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Hero image for Ballet in New Zealand

Ballet in New Zealand

Short Film (Full Length) – 1963

This National Film Unit documenetary illustrates the early days of the Royal New Zealand Ballet. Performances from the company’s touring program include Bournonville’s Napoli, kiwi Arthur Turnbull’s Do-Wack-A-Do, a quirky 1930s flapper themed production (also with a NZ composer, Dorothea Franchi) and the tulle and poise of Fokine’s Les Sylphides. Prismatic Variations, choreographed by ballet company founder Poul Gnatt, and produced by another dance icon Russell Kerr, is the finale for this tribute to those who have made New Zealanders “ballet conscious.”

Ballet isn’t to everyone’s taste. In most young countries, such as New Zealand, a good deal of prejudice has to be overcome. You have to teach people to like ballet and to do that your dancers need to be good.
– Narrator

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