Special to return to city: RNZB dancer

Dr Roger Collins, an author and retired teacher of French and art history at the University of...
Dr Roger Collins, an author and retired teacher of French and art history at the University of Otago, and long a lover of ballet, meets Royal New Zealand Ballet dancer Olivia Moore during her visit to the Yvette Williams Retirement Village in Dunedin yesterday. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
Young dancer Olivia Moore says it is "special" to return to her Dunedin birthplace to perform "Dancing with Mozart" with the Royal New Zealand Ballet tomorrow.

Since she began dance training as a 3-year-old, and before she attended St Clair Primary School, it had been her "dream to be a professional and do it full time".

Asked if the reality of becoming a member of the 30-strong national ballet company had sunk in, Miss Moore (16) said "it definitely still feels a bit surreal".

But now she was performing on stage more regularly "it's beginning to feel a bit more real".

She will dance with the RNZB at the Regent Theatre at 7.30pm tomorrow, having joined the company in February.

"Dunedin, for me it just holds so many memories."

It was "really cool" to be able to perform in a place where some family members still lived.

"I think it will be a very special performance."

In April, she made her professional debut with the RNZB in "Tutus on Tour", in Tauranga, where she grew up, having left Dunedin aged 7.

She is the ballet company's youngest current member, and has already performed with widely respected dancer and veteran RNZB member Sir Jon Trimmer (78).

Last year, at the age of 15 she was accepted as a classical major at the New Zealand School of Dance (NZSD).

She won classical and contemporary sections in the Petipa International Competition in Brussels in 2015, and won the Sir John Logan Ballet Award in Auckland in 2016.

While at the NZSD, she was chosen to take part in an exchange programme to further her training at Canada's National Ballet School in Toronto.

She loved to perform, she said.

"On stage you have your own space - it's really special to be able to share that with everyone watching."

"It's really expressive; you can express yourself.

"It's a challenge - I love that."


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