RNZB exodus – an update

On Friday, when I wrote the piece below, it was understood that no 2017 graduates of the New Zealand School of Dance had been offered positions for 2018 with Royal New Zealand Ballet. The school is associated with RNZB and recently celebrated its half century with a gala concert that featured RNZB artists.

As RNZB’s 2015 Annual Report states, “The New Zealand School of Dance this year became the ‘official school’ of the RNZB and we thank trustees and management of the NZSD for their commitment and effort to make this long held relationship an even stronger one.”

Last night (Sunday, December 3) I received an email from an RNZB spokesman clarifying the position. He wrote that “two 2018 contracts were offered to 2017 NZSD graduates and one to a 2016 graduate who is the Todd Scholar for 2018”. The two 2017 graduates did not take up the offer, deciding to take up opportunities overseas. The 2016 graduate is Luke Cooper, who accepted the offer and will become the 2018 Todd Scholar.

The RNZB website describes the Todd Scholarship, which is provided by the Todd Corporation, as being  “awarded annually to an outstanding graduate of the New Zealand School of Dance”.

One of the 2017 graduates, Mali Comlekci, joins Queensland Ballet in 2018 as a Young Artist.

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