Scheduling Conflict Forces Cancellation of One Venus Rising Performance In Christchurch

The Royal New Zealand Ballet (RNZB) has today announced that, due to a scheduling conflict at the James Hay Theatre, one of the four Venus Rising performances in Christchurch has, sadly, been cancelled. The affected performance was due to take place at the James Hay on Saturday 3 December at 7.30pm.

Ticket sales for this one performance at 7.30pm on Saturday 3 December at the James Hay Theatre have been suspended and all ticket holders will be given the opportunity to attend a different performance. Given the late and significant change to the schedule, ticket holders will be eligible for a full refund if they are unable to attend.

The remaining performances in Christchurch – Thursday 1 December at 7.30pm, Friday 2 December at 7.30pm, and Saturday 3 December at 1.30pm, together with all associated education and community events – are unaffected and will go ahead as planned.

The extraordinary production, which was cancelled once and postponed three times due to COVID, is finally heading off on its long-awaited national tour from next week, opening in Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington on 24 November, Ōtautahi Christchurch on 1 December, and Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland on 8 December.

RNZB Artistic Director Patricia Barker says, “While we are devastated to have to do this after all the challenges we’ve experienced with this beautiful production, we are pleased that we will still be presenting three performances in Christchurch. The issue, which the venue brought to light just late last week, cannot be resolved without that one show being cancelled. We explored a range of options to try and retain Saturday’s 7:30pm performance but found nothing we could do that wouldn’t in turn affect our Auckland shows the following week. This is not a situation we have dealt with before and we are deeply disappointed. We are also taking steps to ensure that this scenario does not arise again, in any venue.

“Venus Rising is a generous, glorious celebration of ballet and the joy of pure dance, created by some of the finest choreographers working on the international stage today. Venus herself represents victory over adversity and resilience, and we will learn from this, rise up, and enjoy a brilliant three-city tour to celebrate the arrival of Christmas,” Barker says. “There are still three performances for Canterbury audiences to enjoy and I guarantee that they will be fantastic.”

Three extraordinary works choreographed by three formidable women who have blazed a trail on the international stage make up the powerful programme which captures the spirit of Venus, the brightest of stars and herald of the dusk and dawn.

Meditative and moving, Alice Topp’s award-winning Aurum is inspired by the Japanese art of kintsugi, the practice of mending cracks in precious ceramics with gold, creating a new whole which celebrates the beauty of the broken. Bendigo-born and Resident Choreographer at the Australian Ballet, Topp started her career dancing with the RNZB, which holds a special place in her heart along with Aotearoa’s theatres and dance lovers.

The Autumn Ball, created by one of New Zealand’s brightest choreographic stars Sarah Foster-Sproull and commissioned in 2021 by the Wānaka Festival of Colour, dances through the circle of life with tenderness, grace and floor-filling fun. The driving rhythms of Eden Mulholland’s commissioned score will have the audience wishing that they could join in the dance.

Twyla Tharp is one of the world’s greatest living choreographers. In Waterbaby Bagatelles, created in 1994 and never seen in Aotearoa, 27 dancers leap and spin across the stage in an ever-changing ocean of light; the music flowing seamlessly as groups of dancers sparkle and glow.