Royal New Zealand Ballet Appoints New Executive Director

The Royal New Zealand Ballet (RNZB) has announced the appointment of its new Executive Director, Tobias Perkins.

Perkins comes to the RNZB from the UK, most recently at Leeds’ prolific Northern Ballet, where he held a number of roles including Interim Executive Director and Deputy Executive Director. In these positions, Perkins oversaw an increase in the company’s core funding during a highly challenging funding period in the UK’s arts sector, and developed the reach and prominence of the company’s touring programme. In his role of Director of Planning, the company’s children’s ballets welcomed audiences of over 30,000 young people and their families per year, and this work was recognised in 2022 with a nomination for the UK Theatres Excellence in Touring Award.

RNZB Chair Dame Kerry Prendergast says, “We’re very much looking forward to welcomimg Tobias and his family to Aotearoa, and the RNZB team. He brings valuable leadership experience, deep passion for ballet, and is hugely enthusiastic about helping lead the company into our next chapter. The Board and I look forward to collaborating with him in our search for a new Artistic Director when he arrives in July, and supporting him as he navigates the company through the many facets of RNZB’s work, both on stage and in the community.”

A trained musician and experienced producer across classical music, opera and dance, Perkins has also worked with London’s Royal Opera House and Barbican Centre, and served as a trustee to the award-winning Mobius Dance.

Perkins says, “I am thrilled to be joining Royal New Zealand Ballet at this pivotal moment during its 70th anniversary season. Having followed the company from afar for some time I am awed by the quality of work and impact it delivers in communities across Aotearoa New Zealand. I cannot wait to begin working in partnership with staff across the organisation to build on the legacy the company has created to date, whilst embracing and responding to the changing world around us. Enriching lives and connecting communities through world class ballet is our unique opportunity. I look forward, immensely, to helping shape the organisation in partnership with a new Artistic Director, and delivering on this opportunity in a way that is authentic to this storied and distinctive company, and to contemporary New Zealand.”

Perkins commenced in the role in the last week of July.