Ethan Stiefel has made the decision not to renew his AD contract at the Royal New Zealand Ballet and will return to the U.S. on September 1st. Thanks to Kallima for providing us with the tip that she found on the RNZB website. Haglund first reported last January that Stiefel had not yet signed a new contract and was engaged in discussions with the RNZB Board.
Stiefel said that while the experience of his three years at the RNZB had been rewarding, it had proved difficult on a personal level to be so far away from family and friends and had made it difficult to explore other professional projects without taking too much time away from his responsibilities at RNZB.
The RNZB board is actively searching for a new AD and hopes to confirm an appointment by September 1st. The company also expressed its appreciation in having had Gillian Murphy as a principal guest artist and hopes to continue an association with her in the coming years.
While it is very true that, like everyone else, an artist's life is his own, Stiefel would not have had the career that he did without the New York audience's support in every major dance venue in the city. We really need his help now and need him to step up and save ABT from its downward spiral from ghastly and clumsy artistic management over the past several years.
When ABT visits Australia next August, the company's first performance of Swan Lake will be transmitted live to cinemas all over Queensland.