Story: Ballet

Val Deakin Dance Theatre

Val Deakin Dance Theatre

The Val Deakin Dance Theatre, formed in Taranaki in 1972, was a major provider of ballet in the region. In a 1983 production of La boutique fantasque (The magic toyshop), Marua Wharepouri and Jane Roseman portrayed the can-can dancers. They are seen here in rehearsal.

Deakin, a New Zealander, went to London in the 1950s, where she studied at the Art Educational School and the Royal Ballet School. Before returning to New Zealand, she worked as a dancer, ballet mistress and choreographer at prestigious companies in Turkey, Britain and the United States, including at London's Royal Opera House and Royal Ballet, and the Manhattan Festival Ballet and National Ballet in the US. 

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Val Deakin Dance Theatre
Photograph by Julian Ward

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Courtesy of Julian Ward Photographs

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How to cite this page:

Jennifer Shennan, 'Ballet - Expansion and security, 1980s to 2000s', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 17 January 2021)

Story by Jennifer Shennan, published 22 Oct 2014