60 performances, 13 venues, 2 arts festivals and one historic move back to the St James Theatre – there’s a lot to look forward to in 2022. With a programme full of international premieres, timeless classics and brand-new works from New Zealand’s leading choreographers, welcome to the RNZB’s 2022 Season of Dance.

Three extraordinary works, by inspiring and internationally renowned choreographers, capture the spirit and power of Venus Rising – brightest of stars.

Aurum, an award-winning work by Royal New Zealand Ballet alumna Alice Topp glows with inner light and profound peace.

Sarah Foster-Sproull’s The Autumn Ball, commissioned for the Royal New Zealand Ballet in 2021, dances through the circle of life with tenderness, grace and floor-filling fun.

Global dance legend Twyla Tharp brings this showcase of top-flight international dance to a climax with the New Zealand premiere of her Waterbaby Bagatelles.

24 February – 12 March 2022

Touring to: Wellington, Christchurch, Auckland

“Like water, this ballet has no center; it refreshes simply by washing over you”. THE NEW YORK TIMES on Twyla Tharp, Waterbaby Bagatelles.

Considered the greatest of all classical ballets, Swan Lake is a perfect marriage of music and dance.

With Tchaikovsky’s sweeping score – lush, romantic, instantly recognisable – and Kristian Fredrikson’s opulent designs, gorgeously lit by Jon Buswell, Swan Lake transports the audience from palace ballroom to lakeside in wave upon wave of beauty and emotion. You’ll be inexorably drawn into the unfolding tragedy and exalt as the dancers bring every dramatic nuance of their iconic roles to life.

Revisiting the original production to celebrate the dramatic and technical brilliance of a new generation of RNZB dancers, this collaboration with distinguished former Artistic Director Russell Kerr will celebrate the Company’s rich past and bright future.

We are thrilled to be able to present this beautiful production, not seen in Aotearoa since 2013, with the support of colleagues from the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (Wellington), the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra (Christchurch) and the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra (Auckland).

5 May – 5 June 2022

Touring Nationally

“The Royal New Zealand Ballet production of Swan Lake exceeds expectations. Immaculately professional, the production overflows with an opulence and a gracefulness hard to find in other art forms, making show-goers feel almost like royalty while the dancers are on stage.” Lauren Hayes, Southland Times.

The Ryman Healthcare Season of

From the ‘dream team’ who brought you 2019’s dazzling Hansel & Gretel, comes a brand-new ballet to celebrate the re-opening of Wellington’s St James Theatre followed by a national tour.

Feisty, funny and fabulous, Cinderella is choreographed by master storyteller Loughlan Prior to a magical new score by Claire Cowan and with fashion-forward designs by Emma Kingsbury. This thoroughly modern Cinderella presents a sparky, stylish twist on the classic tale, with a heroine who knows her own mind and a hero who follows his heart.

3 Aug – 3 Sep 2022

Touring Nationally

"Cinderella is a stargazer, a dreamer and a unique spirit who finds herself in the wrong story. Set within an enormous, embroidered tapestry, the ballet is a kaleidoscopic collision of detail and colour, illustrating a timely twist on the classic tale." Loughlan Prior, Choreographer.

Patricia Barker has curated a programme of works which will showcase the dancers of your national ballet company at their best, from beloved classical favourites to recent works that have claimed a rightful place on the international stage.

The pas de trois from Le Corsaire offers firecracker virtuosity, while the joyful ‘Waltz of the Flowers’ and the grand pas de deux from Val Caniparoli’s production of The Nutcracker look forward to Christmas with warmth and grandeur.

On the contemporary side, Christopher Wheeldon’s After the Rain pas de deux (2005) makes its RNZB debut. Gentle and tender, showing a profound connection between its performers, it is a work that is cherished by every dancer lucky enough to perform it.

Olivier Wevers’ The Sofa (2013) introduces this rising star of contemporary choreography to Aotearoa. Rounding out this generous programme of dance is RNZB Choreographer in Residence Shaun James Kelly’s The Ground Beneath Our Feet (2019), an exuberant ballet, tailor-made for the RNZB, that rides the scintillating rhythms of its music like a rollercoaster.

Tutus on Tour is available to purchase as part of 2022 Subscription packages.

7 October – 12 November 2022

Touring to: Wellington, Palmerston North, Napier, Rotorua, Tauranga, Manukau, Takapuna, New Plymouth, Christchurch, Dunedin, Invercargill.

Tēnā koutou katoa – haere mai.

Planning a new season of beautiful ballets always fills me with great enthusiasm and our 2022 season is no different. The Royal New Zealand Ballet marks 69 years as New Zealand’s national ballet company and brings with it poise and grace, optimism and excitement. I cannot wait to share it with you.

I’m optimistic because we have a great deal to look forward to, including our long-awaited return to our home at the St James Theatre. I’m excited, because I know that the talented dancers in the company, from those who have delighted audiences for more than a decade, to our newer dancers who have already found their way into the hearts of our audiences with their great dancing, will continue to bring grace and poise to each and every work you will see on stage across Aotearoa in 2022.

Ngā manaakitanga, Patricia Barker, Artistic Director.

Join us as a subscriber in 2022, 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.

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 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 2022 take the opportunity to attend Class on Stage, a unique glimpse of the company at work.


Tailor-made curriculum-linked schools dance workshops linked to our current productions. Free online resources for primary, intermediate, and secondary students. Schools-only matinee performances.


Open classes including dedicated Ballet for Boys classes offer students around Aotearoa the chance to learn from our artistic staff. Practise at home with a series of online Open Classes, tailored for different levels. RNZB Mentor student programme.

PHOTO: Frank Sin

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 Royal New Zealand Ballet Foundation, the Rātā Foundation, Foundation North, Wellington Community Trust, the Winton and Margaret Bear Charitable Trust – managed by Trustees Executors, and the Clare Foundation.

PHOTO: Antworks Studio

In 2022, you will be able to buy tickets to watch cinematic, digital productions and live, online events streamed direct to your living room.


Follow us on social media 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.


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.


Pose your own questions to choreographers and dancers to hear about their process and experiences live across various online platforms.


Join for $50 and receive a 20% discount on tickets, dress rehearsal opportunities, seasonal newsletters, invitations to company class and more.


Our flagship giving programme from $250, $500, $1,000 or more includes regular newsletters and exclusive content, recognition in our programmes and invitations to Company events.


Invest in this new work of art, tailor made for your national ballet, with a donation to our Annual Appeal.


2022 is our year to realise a new vision and future for the RNZB with a major new fit-out of the St James Theatre.


A unique opportunity for Individuals and businesses to play a pivotal supporting role. Champion one of our talented dancers and gain insight into their professional life and a deeper understanding of their art.


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


Remember the Royal New Zealand Ballet Foundation in your will so that future generations can enjoy world-class ballet right here in Aotearoa.


Grants can support the social, health and educational benefits of sharing the thrill of dance with Kiwis across the country.

Get in touch to talk about deepening your connection to the RNZB.


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.

Dancers: Soloist Joshua Guillemot-Rodgerson, Principal Sara Garbowski, Artist Christian Renforth, Soloist Katherine Skelton, Principal Laurynas Vėjalis, Principal Kate Kadow, Artist Georgia Baxter, Soloist Kihiro Kusukami, Artist Lara Flannery, Artist Saul Newport, Principal Mayu Tanigaito, Artist Annaliese Macdonald.

Photography by Ross Brown

Videography by Jeremy Brick