Why you don’t want to miss The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s exquisite upcoming production of Swan Lake

One of the world’s most iconic ballets, Swan Lake (renowned for its exceptional choreography, exquisite music and spectacular sets) is set to enchant New Zealand audiences this May. With a stellar cast and impeccable production, The Royal New Zealand Ballet will be touring the timeless masterpiece up and down the country, and is promising a show you don’t want to miss.

“This production holds so many precious memories for generations of New Zealanders,” says RNZB Artistic Director Ty King-Wall. “Swan Lake’s themes of hope, deception, betrayal, and forgiveness continue to resonate so powerfully. I know how excited the dancers are to be performing Swan Lake this year, and hope audiences are ready to be swept away to this supernatural, transcendent world with us.”  

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Underpinning the production is Tchaikovsky’s sweeping score, brought to life by the exceptional Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra, each note resonating with romance and drawing the audience into a world of opulence and tragedy. While Kristian Fredrikson’s lavish costumes, complemented by masterful lighting design from Jon Buswell promise to transport guests from grand palace ballrooms to serene lakeside vistas.

But beyond its music, costumes and imaginative set-design, Swan Lake is a ballet that represents the pinnacle of balletic artistry, requiring dedication and incredible skill from the dancers who bring its characters to life. Here, RNZB Principal Mayu Tanigaito is set to perform the coveted role of Odette/Odile for the first time in her 12-year tenure with the company, an achievement she describes as a privilege.  “I feel like I have been working towards this my whole career,” she says. “From performing Odile in competitions as a young teenager, to understudying this role 11 years ago, and since performing both main pas de deuxs, I am very excited to perform the complete role in Russell Kerr’s beautiful production.”

Also joining the production in a character role is Tanigaito’s husband and recently-retired RNZB Principal, Paul Mathews, portraying Wolfgang, Prince Siegfried’s tutor. Mathews, who has performed in over 50 Swan Lake productions, reflects on the honour of stepping into the role previously only played for the company by the late Sir Jon Trimmer, and explains how he plans to incorporate wisdom gained from Trimmer to bring depth and authenticity to his performance.

With its return, Swan Lake is reaffirming its status as the ballet of all ballets, a timeless tale of love, betrayal, heartbreak and tragedy that can only be brought to life via meticulous production and highly skilled dancers. Landing in Auckland’s Aotea Centre on the 9th of May and running until the 12th of May, this spectacular ballet is gearing up to be the cultural event of the season. And given that tickets are on sale now, we suggest securing yours with haste, lest you miss out. 



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