The Piano: The Ballet (Royal New Zealand Ballet)

ABR Arts is generously supported by ABR Patrons and Copyright Agency Cultural Fund.
Lee Christofis Tuesday, 27 February 2018
Published in ABR Arts

The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s world première of The Piano: The Ballet, inspired by Jane Campion’s Oscar-winning film The Piano (1993), began the company’s program for 2018. It is the second ballet on the subject by Jiří and Otto Bubeníček, former and highly decorated principal dancers at Hamburg Ballet. Their first was a one-act work for Ballet Dortmund in 2014. Its success encouraged the Czech twins to spend twenty wintry days driving a campervan around New Zealand. They filmed and recorded everything from the country’s natural grandeur to expressions of Maori culture.

Some of their video and sound recordings now populate the sets and soundscapes. Production values are high, and the settings are generated by projections on three mobile screens of glistening forests, beaches, waterfalls, and interiors backed by wallpaper, yards, or shimmering fern glades. A few sticks of furniture and emblematic props make up the domestic scenes: a dead tree, a large axe, and the piano that symbolises the medium of expression, solace, and emotional freedom of the ballet’s protagonist, Ada, a mute Scottish pianist sold into marriage to a white settler-forester she has never seen.

Read the rest of this article by subscribing to ABR Online for as little as $10 a month.

We offer a range of subscription options, including print, which can be found by clicking here. If you are already a subscriber, enter your username and password in the ‘Log In’ section in the top right-hand corner of the screen.

If you require assistance, contact us or consult the Frequently Asked Questions page.

Published in ABR Arts
Lee Christofis

Lee Christofis

Lee Christofis is a Melbourne-based writer on dance and associated arts. From 2006 to 2013 he was Curator of Dance at the National Library of Australia.

Leave a comment

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.

NB: If you are an ABR Online subscriber or contributor, you will need to login to ABR Online in order to post a comment. If you have forgotten your login details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to comments@australianbookreview.com.au. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.