Royal NZ Ballet suffers lockout in China

The Royal New Zealand Ballet has had problems during its China tour. Photo / Supplied
The Royal New Zealand Ballet has had problems during its China tour. Photo / Supplied

The risk of serious injury from chilly theatre conditions has forced the Royal New Zealand Ballet to cancel two shows in its tour of China.

The company was then locked out of the theatre and was unable to retrieve its sets and costumes until the New Zealand embassy in Beijing intervened.

The Royal New Zealand Ballet had been scheduled to perform its production of Giselle in the northern city of Tianjin over the weekend, but had to cancel because it was only 10C inside the theatre.

After the cancellation, the Tianjin Grand Theatre reportedly locked the company out and stopped it from retrieving its property.

A Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesman said the New Zealand embassy in Beijing had been in direct contact with the theatre since the issue arose at the weekend.

"We understand the Royal New Zealand Ballet now have access to the theatre and has moved out their set and costumes."

In a statement, Royal New Zealand Ballet managing director Amanda Skoog said the company was very disappointed it had been unable to perform.

"Although it is a wonderful theatre, and the Royal New Zealand Ballet explored all options to ensure performances took place, we were still unable to perform because of the temperature in the theatre. This can cause serious injury to our dancers.

"We understand that the people of Tianjin were very supportive of our performances and we are very grateful for this. We do hope to return to share our artistry in the future."

The company's tour of Giselle was now continuing in Guangzhou as scheduled.

- APNZ

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