On March 6th 1967 The New Zealand School of Dance (NZSD), then known as the National School of Ballet, welcomed its first group of aspiring young dancers. In the 50 years since it has continued to attract and inspire young dancers from home and abroad to receive the training and support they need to thrive in the world of professional dance.
In that time NZSD has become one of the Southern Hemisphere’s leading dance institutions and now operates with an international reach, not only attracting world class tutors but also sending students to companies in Europe, Asia, USA and Australia. The programme offered at NZSD is one of consummate excellence and offers a unique balance of classical and contemporary dance training.
To mark the School’s 50th anniversary celebrations in 2017 the NZSD has planned a number of special events. These include performances with the Royal New Zealand Ballet and the commissioning of new works by contemporary dance graduates. The NZSD is publishing a stunning collector’s book of highlights, honouring alumni, choreographers and teachers who have passed through the School and played a significant role in shaping this country’s dance culture.
The book launch will be timed to coincide with the anniversary week on 5 March 2017. Striking images by renowned photographer Stephen A’Court illustrate the book which is being designed by award winning Neil Pardington and written by Turid Revfeim. Graduate Turid, a former soloist with the Royal New Zealand Ballet and Ballet Mistress has a unique insight into the school.
‘The training I received prepared me for a career dancing in Europe, as well as here with the Royal New Zealand Ballet, performing in both contemporary and classical works.’ Turid Revfeim
The School has many alumni who have led successful dance careers. Amongst an esteemed group of graduates currently making their mark are classical graduate Harrison James who has risen to success as Principal Dancer with the National Ballet of Canada, Raewyn Hill as Artistic Director with Co:3 dance company in Perth, Shona McCullagh is Chief Executive/Artistic Director of The New Zealand Dance Company, and Laura Saxon Jones who is with the Royal New Zealand Ballet. NZSD graduates can be seen dancing with companies such as Australian Dance Theatre, Black Grace, English National Ballet, New Zealand Dance Company, Queensland Ballet and Singapore Dance Theatre just to name a few.
A year of celebrations will conclude with the 50th Anniversary Graduation Season at the St James Theatre in Wellington 24-25 November 2017. Performances will feature the New Zealand School of Dance students alongside dancers from the Royal New Zealand Ballet. This programme of ballet and contemporary dance honours the school’s rich heritage and looks forward to a vibrant future.
Tickets are now on sale at ticketek.co.nz