The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s production of Giselle is on tour in New Zealand from 12th May – 9th June 2021. Image by Ross Brown.
The Royal New Zealand Ballet‘s (RNZB) hauntingly beautiful production of Giselle opens in Wellington this week before touring six centres in New Zealand until the 9th of June. Former RNZB Artistic Director Ethan Stiefel and celebrated principal dancer, choreographer and director Johan Kobborg’s acclaimed production of Giselle first toured New Zealand in 2012 to sell-out audiences before touring China, the USA, the UK and Italy. The ballet was equally popular when it was restaged in 2016 and now ballet fans will have the chance to experience the timeless production in 2021.
One of the talented ballet dancers who will play the title role of Giselle is Kate Kadow, who joined the RNZB in early 2018. Florida-born Kate began training as a ballet dancer at eight years old and at the age of 14, she performed alongside dancers from American Ballet Theatre at a Stiefel and Stars summer intensive, training under Ethan Stiefel, Gillian Murphy, Amanda McKerrow, and John Gardner. She began her professional career as a member of Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami, touring internationally with the company, and was a principal dancer at State Street Ballet of Santa Barbara, California from 2012 – 2016. Kate has performed as a guest artist throughout the United States and internationally before joining the RNZB.
Kate made her New Zealand debut in The Piano: the ballet, followed by solo roles in Balanchine’s Divertimento No. 15 and Kylián’s Sechs Tänze. She also performed the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy in Val Caniparoli’s production of The Nutcracker. In 2019, Kate’s roles with the RNZB included the Flames of Paris pas de deux, Serenade by George Balanchine, Stand to Reason by Andrea Schermoly, Artifact II by William Forsythe and the Queen of the Dew Fairies in Loughlan Prior’s Hansel & Gretel. Kate was promoted to Soloist with the RNZB in 2019 and to Principal in 2021.
We caught up with Kate Kadow to find out more about her love of ballet, what she enjoys about touring a production and what her routine is after a show?
How did you fall in love with dance and turn it into your career?
As a kid I tried all kinds of different dance styles but my love for dance started in ballet classes. I decided I wanted to be a ballet dancer very young and started training at 8 years old.
What is your favourite thing about touring a production?
Getting to experience the different cities. We don’t have a lot of down time but when we do I enjoy going to my favourite restaurants and cafes or doing some shopping.
Ballet dancer Kate Kadow rehearsing Giselle at the RNZB studios in Wellington.
What is your daily skincare routine?
My daily routine is very simple. A gentle cleanser followed by facial oil and sunscreen or moisturizer at night.
How do your prep your skin before makeup?
I cleanse, exfoliate, and pat on a facial oil before applying primer.
What is your favourite beauty look for onstage?
Classic “ballerina” stage make up is my favourite.
What is your routine after a show?
After getting out of costume, I remove my make-up and head home to a hot shower. I’ll usually put on a moisturizing face mask while having a late dinner and watching TV.
What is a piece of beauty advice you always refer back to?
Less is more, and always wear sunscreen.
Your hair is almost always up when you’re dancing. How do you care for it?
I wash my hair every day and need gentle shampoo that doesn’t dry my hair out. When I’m performing and using a lot of hairspray I’ll do a weekly conditioning mask.
Are there certain things you do to take special care of your feet since you’re constantly on them?
Comfortable shoes when I’m not dancing and Epsom salt baths.
The RNZB’s production of Giselle tours Wellington, Palmerston North, Napier, Auckland, Christchurch and Dunedin from May 12th – June 9th 2021. More information and ticket details are available on the RNZB’s website.
Images by Ross Brown and Stephen A’Court.