Royal New Zealand Ballet presents

Three By Ekman

24 MAY - 1 JUN 2017 — Ballet





1 hour 45 minutes including an interval



Alexander Ekman’s Cacti captivated audiences during the RNZB’s Speed of Light tour in 2016, with the New Zealand Herald hailing its ‘cheeky effervescence, irrepressible energy and beguiling wit.’ New Zealanders now have the opportunity to see Cacti again, together with two additional works by Ekman: Tuplet, created for Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet and premiered at The Joyce Theater, New York, in 2012; and Episode 31, made for the Senior Graduation Class at The Juilliard School and premiered in New York in 2011. The RNZB is the first company in the world to present these works together.

All three works showcase the hallmarks of Ekman’s style: exuberant and complex rhythms in which the dancers are at one with the music; a deep pleasure in the human interactions of dance; and witty, stylish staging. Tuplet, for just six dancers, is the most intimate of the three works, riffing off the split-second precision of contemporary ballet dancers at the top of their game. Episode 31 is larger in scale, a torrent of youthful vigour harnessing the energy of New York City. Cacti (2010) brings it all together, combining hilarious insights into the dancers’ innermost thoughts with a mesmerising musicality. Once again, the RNZB will be joined by the New Zealand String Quartet onstage for all performances.

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Alexander Ekman

Choreography, video, set design & Cacti costume design

Ana Maria Lucaciu


Fernando Troya

Répétiteur, Episode 31

Tom Visser

Cacti Lighting, co-set design & technical supervision

Joseph Hayden, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Schubert

Cacti music

New Zealand String Quartet

Live Cacti music

Nancy Haeyung Bae

Tuplet costume design

Amith Chandrashaker

Tuplet lighting design

Mikael Karlsson, Victor Feldman, Bart Howard

Tuplet music

Luke Simcock

Episode 31 costume design

Nicole Pearce

Episode 31 lighting design

Mikael Karlsson, Erik Satie, Ane Brun

Episode 31 music


RNZB $30 - $87

RNZB Opening Night $32 - $87

RNZB 25-28 May $32 - $87

Group Bookings.

Groups of at least six people can enjoy a 10% discount, while groups of 20+ can enjoy a 15% discount on all ticket prices for every RNZB performance (excluding school matinees). Group discounts are available for both adult AND child tickets.

To purchase group tickets, please contact:

0800 ATC TIX or

See Prices

Pre-Book a Car Park.

Take the hassle out of finding a car park

By exclusive arrangement with ASB, you can pre-book your car park in the Hamer St car park. For only $8 and only a short walk from the theatre, the Hamer St car park is the stress free way to travel to the theatre.

Pre-Book a Car Park

Special Events.

Free Pre-Performance Talk

Friday 26 May 6:30pm

The ASB Cube - Level 2 ASB Waterfront Theatre, across the bridge to the right of the stairs

Join our special presentation for an insight into our production. Free 30 minute event – no booking required, just come along early on the night.

Find out more

Free Post-Performance Q&A

Saturday 27 May, immediately following matinee performance

On stage

Add to your enjoyment and understanding of productions – a panel of RNZB dancers will take questions from the audience after the matinee performance.

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Warm Up, Curtain Up

Saturday 27 May 6:20pm

On stage

Gold coin donation

Watch the RNZB dancers in a short class on stage as they prepare for the evening performance. A great opportunity to see behind the scenes when the company is on tour and gain a greater understanding of what happens at the theatre in the countdown to curtain up. No registration needed, just turn up early!

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Cacti review quotes from 2016.

cheeky effervescence, an irrepressible energy and a beguiling wit ...
Bernadette Rae, The New Zealand Herald fizzes with fun and the dancers seem to be having a ball...
Jan Bolwell, DANZ
This zany parody of pretension takes the mickey out of all culture vultures, especially (gulp) critics. The music ... was mellifluously played live on stage by the brilliant New Zealand String Quartet - what a bonus!
Ann Hunt, Dominion Post