2016 Harry Haythorne Award

2016 Harry Haythorne Award

Shaun James Kelly.
Shaun James Kelly. Photo: Stephen A’Court.

Shaun James Kelly Receives the Harry Haythorne Award 2016

The Harry Haythorne Choreographic Awards were held in November 2016 at a special in-studio event for RNZB Dress Circle members and Friends. Three RNZB dancers – Charles McCall, Laura Saxon Jones and Shaun James Kelly – created short choreographic works for the competition.

We were delighted to announce that Shaun James Kelly won the Judges’ Award for his work Blanc, which he choreographed for fellow RNZB dancers Madeleine Graham, Tonia Looker, Katherine Minor, Marie Varlet, Leonora Voigtlander, Alexandre Ferreira, Shih-Huai Liang and Paul Mathews.

RNZB dancer Laura Saxon Jones won the Audience Award for her work Alpha, which she choreographed for Madeleine Graham, Katherine Minor, Alayna Ng, Kirby Selchow and Leonora Voigtlander.

The annual competition, now in its second year, was created with the support of the Ballet Foundation of New Zealand in memory of former RNZB Artistic Director Harry Haythorne MBE.

“Developing young choreographers and opportunities for them to make work is something I am very passionate about. I’m delighted that together with the Foundation we’ve been able to create this Award and to continue Harry’s legacy,” says RNZB Artistic Director Francesco Ventriglia.

A panel of judges, including RNZB artistic staff and guests, awarded the Judges’ prize of $1,000, and audience members voted for the Audience prize of $500.

The evening also included highlights from the RNZB’s 2016 Season and the premiere of a new creation, Diminished Illusions, from last year’s inaugural Harry Haythorne Award winner Loughlan Prior. The RNZB’s Rehearsal Pianist Michael Pansters performed two short works by George Gershwin while the jury deliberated.

Blanc by Shuan James Kelly
Blanc by Shuan James Kelly, performed by RNZB dancers Paul Mathews and Marie Varlet. Photo by Stephen A’Court.


RNZB 2016 Highlights:

  • Duet from Cacti (Alexander Ekman)
  • Duet from Selon désir (Andonis Foniadakis)
  • Quartet from In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated (William Forsythe).
  • Diminished Illusions (Loughlan Prior)

2016 Harry Haythorne Award Entries:

  • Blanc (Shaun James Kelly)
  • Ascendant Yearnings (Charles McCall)
  • Alpha (Laura Saxon Jones)

Music from RNZB Rehearsal Pianist Michael Pansters

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Former Soloists Katherine Skelton and Madeleine Graham in The Ryman Healthcare Season of The Sleeping Beauty, 2020. Photo: Stephen A’Court.