Bold Moves

16 Aug - 15 Sep 2019

Former First Soloist Katharine Precourt and First Soloist Linnar Looris in William Forsythe’s Artifact Suite. Photo by Amitava Sarkar (2016), courtesy of Houston Ballet

Brave. Bright. Beautiful.
Works by George Balanchine, William Forsythe and Andrea Schermoly.

Definitive danceworks from three different decades, each piece in this magnificent mixed bill offers a rare glimpse into bold and boundary-defying choreographers who captured the zeitgeist through dance.

George Balanchine’s Serenade is one of the few ballets that can truly be held iconic. Conceived in 1934, it is American ballet’s founding document, the foundation on which all later works must stand and against which they will be judged.

26 dancers are transported by Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings, moving through time and space in perfect patterns, architectural yet organic, supremely structured yet somehow free. Serenade has an inner light, a tranquillity and a deeply felt emotion that has spoken to generations of dancers and audiences. More than 40 years after it was first staged by the company, the Royal New Zealand Ballet is privileged to bring Serenade back to our theatres.

Serenade is all moonlight; William Forsythe’s Artifact II is a blast of bold colour.

Created in 1984, the year that Forsythe became Artistic Director of Ballet Frankfurt, the full-length Artifact, of which Artifact II is the second act, was Forsythe announcing himself as a distinctive new voice in ballet. Serenade was Balanchine taking the aura of Russian classicism to his adopted home in the New World: 50 years later, Forsythe blew the cobwebs off European ballet with primary colour, Bach spliced with electronica, and a larger than life American athleticism.

These two iconic works bookend a powerful new commission by Andrea Schermoly, Stand to Reason, first seen in 2018 as part of the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s Wellington-only Strength & Grace programme, celebrating female suffrage. Stand to Reason is a bold ode to the tenacity and spirited sisterhood of the brave women who won the vote in New Zealand.

Choreographers from three continents, sharing New Zealand stages this winter. You won’t want to miss a step.


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Artifact II

Choreography: William Forsythe / Assistant to the choreographer: Thierry Guiderdoni / Music: J S Bach: Chaconne from Partita Nr.2 BWV 1004 in D minor, performed by Nathan Milstein / Stage, light and costume design: William Forsythe / Technical preparation: Tanja Rühl / Technical Supervisor: Patrick Lauckner


Choreography: George Balanchine © / The George Balanchine Trust Repetiteur: Patricia Barker / Music: Serenade for Strings in C, Op.48 / Costume design: Barbara Karinska

Stand to Reason

Choreography: Andrea Schermoly / Music: Johann Paul von Westhoff, Marin Marais, Ludwig van Beethoven / Lighting design: Andrew Lees

Flames of Paris Pas de Deux

Choreography: Vasily Vainonen / Music: Boris Assafieff

All Works

Lighting Realisation: Nigel Percy




Palmerston North




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