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A WWI Ballet- Salute

Date published: 
Wednesday, 24 December, 2014

They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.*

The Royal New Zealand Ballet is honoured to collaborate with the New Zealand Army Band and distinguished New Zealand composers and choreographers Dwayne Bloomfield, Gareth Farr, Neil Ieremia and Andrew Simmons, in this special programme of works to mark the centenary of the Gallipoli landings.

Alongside classic pieces by Johan Kobborg (Salute, New Zealand premiere), Neil Ieremia and Andrew Simmons will create two world premieres.

The first day of the Battle of Passchendaele, 12 October 1917, was New Zealand’s greatest single loss of life during the First World War. Neil Ieremia will create a new work inspired by Warrant Officer Dwayne Bloomfield’s tone poem Passchendaele, premiered by the New Zealand Army Band on Anzac Day 2009. Andrew Simmons, whose haunting works for the RNZB, Through to You, A Song in the Dark and Of Days have made such an impression on New Zealand and international audiences, will return to New Zealand to work with composer Gareth Farr (The Wedding, Smashing Sweet Vixen) on his fourth commission for the RNZB.

The New Zealand Army Band will perform live in all venues throughout the tour.

Choreography: Johan Kobborg
Music: Hans Christian Lumbye
Design: Natalia Stewart

New work (world premiere)
Choreography: Andrew Simmons
Music: Gareth Farr

Passchendaele (world premiere)
Choreography: Neil Ieremia
Music: Dwayne Bloomfield
Design: Neil Ieremia
Lighting design: TBC
Conductors: Nigel Gaynor, Captain Graham Hickman

*Laurence Binyon For the Fallen, September 1914