The Piano: the ballet

23 Feb - 28 Mar 2018

RNZB dancer Abigail Boyle. Photo by Ross Brown

Inspired by the film The Piano with permission kindly granted by Jane Campion, Jan Chapman and Saddleback Productions.

25 years ago, cinema goers around the world were captivated by an extraordinary tale of desire, violence and hope. The story of Ada McGrath and her daughter Flora, husband Alastair and lover Baines unfolded against the wild grandeur and desolation of Aotearoa, as Jane Campion’s award-winning film took audiences on a visceral journey into New Zealand’s imagined past, as it had never been portrayed before.

Drawing on the rich inspiration of The Piano, the Royal New Zealand Ballet is honoured to stage the world premiere of this new full-length dance work by Jiří Bubeníček. Originally conceived as a short work for Dortmund Ballet, The Piano: the ballet is now re-imagined and expanded for the RNZB, giving Ada’s story a new and distinctively New Zealand voice and, in dance, a powerful new means of expression. Excerpts from Michael Nyman’s iconic film score are blended with evocative music by Debussy, Arensky, Stravinsky, Schnittke, Brahms and Shostakovich.

Presented in association with the New Zealand Festival and the Auckland Arts Festival.

The Piano: the ballet contains adult content including depictions of violence and sex.  This production is not recommended for children under the age of 12 years.

Watch the trailer:




Jiří Bubeníček

Set and Video Design

Otto Bubeníček

Costume Design

Elsa Pavanel

Music Arrangement and Composition

Otto Bubeníček


Jiří Bubeníček and Otto Bubeníček

Lighting Designer

Jeremy Fern

Maori Advisor

Moss Patterson







Palmerston North

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