July 20, 2013

60 Years of Royal New Zealand Ballet at The Film Archive

The New Zealand Film Archive is taking part in this weekends celebrations of 60 years of the Royal New Zealand ballet by showing a selection of their holdings relating to the company.

Last night I saw:
Our Stars of Ballet (1960)
Prismatic Variations (1960)
Petrouchka in Performance (1993)
50 Years On Their Toes (2003)

The first and the last were documentaries which I found the most enjoyable. Our Stars of Ballet is a charming production of the National Film Unit with surprisingly good quality images. 50 Years On Their Toes was about the 50th birthday of the company, their production of Romeo and Juliet and a bit about the history including fires and financial worries. The RNZB is certainly in a better place than they have been in previous years with government funding and a home in the beautiful St James Theatre which provides studio, office and performance space.

Prismatic Variations was the most difficult to watch. Not only was the film of poor quality but the choreography made the dancers movements wooden. Petrouchka was vibrant in itself and in contrast to the previous black and white films. The filming techniques made this easier to watch.

Tonight is the final show. The selection of films will be the same as last night. For more information check out the Film Archive website. If you want to see more, Giselle, the film based on the RNZB production of the same name, will be showing as part of the International Film Festival in August.

Shows: 17-20 July 7pm
Price: $8
Location: The Film Archive, Wellington

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