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Ethan Stiefel to direct Royal New Zealand Ballet

Posted on November 1, 2010

ethan stiefel in prodigal son photo credit roy round

ethan stiefel in prodigal son photo credit roy roundEthan Stiefel, currently a principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre, has been appointed artistic director of the Royal New Zealand Ballet. He will take up the position on September 1, 2011.

“I am enormously appreciative and enthusiastic about having been appointed the next artistic director of the Royal New Zealand Ballet,” Stiefel said, calling it “an exceptional opportunity to professionally and personally evolve and to contribute to the art for I truly love.” He praised the company’s achievements and potential, adding that he and his partner, ABT’s Gillian Murphy, “are ready for this new chapter in our lives and wholeheartedly make a commitment to the new adventures and prospects it holds.” Stiefel, who has relatives in New Zealand, aims to boost RNZB’s international profile, particularly in the US. He hopes “to make the RNZB a primary international ambassador of New Zealand and its inherent qualities.”

Photograph: Ethan Stiefel in Balanchine’s Prodigal Son. Photograph by Roy Round.


Zoë was born in Edinburgh, and saw her first dance performances at the Festival there. She is the dance critic of The Independent, and has also written for The Independent on Sunday, The Scotsman and Dancing Times. In 2002, she received her doctorate from the University of York for a thesis on “Nationhood and epic romance: Ariosto, Sidney, Spenser”. She is the author of The Royal Ballet: 75 Years and The Ballet Lover’s Companion.

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