The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s beloved Swan Lake returns to the stage this May

The return of New Zealand’s favourite pointe shoes, ribbons, and tutus is taking the stage this May, with the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s (RNZB) eagerly awaited season of the ballet classic, Swan Lake. Regarded as the most renowned ballet, Swan Lake has been enchanting audiences for an eternity and continues to provide unparalleled elegance, feeling, and performance for those lucky enough to attend. 

As an aspiring ballerina in my youth, the return of Swan Lake to a local stage after eleven years ignites a true excitement for my little-self, and I know I won’t be alone in this. Throughout New Zealand, fellow ballet heads will be sharing in collective anticipation for the beloved ballet’s return, creating for an evening that will be difficult to forget.

If you didn’t already know, Swan Lake is the epitome of balletic mastery and demonstrates the true diligence and exceptional skill of the dancers involved. Restaged by former RNZB Ballet Mistress Turid Revfeim, audiences can prepare to celebrate the expertise and technical ability of the latest cohort of RNZB artists with complete awe. 

“This production holds so many precious memories for generations of New Zealanders [...] Swan Lake’s themes of hope, deception, betrayal, and forgiveness continue to resonate so powerfully. I know how excited the dancers are to be performing Swan Lake this year, and hope audiences are ready to be swept away to this supernatural, transcendent world with us,” says RNZB Artistic Director Ty King-Wall. 

Between the sweeping notes of Tchaikovsky’s composition, the exquisite costume creations of Kristian Fredrikson, and the powerful lighting design by Jon Buswell, spectators will be whisked into a realm of touching beauty, transported from the real world into the world of Swan Lake. 

After twelve years with the national ballet company, RNZB Principal Mayu Tanigaito will take center stage in the coveted role of Odette/Odile. She reflects, saying, “It is a privilege to get to perform this iconic dual role. Although it is quite late in my career to debut this role, I feel like I have been working towards this my whole career.”

Prepare to be swept into the enchanting world of Swan Lake this May, with the promise of an unforgettable but seamlessly beautiful journey through this timeless love story. 

For additional information and to view the complete 2024 RNZB program, visit