Royal New Zealand Ballet’s Meridian Season of


June 23–26, 2010

ITR Auditorium

Her allure is the stuff of legend.

The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s Meridian Season of Carmen is guaranteed to heat up the winter months.

Against a backdrop of modern-day Rio de Janeiro and set to George Bizet’s famous score, this is dramatic dance theatre at its best.

This highly visual, contemporary take on a classic story sees Carmen working in a cigarette factory by day. By night, you’ll find her hanging out with a dodgy crowd of small-time crooks at the seedy Bar Pastia. Sultry and ruthless, Carmen uses her seductive powers to devastating effect. Able to disarm with a sideward glance, the independent and strong-willed Carmen manipulates every situation to her favour.

“Carmen is probably the world’s most famous seductress,” says RNZB Artistic Director Gary Harris. “Backed up with Bizet’s musical masterpiece of a score, this production is a fantastic night out.”

When José makes the mistake of falling in love with Carmen, things spiral out of control. Caught between duty and desire, José’s uncontrollable desire for the dismissive Carmen can only lead to disaster.

The Meridian Season of Carmen will feature guest dancer Pieter Symonds in the title role. A former principal dancer with the RNZB, Pieter is currently based in London where she dances with the Rambert Dance Company. Born in Christchurch, Pieter joined the Royal New Zealand Ballet in 1997 where she performed numerous principal roles for the company including Esmeralda in The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Carmen.

“We are thrilled to have Pieter return for this season,” says Harris. “Her career has continued to go from strength to strength and it’s a real coup to have her back performing for New Zealand audiences again.”

First performed by the RNZB in 2005 and choreographed by Dutch-born Didy Veldman, this production of Carmen canvasses a variety of genres and will appeal to lovers of theatre, music, dance, and design.