As the lights go down, magical worlds appear. Escape with the Royal New Zealand Ballet to faraway lands, to stories you love, music that makes your spirit soar and dance that feeds your soul.

Are you ready? Then, let’s begin…

Romantic, mystical and lyrical, the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s Giselle is a timeless production of one of ballet’s great stories. Performed by the RNZB in China, the USA, the UK and Italy, and turned into a feature film by director Toa Fraser, Giselle has captivated audiences and critics alike. The quintessential Romantic ballet returns to New Zealand stages in 2021.

Touring nationally 12 May – 9 June 2021

“It is easy to see why the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s signature work Giselle has earned popular and critical acclaim at home in New Zealand and around the world: it is simply superb in every way.” Raewyn Whyte, New Zealand Herald

Following the triumph of his Hansel & Gretel in 2019, the Royal New Zealand Ballet is delighted to commission a new work by Choreographer in Residence Loughlan Prior for 2021. Loughlan and designer Tracy Grant Lord have reimagined The Firebird at a time in which the natural world is threatened and humanity is staring into the abyss of extinction. Captured, the Firebird offers the possibility of redemption, if only humankind is brave enough to follow her path…

Touring nationally 29 July – 2 September 2021

“The Firebird emerges as the mother and protector of the natural world, conveying the glorious cycle of life, death and renewal.” Loughlan Prior, Choreographer

Lovers, fairies, mischief and moonlight - enter the magical world of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Created for the RNZB by choreographer Liam Scarlett, with distinguished New Zealand designer Tracy Grant Lord creating the glorious vision of Shakespeare’s iconic characters and enchanted wood. The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra will perform Mendelssohn’s beautiful score.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a co-production between the Royal New Zealand Ballet and Queensland Ballet.

Touring nationally 28 October – 11 December 2021

“Scarlett seems to have cast a spell of his own over the company… the choreography is speedy and sparkling as befits a tribe of spirits, rambunctious for the earthlings and strictly within the classical technique for all, and it is superbly performed.” Bernadette Rae, New Zealand Herald

Tutus on Tour in 2021 will mark a triumphant return to Aotearoa’s beautiful regional theatres after a year like no other, with an enchanting summer programme.

The ‘White Swan’ pas de deux from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake is achingly beautiful, tender and melancholic, while Jules Perrot’s Pas de Quatre (1845) is a gorgeous showpiece that dates from the Romantic era of ballet. Enjoy two bold, colourful works that were originally created for our cancelled Venus Rising season in 2020 - Andrea Schermoly’s Within Without, a beautiful and sentimental piece depicting the hardship of unintended childlessness, and Sarah Foster-Sproull’s Ultra Folly, a compelling chamber ballet that lays bare the dancers' secret desires and visions.

26 February – 16 March 2021, touring to:

Kapiti, Carterton, Whangarei, New Plymouth, Kerikeri, Whanganui, Manukau, Nelson, Blenheim, Hamilton, Ashburton, Tauranga, Oamaru, Gisborne, Gore and Hastings

Tutus on Tour is not part of the RNZB’s 2021 subscription season. Tickets are on sale from Tuesday 1 December 2020: for local box office information please see rnzb.org.nz/tutus.

IMAGE / Artistic Director Patricia Barker working in the RNZB studio with members of the company. Image by Jeremy Brick, 2020

Tēnā koutou katoa – haere mai.

Like all good holidays, I wanted our 2021 season to bring both welcome reunions with old friends and exciting new discoveries.

We welcome the return of Ethan Stiefel and Johan Kobborg’s beautiful Giselle, first seen in 2012. This is a wonderful production, tailor-made for the artists of the RNZB, and allows their dramatic talents to shine as much as their technique.

Bringing the fire of a new creation are choreographer Loughlan Prior (Hansel & Gretel) and designer Tracy Grant Lord (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Cinderella). Together they are creating a new Firebird, inspired by Stravinsky’s incredible music and a brave and hopeful vision of the future. The world premiere season will also include our first production of Russian classic Paquita for more than a decade: sparkling classical ballet that I simply adore.

For Christmas, we are thrilled to bring back our wonderful production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, created by Liam Scarlett in 2015: funny, fantastical and full of enchantment.

We warmly invite you to escape with us into the many wonderful worlds of the Royal New Zealand Ballet in 2021.

Ngā manaakitanga, Patricia Barker, Artistic Director

Join us as a subscriber in 2021, by purchasing tickets to two or more shows, and receive exclusive discounts and special benefits. Our subscription packages are a great way to support us, and you get to enjoy a year of the finest ballet.

Subscribing online is easy.

A regular date night at the ballet is the perfect way to stay in touch with friends and loved ones. Create your own Ballet Club - like a book club - to share your passion with other ballet fans!

Get a group of at least six people together, to attend all three mainstage shows across the year on the same night and you'll receive a 25% discount on your tickets!*

We have Adult and Children’s Ballet Club prices available. To book, call the RNZB Box Office on 0800 432 623.

*A booking fee of $6 per transaction will apply. If any Ballet Club member wants to change their ticket to a different night, they will need to pay the difference between the Ballet Club price and the normal subscription price, unless the whole club transfers to another night as a group.

Make every day a Dance Day!


Get the most out of your trip to the ballet with Warm Up, Curtain Up before some performances, free post-matinee Q&A sessions and pre-performance talks. In 2021 take the opportunity to attend Class on Stage, a unique glimpse of the company at work


Tailor-made curriculum-linked schools dance workshops. Online classroom resources including our new NCEA resource for The Firebird. Schools-only matinee performances


Ballet for Boys gives male students the chance to learn alongside their peers in classes taught by male teachers. RNZB Mentor student programme. Dance Teachers Professional Development seminar in Wellington

We’re dedicated to making dance accessible


Vision impaired patrons of all ages can enjoy ballet performances enhanced by live commentary. Before the show experience a behind the scenes Touch Tour.


An opportunity for children and adults with autism spectrum disorders and other sensitivity issues or special needs to experience the world of ballet in a sensory-friendly environment.


In partnership with the Department of Corrections RNZB continues its ground-breaking workshop programmes in men’s and women’s prisons

RNZB Education gratefully acknowledges additional support from the Kelliher Charitable Trust, the Ballet Foundation of New Zealand, the Rātā Foundation, Foundation North, the Wellington Community Trust and Perpetual Guardian.

Find out more: visit rnzb.org.nz/education or contact Education and Community Manager, Pascale Parenteau, Pascale@rnzb.org.nz / 021 678521.


In 2021, you will be able to buy tickets to attend live performances streamed direct to your living room.


Follow us online and we’ll take you behind-the scenes in the studio and backstage in the theatre, giving you exclusive access to our dancers in rehearsals and on stage. share your ballet experiences @nzballet


The RNZB’s award-winning education team provide free online classes, taught by the company’s artistic staff. Keep an eye on our Facebook page.


online exercise classes that provide a gentle ballet-focussed workout.


Pose your own questions to choreographers and dancers to hear about their process and experiences live on Instagram.

Sign up to our monthly e-newsletter and be the first to know about upcoming special events, tour highlights, discounts, giveaways and new videos.


For $50, become a Friend of the RNZB rnzb.org.nz/friends


As a valued supporter who cares about the future of ballet, donate a charitable gift


Begin a dynamic corporate partnership with the arts and build your business as you invest in the exceptional artistry of your national ballet company.


See the RNZB through a dancer’s eyes and support excellence in our company of artists.


Create solutions and access through trust and foundation grants and share the thrill of dance with Kiwis across the country.


Include a gift to the Ballet Foundation of New Zealand in your will so that future generations can enjoy world-class ballet right here in Aotearoa.

Get in touch to talk about deepening your connection to the RNZB or visit www.rnzb.org.nz/support to find out more.

Our supporting cast

Thank you to the incredible team of sponsors, trusts, funding bodies and personal supporters who work with us. This is your season. This is your company. Thank you.


IMAGE CREDITS: COVER / Ana Gallardo Lobaina. Image by Ross Brown 2020. FEATURED IMAGES / Joseph Skelton, Kate Kadow, Caroline Wiley, Cadence Barrack, Ella Chambers, Maggie Bryan, Lara Flannery, Katherine Minor, Laurynas Vėjalis, Levi Teachout, Kihiro Kusukami, Paul Mathews, Sara Garbowski, Kirby Selchow, Katherine Skelton. Image by Ross Brown, 2020. BALLET CLUB / A Midsummer Night’s Dream Act I, Stephen A’Court, 2015. LOVE TO LEARN / Students from Prospect School, Auckland attending a free creative dance workshop, 2020. Image by Frank Sin. LOVE TO SHARE / RNZB dancers Vincent Fraola and Caroline Wiley meet students at a Relaxed performance, Vodafone Events Centre, Manukau, 2019. Images by Frank Sin. LOVE TO WATCH / Videographer Jeremy Brick filming students attending a dance workshop at the RNZB Whānau Day at Te Papa Tongarewa. Image by Stephen A’Court, 2020. LOVE TO GIVE / Giselle Act II, Bill Cooper, 2015.