The Firebird with Paquita

29 Jul - 2 Sep 2021

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RNZB Dancer Ana Gallardo Lobaina. Photo by Ross Brown, 2020.

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Following the triumph of his Hansel & Gretel in 2019, the Royal New Zealand Ballet is delighted to commission a new work by Choreographer in Residence Loughlan Prior for 2021.

The Firebird, first staged in Paris in 1910, changed the direction of ballet. The spine-tingling grandeur of Stravinsky’s iconic score, combining sinuous melodies spiked with orientalism and shimmering orchestration, created an exotic fairy tale universe full of wild enchantment that was worlds away from the classics of Russian ballet.

Generations of choreographers, from Michel Fokine, George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins to Alexei Ratmansky, have been inspired by the elemental power of Stravinsky’s music, and by the Firebird herself – a timeless, untameable force, and a bringer of change, hope and rebirth.

Loughlan Prior and Tracy Grant Lord have reimagined The Firebird for a different time: one in which the natural world is threatened and humanity is staring into the abyss of extinction. Captured, the Firebird offers the possibility of redemption, if only humankind are brave enough to follow her path. Like the phoenix, humanity can rise from the ashes and forge a new world.

The Firebird
is paired with Paquita, a dazzling romp through highlights of the 19th century Russian classic beloved by ballet stars including Anna Pavlova, Rudolf Nureyev and Natalia Makarova. The dancers’ classical technique will take centre stage, with sparkling tutus, fleet footwork, soaring leaps, turns like spinning tops and a finale to leave the audience as breathless – and exhilarated – as the dancers themselves.

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Dates and times

Wellington, 29 July - 31 July

Opera House

Thursday 29th July 7:30pm
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Friday 30th July 7:30pm Pre-Performance Talk
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Saturday 31st July 7:30pm Warm Up, Curtain Up
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Napier, 06 August - 07 August

Municipal Theatre

Friday 6th August 7:30pm Pre-Performance Talk
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Saturday 7th August 7:30pm Warm Up, Curtain Up
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Auckland, 12 August - 14 August

Kiri Te Kanawa Theatre, Aotea Centre

Thursday 12th August 7:30pm
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Friday 13th August 7:30pm Pre-Performance Talk
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Saturday 14th August 7:30pm Warm Up, Curtain Up
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Dunedin, 21 August

Regent Theatre

Saturday 21st August 7:30pm Warm Up, Curtain Up and Audio Described Available
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Christchurch, 26 August - 28 August

Isaac Theatre Royal

Thursday 26th August 7:30pm
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Friday 27th August 7:30pm Pre-Performance Talk
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Palmerston North, 02 September

Regent on Broadway

Thursday 2nd September 7:30pm Warm Up, Curtain Up and Pre-Performance Talk
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The Firebird

Choreography: Loughlan Prior. Music: Igor Stravinsky. Costume and Set Design: Tracy Grant Lord. Lighting Design: Jon Buswell. Animation/visuals: POW Studios


Choreography: Marius Petipa. Staging: Michael Auer and Patricia Barker. Music: Ludwig Minkus and Edouard Deldevez. Costume Design: Patricia Barker. Set Design: Howard C Jones. Lighting Design: Jon Buswell

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