Royal New Zealand Ballet to Make NYC Debut at Joyce Theater, 2/12-16

Royal New Zealand Ballet to Make NYC Debut at Joyce Theater, 2/12-16

The Joyce Theater Foundation, Inc. will present the New York debut of the Royal New Zealand Ballet, performing a mixed bill of three works, from February 12-16. Under the artistic direction of former New York City Ballet and American Ballet Theater principal dancer Ethan Stiefel, the company will present pieces by Benjamin Millepied, Javier De Frutos and Andrew Simmons. Tickets are $10-$75 (Joyce Members $26; $44) and can be purchased through JoyceCharge at or by calling 212.242.0800. Please note: ticket prices are subject to change. The Joyce Theater is located at 175 Eighth Avenue at 19th Street, in Chelsea.

Under Artistic Director Ethan Stiefel, Royal New Zealand Ballet makes its highly anticipated New York debut at The Joyce Theater with an exciting triple bill that combines stellar choreography set to enchanting music and danced by magnificent artists, including special guest artist America Ballet Theatre principal dancer Gillian Murphy. Audiences will be treated to Of Days, a subtle and reflective work, choreographed by former RNZB dancer Andrew Simmons for the company's 60th Anniversary season, that consists of six short pieces set to gentle and mesmerizing minimalist music by three international composers: Ludovico Einaudi, Dustin O'Halloran and Olafur Arnalds; Benjamin Millepied's elegant 28 Variations on a Theme by Paganini, a classically inspired ballet performed to Brahms' exquisite and intricate piano music; and Banderillero, created by Venezuelan choreographer Javier De Frutos, a passionate piece for 10 dancers with flamenco flourishes inspired by traditional Spanish bullfights and driven by the drumming of Chinese percussionist Yim Hok-Man.

Andrew Simmons was born in New Zealand and attended the International Ballet Academy from 2001 to 2003 and was a member of the Royal New Zealand Ballet between 2004 and 2008 before moving to Dresden, Germany. Andrew's first piece for RNZB was Theme and Deviations in 2007. Through to You, his second work for the company, premiered during the 2009 Tutus on Tour, and his third and largest work for the company, A Song in the Dark, joined the company's repertoire after a successful triple bill season. This was followed by equally successful and critically praised performances of the same piece on the company's 2011 tour of the United Kingdom and France, which resulted in A Song in the Dark, which received a nomination for best classical choreography in the 2011 UK Critics' Circle National Dance Awards.

Born in Bordeaux, France, Benjamin Millepied began his dance training at the age of eight with his mother, Catherine a former modern dancer. Millepied went to New York to study at the School of American Ballet (SAB) in 1993, where he originated a principal role in Jerome Robbins' 2 & 3 Part Inventions, set to music by J.S Bach. He joined New York City Ballet in 1995 and was promoted to Principal in 2001. In 2010, Millepied choreographed and starred in Darren Aronofsky's feature film BLACK SWAN. The following year, he directed a short film featuring Lea Seydoux and 5 short films set to Philip Glass new violin works, began working on a new series produced by Danceon and created the LA Dance Project with Los Angeles Music Center. In January 2013, it was announced that Benjamin Millepied will be the new Director of Dance at the Opéra National de Paris. He will take up this appointment in September 2014.

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by Barnett Serchuk