22 May - 25 Jun 2015

They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.*

The Royal New Zealand Ballet was honoured to collaborate with the New Zealand Army Band and distinguished New Zealand composers and choreographers Dwayne Bloomfield, Gareth Farr, Neil Ieremia and Andrew Simmons, in this special programme of works to mark the centenary of World War One.

Alongside classic pieces by Johan Kobborg (Salute, New Zealand premiere) and Jiří Kylián (Soldier’s Mass, last memorably performed by the RNZB in 1999), Neil Ieremia and Andrew Simmons created two world premieres.

Neil Ieremia’s work was inspired by Warrant Officer Dwayne Bloomfield’s tone poem Passchendaele, premiered by the New Zealand Army Band on Anzac Day 2009. Andrew Simmons, whose haunting works for the RNZB, Through to You, A Song in the Dark and Of Days, have made such an impression on New Zealand and international audiences, returned to New Zealand to work with composer Gareth Farr (The Wedding, Smashing Sweet Vixen) on his fourth commission for the RNZB.

The New Zealand Army Band performed live in all venues throughout the tour.

*Laurence Binyon For the Fallen, September 1914

What are they saying

In the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s Salute, four works (Dear Horizon, Soldier’s Mass, Salute and Passchendaele) combine in a triumph of the human spirit – and the company’s artistry … Haunting melodies and percussive volleys of brass, performed superbly by the New Zealand Army Band, erupt from the pit …

Francesca Horsley

The Listener

From the powerful fevered opening with bodies hurtling across the stage, to the final image of dead soldiers and grieving lovers, and the final, ominous knock on the door, all the dancers perform intensely and with great skill.

Ann Hunt

Dominion Post

The strength of unison is immense in this work but the strength of each individual dancer is electrifying and terrifying as we reflect on war without boundaries and war still in our world today ... This is Ieremia at his best and it is engrossing on every level ... Passchendaele is a work that brings each artistic element together brilliantly and it is impossible to disconnect them.

Deirdre Tarrant

Theatre Review


Choreography and Design: Passchendaele

Neil Ieremia

Music: Passchendaele

Dwayne Bloomfield

Lighting Design: Passchendaele, Dear Horizon and Salute

Jason Morphett

Conductor: Passchendaele, Dear Horizon and Salute

Captain Graham Hickman

Choreography: Dear Horizon

Andrew Simmons

Music: Dear Horizon

Gareth Farr

Design: Dear Horizon

Tracy Grant Lord

Solo Cello: Dear Horizon

Rolf Gjelsten

Choreography: Salute

Johan Kobborg

Music: Salute

Hans Christian Lumbye

Design: Salute

Natalia Stewart

Choreography and Design: Soldier's Mass

Jiří Kylián

Music: Soldier's Mass

Bohuslav Martinů

Lighting Design: Soldier's Mass

Kees Tjebbes


Wellington and Christchurch








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