Royal NZ ballet debut for talented 12-year-old

Twelve-year-old Bianca Lungu of Arkles Bay will play a lead role in the Royal NZ Ballet’s production of The Piano. Photo, Stephen A’Court.

Whangaparaoa dancer Bianca Lungu has been selected from more than 100 applicants for the key role of Flora McGrath in the Royal NZ Ballet company’s production of The Piano.

The talented 12-year-old is a student of Whangaparaoa College and has been pursuing her love of dancing since she was just three years old. She currently attends Fusion Dance Studio in Orewa where her instructor is Rosanne Watkinson.

Bianca’s mother, Cristina, says the role is a dream come true for Bianca. It means taking the whole of term one off school, and the family has temporarily relocated to Wellington where rehearsals are underway.

She says Bianca is excited and bubbly about the whole experience, which includes dancing with some wonderful ballerinas, who are her role models.

Bianca shares the role of Flora, on the company’s extensive tour schedule, with Hazel Couper.

Jane Campion’s 1993 movie The Piano has been reinterpreted as a ballet by Czech choreographer Jiri Bubenicek. The show has its premiere in Wellington on February 23 and tours to Napier, Auckland, Dunedin, Christchurch and Palmerston North. It opens in Auckland in the second week of March and is presented as part of the NZ Festival and Auckland Arts Festival.

Filmmaker Rebecca Tansley is directing a documentary that follows the creation and staging of the ballet.

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