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Poetry without words

Two classical ballet favourites and two new works that were postponed in 2020 come together next month in the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s much-anticipated Tutus on Tour performance in Gisborne.

Described as achingly beautiful, tender and melancholic, The White Swan pas de deux from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake is on the programme.

When restless Prince Siegfried meets a mysterious swan maiden beside the moonlit lake, their magnetic attraction sets in motion a timeless love story.

Delicacy, grace and charm abound in Jules Perrot’s 1845 work, Pas de Quatre, a showpiece that dates from the Romantic era of ballet and turns the hallmarks of romantic ballet into a lilting waltz.

Two bold, colourful works, originally planned for the cancelled Venus Rising season in 2020, complete the Tutus on Tour programme.

Andrea Schermoly’s Within Without is described as “a beautiful, powerful and sentimental piece” that depicts the pain of unintended childlessness.

New Zealand choreographer Sarah Foster-Sproull’s Ultra Folly lays bare the dancers’ secret desires and visions in this chamber ballet, commissioned by RNZB artistic director Patricia Barker last year.

Foster-Sproull’s choreography is obsessed with detail and craft, and draws from the emotional depths of the early baroque music La Folia to reveal the strong bonds a couple maintains in the face of this hardship.

“The four works are powerful, moving and beautifully crafted, each a shining jewel on their own,” says Barker.

“Put them together and it becomes a totally stunning evening of dance.”

Picking up where the company left off when the country went into lockdown in March last year, Tutus on Tour’s whistle-stop circuit takes them to 16 theatres across the country — the largest number of stop-offs since the popular regional touring programme was reintroduced in 2017.

Ryman Healthcare is delighted to have been asked to support Tutus on Tour, says chief executive Gordon MacLeod.

“After a year of Covid it is wonderful to see the RNZB’s grassroots tour back on the bus again. Go the Tutus!’’

Tutus on Tour, War Memorial Theatre, March 4, 6.30pm. Tickets $27-$37 for adults and $12-$22 for children from https:\\www.ticketek.co.nz

TUTU INTO GISBORNE: A Royal New Zealand Ballet dancer prepares for flight with the company’s rebooted Tutus on Tour programme that brings the troupe to Gisborne next month. Picture supplied