Jane Campion’s 1993 award-winning global arthouse hit The Piano provided some truly iconic shots, propelled the then 11-year-old Anna Paquin to stardom, and even had the world believing Harvey Keitel could be sexy. The story of Ada McGrath and her daughter Flora, husband Alastair and lover Baines unfolded against the wild grandeur and desolation of Aotearoa, as Jane Campion’s award-winning film took audiences on a visceral journey into New Zealand’s imagined past as it had never been portrayed before.
One of New Zealand film’s biggest-ever success stories, it’s now celebrated by the Royal New Zealand Ballet, whose tour of a new balletic adaptation of the colonial tale tours New Zealand in March.
With special permission from Campion herself, the company has collaborated with Polish choreographer Jiří Bubeníček on this full length dance work that retains the film’s themes of desire, violence and hope. Excerpts from Michael Nyman’s evocative original score are blended with music by Debussy, Arensky, Stravinsky, Schnittke, Brahms and Shostakovich in this new take on this distinctly New Zealand tale.
Wellington: 23 – 25 February, St James Theatre
Napier: 2 – 3 March, Municipal Theatre
Auckland: 8 – 10 March, ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre
Dunedin: 16 March, Regent Theatre
Christchurch: 21 – 23 March, Isaac Theatre Royal
Palmerston North: 28 March, Regent On Broadway
Hit the Royal New Zealand Ballet website for more info and ticket bookings.
Image: Ross Brown