Individual Supporters

New Choreographic Series

Inspiring new work.

We have commissioned four new works – handmade on the talents of our dancers, with their athleticism and artistry – by significant and celebrated choreographers who are leading dance-makers in New Zealand.

We encourage and challenge choreographers to stretch the limits of their creativity, expanding the horizons of dance into the future, but we need your help to bring these works to the stage.

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The four choreographers participating in 2019 are Moss Te Ururangi Patterson, Shaun James Kelly, James O’Hara and Sarah Foster-Sproull.

When we consider choreographers, composers, lighting design, costume design and creation, theatre rental and marketing, each commission for this Series costs the RNZB upwards of $80,000. We source grants and sell tickets, but this alone is not enough. It is donations from individuals like you that allow us to get to the stage.

We are looking to raise $10,000 for each commission and we ask you to make a donation.

When you make a donation to the New Choreographic Series, not only do you give the RNZB courage to expand our repertoire with the spirit of New Zealand, but you give audiences the chance to see work from extraordinary choreographers who are re-defining ballet for the 21st century.

Donate online or Download the donation form

For more information or to discuss a donation, please contact Bryna O’Brien-Kiddey, Philanthropy Manager, on 021 247 7744.


Friday 1 March at 7.30pm
Saturday 2 March at 1.30pm and 7.30pm

Friday 8 March at 7.30pm
Saturday 9 March at 1.30pm and 7.30pm

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Sarah Foster-Sproull

Sarah is an acclaimed choreographer working in New Zealand and internationally. She is much-loved in the New Zealand dance community and her work has been performed at festivals both locally and internationally.

Last year Sarah created her first work on the RNZB. The popular Despite the Loss of Small Detail was part of the 2018 Choreographic Series, Strength & Grace. Sarah’s work for this programme was inspired by female strength, strength in numbers, endurance, and a woman – danced by Principal Abigail Boyle – as a deified figure. Watch the video below for insight into this work.

Sarah and Abigail will collaborate again this year, with musician Eden Mulholland, and we are excited to discover what direction they will take.

Shaun James Kelly

Shaun has been dancing with the RNZB since 2014 and is a distinguished Soloist with the company. Shaun’s choreography won him the 2016 Harry Haythorne Award for his work Blanc, which lead to him becoming Choreographer in Residence at the RNZB in 2018.

The work for the New Choreographic Series will be Shaun’s first commission for the RNZB main stage. Watch the video below for insight into Shaun’s work.

James O’Hara

James works internationally as a dance performer, teacher, choreographic assistant and choreographer. For the past two years, James has been based in Wellington at the New Zealand School of Dance. We are delighted that RNZB dancers will be able to work with James to create a new work while he is based in New Zealand.

James approaches his choreography from a deeply personal genesis to create a performance with universally understood ideas. He will collaborate with violinist Motte (Anita Clark) to create a soundscape to support his work and Matu (Te Orihau Karatiana) on the costume design.

Pictured: Artist Kiara Flavin in rehearsal for James O’Hara’s work for the New Choreographic Series. Photo by Celia Walmsley.

Moss Te Ururangi Patterson

Moss is an award-winning choreographer and creative artist with over 19 years’ experience in creating and delivering powerful performances in the indigenous dance space. In 2018 he worked with the RNZB as Māori Advisor for The Piano: the ballet. In this role he grappled with the issue of having non- Māori performers attempting to inhabit a Māori character in a ballet environment, with its long-established European traditions.

Moss will now have the opportunity to fully investigate the juxtaposition of cultures through the creation of his own work with the company.


For more information or to discuss a donation, please contact Bryna O’Brien-Kiddey, Philanthropy Manager, on 021 247 7744.

Strength & Grace Wellington, NZ. 16 August 2018. Strength & Grace by the Royal New Zealand Ballet. Photo credit: Stephen A'Court.

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