The Royal New Zealand Ballet congratulates Dorothea Ashbridge on being named as an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Following a 20 year career onstage with The Royal Ballet at Sadler’s Wells and then Covent Garden, Dorothea has been a much-loved and highly esteemed member of the RNZB whanau for 50 years. She served as assistant to her late husband, Bryan Ashbridge, during his directorship of the New Zealand Ballet in 1970 – 71, as a coach and teacher throughout the 1970s and into the 1980s, as a guest artist and as acting director of the company in 1972 – 3.
Beyond the world of ballet, Dorothea has shaped the path of dance in New Zealand in fields as diverse as choreography for 1960s television music show C’mon, as a ballet mistress for Limbs in the 1970s and 1980s, teaching at the New Zealand School of Dance, and as a judge for national and international dance competitions.
Her influence on dance in New Zealand has been profound, as a choreographer, teacher and coach and as an inspiration to countless dancers. We are truly delighted that her wonderful contribution to the arts in Aotearoa has been acknowledged and celebrated with this award.