Visitors from Australia

Artistic director of Queensland Ballet Li Cunxin, visited the New Zealand School of Dance in September 2012.

Famous for his autobiography ‘Mao’s Last Dancer’, which became a feature film in 2009, Li was selected at the age of eleven to train at Beijing Dance Academy. He went on to dance as principal artist with Ben Stevenson’s Houston Ballet Company and The Australian Ballet, and worked as a stockbroker before his appointment as Artistic Director of Queensland Ballet.

While at the New Zealand School of Dance Li shared his expertise with the students, taking a class with the second and third year classical majors.

“Wow, was such a FANTASTIC experience! We have all been so fortunate to have had the chance to work with such a spectacular and knowledgeable person! It was a precious 90 min class.” said second year student Laura Jones after the class.

Earlier in the year the School hosted a visit by the Governor-General of Australia.

During her state visit to New Zealand in February 2012, the Governor General Ms Quentin Bryce AC CVO, was treated to a performance by NZSD students, many of whom are Australian, and a tour of the School’s facilities.

Governor General of Australia Ms Quentin Bryce AC CVO with NZSD students
Photos: Li Cunxin with NZSD 2nd and 3rd year classical students. Ms Quentin Bryce AC CVO with NZSD students