RNZB appoints new Artistic Director
The Royal New Zealand Ballet has appointed Patricia Barker, a former prima ballerina and current Artistic Director of Grand Rapids Ballet in Michigan, USA, as the RNZB’s new Artistic Director.
RNZB Board Chair Steven Fyfe was impressed: “From a large number of excellent applications from New Zealand and all over the world, the Board was greatly impressed by Patricia’s vision for all aspects of the RNZB’s activities, together with her experience as an artistic leader. Her knowledge of both contemporary and classical repertoire, as a dancer, coach and director also makes her an outstanding fit for the RNZB.”
Patricia hails from Richland, Washington, USA, where she received her early ballet training. She later studied on scholarship at Boston Ballet School and Pacific Northwest Ballet School. At age 17, she joined Pacific Northwest Ballet, under the directorship of Kent Stowell and Francia Russell, and quickly rose to the rank of Principal Dancer. During her 27 year career, she performed extensively throughout Europe, Asia, Australia and North America in many of the great full-length classical ballets and contemporary works by renowned choreographers, appearing as a guest artist with numerous national and international ballet companies.
Subsequently she has held advisory and leadership positions with companies as diverse as the Slovak National Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, the Hungarian National Ballet and the Grand Rapids Ballet and Grand Rapids Ballet School.
Patricia Barker takes up the position of Artistic Director later this month, joining the company as rehearsals for the RNZB’s brand new production of Romeo and Juliet begin.