- Date: Monday, 9 December, 2013
10am – 5pm, Monday to Saturday.
Turnbull Gallery, level 1, National Library building, corner Molesworth and Aitken Streets.
- Contact Details:
Email Keith.McEwing@dia.govt.nz or phone 04 470 4484.
Assemblé: The Royal New Zealand Ballet at sixty
Runs from 9 December 2013 to 15 February 2014 | 10am – 5pm, Monday – Saturday | Level one
The Royal New Zealand Ballet celebrated its 60th anniversary in July 2013. Assemblé: The Royal New Zealand Ballet at sixty continues this celebration. Profiling four ballets frequently performed by the company – Petrouchka, Swan Lake, Peter Pan, and Romeo and Juliet – the exhibition brings together many collections within the Alexander Turnbull Library to illustrate the life and work of a full-time professional dance troupe.
Danish dancer Poul Gnatt moved to Australia and joined the Borovansky Ballet, which toured New Zealand in 1952. Many things about New Zealand impressed him – except for the fact it lacked a national ballet company. Moving here, he set about changing that.
Now, 60 years after its first performance, the Royal New Zealand Ballet has finished 2013 touring 48 venues the length and breadth of the country, as well as four venues in China. Gnatt’s vision of a permanent company taking professional dance to all of New Zealand continues to be honoured.
Poul Gnatt at Bethalls Beach. Ref: PH-2013-145.
Dance is an ephemeral art: each movement completed becomes the past. But records of the performance live on, in archives and libraries – and in our memories. While we can never fully capture the feel of experiencing live dance, mementos of such performances – posters, programmes, photographs, reviews, social media postings and personal accounts – help us to remember and to enjoy again.
As well as the collections of the Alexander Turnbull Library, greatly contributed to by the Royal New Zealand Ballet, there are personal records of the dancers and creative teams. When all of this material is brought together, it can reawaken each performance for the in-depth researcher or curious passerby.
"Let’s make a ballet" – panel discussion
Monday 9 December 2013, 5-7pm (panel discussion starting at 5:30) | Te Ahumairangi (ground floor), National Library building
A panel discussion chaired by the exhibition curator Keith McEwing, with a focus on putting on a ballet.
With Sir Jon Trimmer, Dr Raymond Boyce, Dr Philip Norman, and former Artistic Director Matz Skoog. More details
"To make a pointe" – panel discussion
Wednesday 22 January 2014, 5:30–6:30pm | Te Ahumairangi (ground floor), National Library building
Current and former dancers from the Royal New Zealand ballet talk about dancing for a ballet company, their favourite pieces and memorable moments (good and bad). More details
Behind the scenes tour of the Royal New Zealand Ballet
Friday 24 January 2014, 10:30–1:30am | Royal New Zealand Ballet, 77-83 Courtenay Pl
Nigel Boyes will lead a behind-the-scenes look at the wardrobe and studios of the ballet company. More details
Opening the wardrobe door: Looking into the secrets behind the costumes
Saturday 25 January 2014, 11am–1pm | Te Ahumairangi (ground floor), National Library building
Andrew Pfieffer and Esther Lofley discuss costuming for the Royal New Zealand Ballet. Come see, feel, and hear about costumes from the ballet company’s wardrobe. More details
Playing with ballet: A fun workshop for kids and families
Saturday 8 February 2014, 11–11:45am, repeats at 12:15–1pm | Te Ahumairangi (ground floor), National Library building
A session for the young and young at heart to learn about dancing. More details
New Zealand Film Archive screening
Wednesday 12 February 2014, 7pm | NZ Film Archive, 84 Taranaki St
From the many films of the Royal New Zealand Ballet at the New Zealand Film Archive a selection have been made for screening, including Aurora’s Wedding, Jon Trimmer – Dancer, and Prismatic Variations. More details