Sugar plum roles


Two Queenstown ballerinas are the envy of all their fellow students.

Wakatipu High student Megan McCulloch, 13, and Remarkables Primary’s Lena Ibe, 10, have scored roles in Royal New Zealand Ballet’s (RNZB) Invercargill perfor-mance of the famous Russian ballet, The Nutcracker, on November 14.

They were the only students from Theresa Swain’s Wakatipu Conservatoire of Classical Ballet to audition, and will join 28 other young Southland dancers don-ning tutus for the production.

“It’s amazing because [RNZB] are so exacting with what they want, they’ve got very high standards that they require,” Swain says.

She adds that it’s just reward for Megan and Lena’s talent and dedication.

“They practise so much they seem to live at the ballet studio.”

Grade 4 student Lena says when she heard she’d been chosen “I wanted to scream in the car”.

Intermediate-grade student Megan says “it didn’t feel real, it still doesn’t feel real”.

The pair will travel to Invercargill for rehearsals every week from the start of term 4, then base themselves there during the week of the production.

“It will definitely give them a taste of what professional life is going to be like,” Swain says.

She’s only had one student before who’s performed with the RNZB.

“And that was my son”.