Seduction, Passion, Obsession

Ballet comes to Wellington

The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s 2017 season begins with two New Zealand premieres of French master choreographer Roland Petit’s landmark works L’Arlésienne and Carmen,

The Wellington performances are at the St James Theatre, from Wednesday 22 March to  Saturday 25 March.

Tickets available through Ticketek:
Adult: $35 – $140
Child: $25 – $50
Senior/Student/Unwaged: $31.50 – $126

Roland Petit’s ballets

Carmen performed by Mayu Tanigaito (Photo credit: Ross Brown)

This is the first time that the RNZB has performed works by Roland Petit (1924 – 2011), one of the great choreographers of the 20th and 21stcenturies.

L’Arlésienne: It’s high summer in Provence.

On his wedding day, a young man is captivated, then obsessed, by an unknown, unseen woman. Consumed by his vision, he abandons his bride, losing his reason and ultimately, his life.

Carmen: Temptress, free spirit, victim or villain? Carmen lives and loves on her own terms. Whatever claims a man makes on her body, her heart and mind are her own.

Bizet’s opera Carmen was first performed in Paris in 1875 and is one of the most popular works in the operatic canon. Roland Petit’s ballet, now his signature work, premiered in London in 1949 with Zizi Jeanmaire in the title role and Petit himself as Don José.

Contains adult themes.

Reflections on Roland Petit and his work

Roland Petit

RNZB Artistic Director Francesco Ventriglia was a 19 year old dancer with La Scala in Italy when he first met Roland Petit.   “Maestro Petit had an extraordinary impact on me as an artist. He not only cast me in my first major roles but he also became my mentor. I feel very honoured to be introducing his genius to the dancers of the RNZB and to nurture them as artists through this experience.  I really believe that Maestro Petit’s works should be seen by everyone who loves the arts, and I am thrilled New Zealanders now have the opportunity to see these masterpieces,” says Francesco.

Carmen has become Roland Petit’s signature work and is in the repertoire of ballet companies throughout the world. It was created for Les Ballets de Paris, and premiered in London in 1949 with Zizi Jeanmaire in the title role, and Petit himself as Don José. Petit created L’Arlésienne in 1974 for the Ballet National de Marseille, a company he founded. Both ballets are set to the well-known and powerful music of composer Georges Bizet and are stories of passion and obsession.