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Royal New Zealand Ballet to perform "A Midsummer Night's Dream"

     The Royal New Zealand Ballet will perform "A Midsummer Night's Dream", based on Shakespeare's play and with Mendelssohn's wonderful incidental music, in Hong Kong in October. The production had its world premiere in Wellington in August 2015, and Liam Scarlett's musical and witty choreography, presented amid beautiful designs and lighting, brings new life to Shakespeare's enchanted wood and vivid characters.

     Founded in 1953, the Royal New Zealand Ballet has developed a reputation for strong characterisation in the staging of full-length dramatic works, which has become its hallmark since the 1980s. The dance company performs an eclectic repertoire of choreographic styles from 19th century classics to 21st century contemporary works for national and international audiences, whilst continuing to build a style that is ultimately unique to the company and New Zealand. The company is seen as an intrinsic part of its country's national heritage and has the largest following of all New Zealand performing arts companies.

     "A Midsummer Night's Dream" in 2015 became Liam Scarlett's first full-length main stage production for the Royal New Zealand Ballet. Scarlett trained at the Royal Ballet School and danced with the Royal Ballet before retiring as a dancer in the 2012-13 season to focus on his choreographic career. In 2012 he was appointed the Royal Ballet's first Artist in Residence. His works for the Royal Ballet include "Consolations and Liebestraum" (nominated for a Critics' Circle Award), "Asphodel Meadows" (nominated for an Olivier Award and winner of a Critics' Circle Award), and "Jubilee pas de deux" (in celebration of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. In the 2015-16 season he has created another full-length narrative ballet for the Royal Ballet, "Frankenstein".

     The Royal New Zealand Ballet is now under the leadership of Artistic Director Francesco Ventriglia. During his dancing career he performed solo and principal roles in a wide range of repertoire including the Bronze Idol in Natalia Makarova's "La Bayadére", and Hilarion in Sylvie Guillem's "Giselle" at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York and at Covent Garden. As a choreographer, he has created works for leading dancers including Roberto Bolle, Ulyana Lopatkina and Svetlana Zakharova, and for prestigious venues and organisations including the Arena di Verona, the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow, the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg and the Venice Biennale, among others.

     "A Midsummer Night's Dream" by the Royal New Zealand Ballet will be staged at 7.45pm on October 7 and 8 (Friday and Saturday) and 3pm on October 9 (Sunday) at the Auditorium of Sha Tin Town Hall. Tickets priced at $160, $250, $340 and $420 are now available at URBTIX ( For telephone credit card bookings, please call 2111 5999.

     For programme enquiries and concessionary schemes, please call 2268 7323 or visit

Ends/Friday, June 17, 2016
Issued at HKT 15:05


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