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NZ Ballet cancels China performances

Performances cancelled due to chilly conditions

KERRY MCBRIDE
Last updated 12:40 23/04/2013
Ballet
SHOW DOWN: Dancers Gillian Murphy and Qi Huan in a performance of Giselle - NZ Ballet has cancelled its China performances of the show.

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The Royal New Zealand Ballet had to cancel two performances in China over the weekend due to heating issues at the venue making it too cold for dancers to perform.

The troupe was due to perform Giselle at the Tianjin Grand Theatre on Saturday and Sunday, but temperatures inside were just 10 degrees Celsius, putting dancers at risk of injury.

The troupe was then locked out of the theatre, stopping them from recovering their costumes and sets from inside.

RNZB managing director Amanda Skoog said they hoped to come back again in future.

"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."

They would be continuing their tour to the city of Guangzhou as scheduled.

The five city tour cost almost half a million dollars to stage, with the nine shows estimated to be seen by 12,000 people.

A spokesman from the Foreign Affairs and Trade Ministry said the NZ Embassy in Beijing was aware of the issue.

"[They have] been in direct and frequent contact with the Tianjin Grand Theatre since the matter arose over the weekend. We understand the Royal New Zealand ballet now have access to the theatre and is moving out their set and costumes."

The tour had been funded by private companies and organisations, as well as through a $35,000 contribution from the Culture and Heritage Ministry.

Performances in Shanghai and Beijing last week had sold out, with Chinese-born lead male Qi Huan a big drawcard.

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- The Dominion Post

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