Australia beckons NZ ballet dancer

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Joseph Skelton temporarily joins The Australian Ballet. Photo: Stephen A' Court
Joseph Skelton temporarily joins The Australian Ballet. Photo: Stephen A' Court

Already enjoying success as one of three dancers in the leading role of Albrecht in Giselle, there's further kudos for Royal New Zealand Ballet dancer Joseph Skelton.

The Gisborne-born and Pukekohe-raised Skelton is the first RNZB dancer invited to guest with The Australian Ballet. He will join the company as a guest principal artist in its production of Giselle in October.

"I'm so excited!" he says. "I've never danced professionally in Australia or for another ballet company. It's a real honour to be chosen and I felt very proud when I told my family. The role of Albrecht is one of my favourites."

Skelton, who started dancing aged four, has been with the RNZB since 2011 after studying in the United Kingdom at Elmhurst School of Dance and the Royal Ballet School. In his time with RNZB, he has danced a number of solo roles in Don Quixote, Salute, and as Zoltan in Coppélia. Liam Scarlett created the role of Lysander on him for 2015's A Midsummer Night's Dream and he was the Wizard in the recent sell-out The Wizard of Oz. He made his debut as Albrecht in Giselle during the RNZB's European tour late last year.

His first appearance with The Australian Ballet will be on 12 October as part of their regional tour.

However, he won't be the only kiwi on stage. He'll partner Karen Nanasca, who was born in Auckland and joined The Australian Ballet School in 2006 and the company in 2009. She'll be dancing the title role of Giselle, and Joseph will be her leading man, visiting three centres in New South Wales.

The RNZB's own tour of Giselle continues to Auckland (August 31 - September 3, Rotorua (September 6) and Palmerston North (September 9).

- NZ Herald

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