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International lead role for Kiwi dancer

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 26/08/2016

Joseph Skelton will be the first ever Royal New Zealand Ballet dancer to join The Australian Ballet as a guest principal artist when he takes to the stage in Giselle.

The Gisborne born, Pukekohe raised, dancer will perform in the leading role of Albrecht in the company's regional tour of the production in October.

Skelton is familiar with the role. He's currently playing Albrecht in the Ethan Stiefel and Johan Kobborg production created for the RNZB that is currently touring the country.

"It's a real honour to be chosen and I felt very prod when I told my family," Skelton said, adding it would be his first time dancing professionally overseas.

But Skelton won't be the only Kiwi on stage in a leading role.

He will partner Aucklander Karen Nanasca, who joined The Australian Ballet School in 2006 and company in 2009, and will dance in the role of Giselle.

RNZB artistic director Francesco Ventriglia said it was a great opportunity for Skelton, who took up dancing at four and joined the company in 2011 after training with the Royal Ballet School in the United Kingdom.

"This is the first time a RNZB dancer has been invited to guest with The Australian Ballet and it's a wonderful opportunity for Joseph and the RNZB to fly the New Zealand flag - he will make a great dance ambassador," he said.

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