Camille Erskine (Kafka), who studied as a classical major at the NZSD from 2000 – 2002, has been dancing in ballet companies in Europe

“I can’t believe it has been 10 years since I was at NZSD! How time flies. Maybe I should fill you in on what I have been up to this past decade.

After graduating, I travelled to Europe to pursue my goal of joining a European classical ballet company. I successfully auditioned in 2003 for the Národní Divadlo Balet Praha (Czech National Ballet). I had an amazing time living in Prague, and met my husband Radim Kafka (Czech) who was also a dancer in the Company. My connections from NZSD served me well, in my first season Christopher Hampson came to choreograph a new Giselle on the Company and I was picked as first cast for each role. Then I was chosen to perform in Balanchine’s Who Cares? which Vicky Simon had staged. We performed so many great ballets it’s hard to say which ones were my favourites, but I have a soft spot for Cranko’s Onegin. It has to be one of the greatest ballets of all time. We also toured to Finland, Greece, Austria, Slovakia and Poland.

After seven years with the Company, we thought it was time for a change so we moved to Brno (the second biggest city in the Czech Republic) and we joined the National Theatre Ballet of Brno where we are now in our third season. We are very happy here and the repertoire and ballet company is fantastic. I have been given many great opportunities and mostly I dance demi-soloist or soloist roles. We have toured to Denmark, Slovakia and Italy and in March will tour to Germany. I have also been studying Arts/Law externally at an Australian university part-time for the past few years.

It is great to see that the School retains such a high reputation and it is interesting for me to follow the career paths of many of its graduates.



Photo: Graduate Camille Erskine (Kafka) standing outside Brno’s Mahen Theatre, where the first ever production of Prokofiev’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ was presented