Nau mai, haere mai – welcome to a new year with the Royal New Zealand Ballet

Read on for an overview of everything onstage in 2024, and how you can manage your bookings for the coming year with maximum flexibility and savings through our subscription packages.

We also hope that you will enjoy learning more about the dancers of the Royal New Zealand Ballet, with every dancer in the company – from the youngest Scholars to the most experienced Principals – included here.

We look forward to seeing you soon.

Image: Dancers of the Royal New Zealand Ballet onstage at the St James Theatre, from left, Principal Laurynas Vėjalis, Artist Jennifer Ulloa, Principal Kate Kadow (standing), Principal Mayu Tangigaito (front), Artist Damani Campbell Williams, Principal Kihiro Kusukami, Principal Sara Garbowski and Soloist Joshua Guillemot-Rodgerson.


It is with immense pride that Ryman Healthcare returns as the Principal Partner of the Royal New Zealand Ballet for the 2024 season. Since 2015 we have stood shoulder to shoulder with this remarkable company, sharing the belief that the arts enrich our lives immeasurably.

As proud supporters of the arts, Ryman is dedicated to fostering creativity and celebrating the extraordinary. The Royal New Zealand Ballet's pursuit of excellence mirrors our own commitment to innovation and quality, and we applaud them in all their work.

We invite you to join us in cherishing the elegance and enchantment that the ballet brings to our lives. Together, let's continue to nurture the arts and the sense of wonder they evoke.

Ngā mihi nui,

Image: Principal Laurynas Vėjalis, pictured in the wings at the St James Theatre in August 2023. As a senior dancer in the Company, Laury is actively involved with the RNZB's family of supporters, through the Partner a Dancer programme and with events for the RNZB Foundation and Dress Circle. He is grateful to all the RNZB's supporters.

Image: Soloists Katherine Minor, Shaun James Kelly and Kirby Selchow will all celebrate a decade with the Royal New Zealand Ballet in 2024 and are here pictured on the stage of the St James Theatre, where they all have performed solo and principal roles to great acclaim.

Born in France and raised in Portland, Oregon prior to training and dancing in France, the USA and the UK, Katherine most recently inspired choreographer Andrea Schermoly to create the role of Juliet for her in 2023. Shaun was born in Perth, Scotland and trained and danced in the UK and Denmark prior to moving to Aotearoa in 2014. His notable roles include Hansel in Loughlan Prior's Hansel & Gretel, Frédéri in Roland Petit's L'Arlésienne and Puck in Liam Scarlett's A Midsummer Night's Dream. As a choreographer his works have featured in Tutus on Tour, the Platinum 70th anniversary celebration, on the catwalk at New Zealand Fashion Week and onscreen. Hailing from Perth, Australia and a graduate of The Australian Ballet School, Kirby Selchow joined the RNZB as an apprentice in 2014 and just a few weeks later was on her way to Los Angeles to dance in Giselle. As well as leading roles in many of the classics she's had notable association with choreographers including Loughlan Prior, with roles including Gretel in Hansel & Gretel and Katherine Mansfield in Woman of Words, and Andrea Schermoly in Stand to Reason.


Book for two or more productions during 2024 and enjoy subscriber benefits all year round, with the best prices, best available seats and flexibility to exchange if your plans change.

Image: Pictured from left: Company dancers trained at the New Zealand School of Dance, Artists Dane Head (2020), Jake Gisby (2019), Cadence Barrack (2018), Tessa Karle (2020), Callahan Laird (2019) and Lara Flannery (2018). All six Artists undertook secondments with the RNZB as part of their training at the School and are now excelling as members of the Company.

Image: Soloist Ana Gallardo Lobaina (foreground) with Senior Costumier Hank Cubitt and (from left) Artist Jennifer Ulloa, Head of Costume Donna Jefferis, Artist Damani Campbell Williams and Soloist Joshua Guillemot-Rodgerson. The RNZB's costume department, with four permanent staff, who together bring decades of knowledge and experience to their work – from pattern cutting to tutu construction, tailoring and millinery – is unique in Aotearoa.

Considered the greatest of all classical ballets, Swan Lake is a perfect marriage of music and dance.

With Tchaikovsky’s sweeping score – lush, romantic, instantly recognisable – and Kristian Fredrikson’s opulent designs, gorgeously lit by Jon Buswell, Swan Lake, celebrating the artistic legacy of RNZB legend Russell Kerr, transports the audience from palace ballroom to lakeside in wave upon wave of beauty and emotion. You’ll be inexorably drawn into the unfolding tragedy and exalt as the dancers bring every facet of their iconic characters to life.

Wellington | Auckland | Napier | Christchurch | Dunedin | Invercargill

A trio of 21st century works in Wellington, Christchurch and Auckland with the New Zealand premiere of Wayne McGregor’s haunting Infra and two new commissions: To Hold by Sarah Foster-Sproull and High Tide by Alice Topp.

Infra, made for London’s Royal Ballet in 2008, to a slowly drifting, soulful score by Max Richter, is a profoundly moving meditation on the loneliness, connections and consolations that lie beneath the teeming surface of the city.

Choreographer in Residence Sarah Foster-Sproull creates To Hold, taking a new look at the astonishing machine that is the human body: shape-shifting and endlessly inventive.

Alice Topp makes her first original work for the RNZB with High Tide, transforming the stage into a living sculpture of light and shadow with the dancers as its heart and soul.

Wellington | Auckland | Christchurch

Created for the RNZB by Liam Scarlett, A Midsummer Night’s Dream was an overnight sensation at its premiere, with capacity audiences throughout its first New Zealand tour in 2015. Distinguished New Zealand designer Tracy Grant Lord created the glorious vision of Shakespeare’s iconic characters and enchanted wood, illuminated with lighting by Kendall Smith and set to Mendelssohn’s sparkling score.

A wonderful treat for young and old, lovers of dance, music and sheer theatrical magic.

Wellington | Christchurch | Dunedin | Palmerston North | Napier | Rotorua | Auckland | Takapuna

The ever-popular Tutus on Tour returns to regional theatres from Whangārei to Wānaka to mark the end of summer and the start of a brand-new year of ballet-going.

Dance lovers can look forward to a programme which celebrates classical favourites and virtuoso ballet technique.

Excerpts from Russell Kerr’s beautiful Swan Lake, including the ‘Black Swan’ pas de deux will be followed by RNZB Choreographer in Residence Shaun James Kelly’s Prismatic, commissioned to mark the RNZB’s 70th birthday in 2023 and inspired by Kerr’s landmark Prismatic Variations. Alice Topp’s emotionally charged Clay pas de deux rounds out a richly satisfying evening of dance.

Kāpiti | Hastings | Ashburton | Gisborne | Oamaru | Wānaka | Tauranga | Whangārei | Blenheim | Taupō | Nelson | Hamilton

(not part of subscription season)

Image: Soloist Ana Gallardo Lobaina was born in Cuba and trained there and in Miami, Florida. After dancing with Cincinnati Ballet and West Australian Ballet, she joined the RNZB at the beginning of 2020. Highlights to date include the title roles in Loughlan Prior's The Firebird and his Cinderella, Myrtha in Giselle, Juliet and solo roles in Serenade, Logos and Requiem for a Rose.


A regular date night at the ballet is the perfect way to stay in touch with friends and loved ones. Create your own ballet club – like a book club – to share your passion with other ballet fans.

We have adult and children’s Ballet Club prices available. To book, call the RNZB Box Office on 0800 432 623*.

Not able to attend every show? We also have group discounts available for individual performances. With a group of 6+ you’ll enjoy 10% off, with a group of 20+ you’ll enjoy 15% off. These special group discounts are available for both adult and child tickets through the RNZB Box Office.*

*A booking fee of $8 per transaction will apply. If any Ballet Club member wants to change their ticket to a different night, they will need to pay the difference between the Ballet Club price and the normal subscription price, unless the whole club transfers to another night as a group.

Image: Soloists Katherine Minor and Shaun James Kelly, and Artists Ella Chambers and Jemima Scott at home in the St James Theatre, Wellington, in August 2023.


For Audiences and Communities

  • Pre-performance talks
  • Post-matinee Q&As
  • Warm up, Curtain up! Watch dancers warming up on stage before a performance
  • Open days and the annual Te Papa Whānau Day
  • School holiday workshops and performances at Te Papa
  • Audio described performance and touch tours for blind and vision impaired

For Dance Teachers and Dancers

  • Open classes and Ballet for Boys
  • National Mentor Programme for young dancers
  • Professional development seminars for dance teachers

For Schools

Image: RNZB Artists Gretchen Steimle, Macy Cook (seated), Branden Reiners, William Humphries and Jemma Scott. All five have participated in RNZB Education initiatives, from free family performances to Q&As. As students Macy and Jemima took part in RNZB open classes and Macy was also a member of the RNZB's National Mentor Programme for pre-vocational dance students.


Access to the joy of dance through the RNZB is a core value for everyone at the Company. RNZB Education is at the heart of this mission, ensuring that barriers to participation and enjoyment are overcome and that inclusion is central to everything we do.

If you or someone you know has special access requirements when attending any RNZB performance, give us a call on 0800 432 623. For an overview of how we can help, see rnzb.org.nz/access.

Image: Three dancers who joined the RNZB in 2018/19 and have since made an impact on stages around Aotearoa. Principal Kate Kadow came to New Zealand in 2018 after almost a decade dancing in the USA and touring internationally as a guest artist, her roles here include Aurora, Giselle, Juliet, Paquita and the Sugar Plum Fairy. UK-born, but moved to the NZ when he was 14. Calum Gray trained at New Zealand School of Dance and since joining the RNZB has performed with distinction in corps de ballet and solo roles, including his debut as Romeo in 2023. NZSD graduate Luke Cooper joined the Company as Todd Scholar in 2018 and is now a senior member of the corps de ballet. With whakapapa to Te Arawa, Luke is a leader in the RNZB's journey into tikanga Māori.

Image: A trio of Australian women who have made their artistic home in Aotearoa, from left, Artist Georgia Baxter, from Queensland, who joined the RNZB in 2019, Soloist Kirby Selchow, originally from Perth, who in 2024 will mark a decade with the Company, and Melbourne-trained Artist Rose Xu, who joined us in 2023.


We have a range of supporter programmes to suit many special interests and levels of giving. Start your journey as an RNZB supporter by contacting Elizabeth Isaacs, Philanthropy Manager, elizabeth.isaacs@rnzb.org.nz

Image: Principal Kihiro Kusukami pictured with the 2023 Scholars: Ema Takahashi (RNZB Foundation Scholar); Hannah Thomson (Todd Scholar); and Niamh O'Meara (Friedlander Foundation Scholar). Born in Nagoya, Japan, Kihiro joined the RNZB in 2018 after training at The Australian Ballet School and the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme at Queensland Ballet. He was promoted to Soloist in 2020 and Principal in 2023. Kihiro's recent roles include Albrecht, Romeo and Mercutio, as well as principal roles in Hansel & Gretel, Cinderella and more. Kihiro and Artist Ella Chambers are looking forward to their wedding at the end of 2023.


Following the success of our inaugural events to mark our 70th birthday in 2023, we are continuing to develop our alumni programme in 2024. If you are a former dancer, member of the production team or other staff member we would love to hear from you and to keep in touch in the future. Next year’s reunion events will be hosted in Wellington, Christchurch and Auckland around performances of Swan Lake.

Find out more and sign up at rnzb.org.nz/alumni or send an email to alumni@rnzb.org.nz.

Image: Principal Sara Garbowski is pictured in costume for Giselle, in the RNZB's costume department. Canadian born and trained, Sara joined the RNZB in 2017, after dancing with the Royal Ballet of Flanders. Her recent roles include Mother in Hansel & Gretel, Aurora, Neve in The Firebird, Myrtha in Giselle and Lady Capulet.



The quickest and easiest way to subscribe is online at rnzb.org.nz/subscribe

Subscription sales open at 10am on 9 October 2023


Email us at subscribe@rnzb.org.nz with details of your preferred subscription package and contact information, and we’ll be in touch to confirm your booking.


Call our subscriber hotline on 0800 4 DANCE (0800 432 623), Monday to Friday, 10am – 4pm.

Image: Born in Sydney, Ella Chambers is a graduate of The Australian Ballet School. She joined the RNZB as a guest in 2018, and then became an apprentice in 2019, promoted to Artist in 2020. As one of the RNZB's younger members, Ella is frequently involved in community events and education projects, as well as visits to Ryman villages. She is one of three dancers supported by Ryman Healthcare as part of their Principal Partnership. Ella is engaged to fellow Australian Ballet School graduate Kihiro Kusukami.

Image: Left/ Artist Levi Teachout grew up in Seattle and began his dance training at the age of nine, initially through an after school programme run by Pacific Northwest Ballet (PNB). He later undertook vocational study at PNB and then took up an apprenticeship with Grand Rapids Ballet, Michigan in 2017, before coming to New Zealand and the RNZB in 2019. In addition to his work as a dancer, Levi is active as a choreographer.

Right/ Principal Sara Garbowski, pictured in the wings of the St James theatre in August 2023.

Bottom/ Pictured from left: Artists Catarina Estévez Collins, Monet Galea-Hewitt and Shae Berney. Born in Spain, Catarina's dance journey has taken her around the world, with training in Belgium and the USA before arriving in New Zealand in 2022. Monet, who grew up in Auckland, and Shae, who grew up in Lower Hutt, both undertook training at the English National Ballet School before returning home to dance in New Zealand in 2021.



Swan Lake/ Image: Women of the Royal New Zealand Ballet in the 2007 revival of Russell Kerr's Swan Lake, photograph by Maarten Holl.

Solace: dance to feed your soul/ Image: Wayne McGregor's Infra, The Royal Ballet (Eric Underwood, Melissa Hamilton), Royal Opera House, London, Photo ©ROH/Bill Cooper, 2010

A Midsummer Night's Dream/ Image: Saul Newport as Bottom and Ana Gallardo Lobaina as Titania in A Midsummer Night's Dream, 2021, photograph by Stephen A'Court.

Photography by Ross Brown unless otherwise attributed. Hair and make-up by Amy McLennan and Natalee Fisher. Costume coordinated by Donna Jefferis, Emily Barr, Hank Cubitt, Jessica Taunt and Kerri Singley. Design by Homegrown Creative.