girl in Don Quixote, Dear Horizon and Passchendaele, and the Fairies in Liam Scarlett’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Born in Perth, Kirby trained at the graduate college of dance before being accepted into Australian Ballet school in 2009 on the Laurie Cowled Scholarship in Melbourne. Kirby performed with the Australian Ballet’s Dancers’ Company in 2012 and 2013 and graduated as school captain in 2013.
Kirby is supported by Nautilus Estate of Marlborough.
A Midsummer Night's Dream
Black Swan, White Swan
The Sleeping Beauty
The Sleeping Beauty
Fairy of Curiosity
Hansel & Gretel
Stepsister - Nicolette