Sugar, spice & sparkle

THE ROYAL NEW ZEALAND BALLET is bringing sugar, spice and sparkle to theatres around New Zealand this Christmas with a brand new telling of Hansel & Gretel. Perfect for festive family outings or a special night out.

The classic fairytale is being whisked into an original ballet by young Kiwi/Aussie choreographer Loughlan Prior, Choreographer in Residence with the Royal New Zealand Ballet and a dancer with the company since 2010. 

Making their own creative contributions are Auckland-based composer Claire Cowan, who is writing the original score which will be performed live in Wellington, Christchurch and Auckland by Orchestra Wellington, the CSO and the APO respectively, and designer Kate Hawley, who has worked on international film projects including The Hobbit, Mortal Engines and Crimson Peak, and who has a definite flair for fantasy. 

Alongside the full Royal New Zealand Ballet company of almost 40 dancers, local children will appear onstage in each venue, adding to a magical array of forest creatures as Hansel and Gretel find themselves lost in the moonlit forest en route to the Witch’s gingerbread house. 

“We are creating a dark, witty and enchanting realm that audiences can escape into and get lost in for the evening,” says Loughlan. 

“Every character in our story has something to say and there will be some beautiful moments for the dancers of the Royal New Zealand Ballet to perform,” he says.

Alongside Hansel and Gretel, the ballet will feature a gorgeous cast of memorable characters, including the Sand Man, the magical Dew Fairies, sinister dancing Gingerbread Men, and of course, the Witch. 

 Hansel & Gretel is a show for everyone,” says Loughlan. “Ballet lovers, kids, families and anyone who wants to be thoroughly entertained. We want to have our audience pirouetting out of theatres with stunning visuals emblazoned in their minds and humming tunes which they won’t be able to get out of their heads for weeks!”

The Ryman Healthcare Season of Hansel & Gretel opens at The Opera House, Wellington, on 6 November and tours to Palmerston North, Napier, Christchurch, Invercargill, Dunedin and Auckland (both the Aotea Centre and the Bruce Mason Centre, Takapuna). Special prices are available for children; seniors and groups of six or more. 

rnzb.org.nz