Wednesday, 29 November 2017

2003 The Royal New Zealand Ballet 50th Anniversary

        I've always enjoyed the Ballet but living in a rural area not always get the chance attend every show. On the internet, that of course, has changed. There is a lot on UTube worth watching and on other sites too. But there is still something special about a live show.
       Many struggle to understand and enjoy ballet. I think other media such as movies and television have played a role in this by giving people a ready-made story complete with realistic scenes etc. There is no imagination involved. No chance to sit back and enjoy the skills and beauty that is found watching ballet. In the labels to the right, I have selected this as being a performing art as I believe that it is.

      This issue of five values marked the 50th anniversary of the Royal New Zealand Ballet. That was back in 2003. Fifteen years later it is still going. Still turning out wonderful performances. Later in 2003, there was another issue featuring three of these stamps, The Bangkok 2003 World Philatelic Exhibition. This issue is also shown in this post.  

40c - 1971 Carmina Burana.
The Ballet's 1971 production of the modern, 20th century Carmina Burana was choreographed by Bernard Hourseau and starred New Zealand's most well-known dancer, Jon Trimmer. Performed in two acts to the music of German composer Carl Orff, the ballet is based on the manuscripts of 13th century defrocked monks and minstrels.

90c - 1989 Papillon.
The story of Papillon - of fairies, princes, butterflies, goblins and magic spells - entranced audiences young and old when it toured New Zealand in 1989. Choreographer Paul Jenden endeavoured to recreate the story and choreographic style of the ballet's first performance in 1860, at the Theatre Imperial de l'Opera in Paris.

$1.30 - 2000 Cinderella.
Prokofiev's Cinderella is considered a modern ballet (it was first performed in 1945), yet its roots are firmly in classical ground. This popular fairytale of love and destiny comes complete with dazzling costumes, spectacular sets and some wicked characters, in stark contrast to the beautiful Cinderella and her dashing Prince.

$1.50 - 2001 FrENZy.
The Ballet's 2001 production of Ihi FrENZy was a bold and adventurous step - a boisterous combination of Māori culture, contemporary dance and music by New Zealand's Split Enz. Choreographed by New Zealander Mark Baldwin, the production blended the talents of the Ballet with those of Te Mātārae I Ōrehu, a 40-strong Māori performance group from Rotorua.

$2.00 - 2002 Swan Lake.
Although its first performance more than 125 years ago was panned by the critics, Swan Lake has endured, becoming the most popular of all classical ballet productions. The first of three ballets composed by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, this timeless story of two intense, yet ultimately doomed lovers has been performed countless times by the world's finest dancers.

Royal New Zealand Ballet 50th anniversary First Day Cover.
First Day Cover - 5 March 2003.       

2003 Bangkok World Philatelic Exhibition.

The Bangkok 2003 World Philatelic Exhibition took place between 4 - 13 October 2003. Celebrating the 120th anniversary of Thai Post and postage stamps, the exhibition was a highlight of the international stamp-collecting calendar.
New Zealand Post's participation in the exhibition was commemorated by way of a special miniature sheet incorporating Thai dancers and three stamps from the Royal New Zealand Ballet 50th Anniversary stamp issue.

The Bangkok 2003 World Philatelic Exhibition First Day Cover.
Miniature Sheet FDC - 4 October 2003.

Technical information

Date of issue:
5 March 2003
Number of stamps:
Denominations and designs:
40c 1971 Carmina Burana, 90c 1989 Papillon, $1.30 2000 Cinderella, $1.50 2001 FrENZy, $2.00 2002 Swan Lake
Stamps and first day covers designed by:                                                                                                     
CommArts Design, Wellington
Printer and process:
Southern Colour Print, Dunedin by offset lithography
Number of colours:
Four process colours
Stamp size and format:
40mm x 30mm (horizontal and vertical)
Paper type:
De la Rue 103gsm red phosphor stamp paper
Perforation gauge:
Number of stamps per sheet:
Special blocks:
Plate/imprint blocks could be obtained by purchasing at least six stamps from a sheet. Barcode, value blocks and logo blocks could be obtained by purchasing at least two stamps from a sheet. Barcode blocks were available in both A and B formats for sheet stamps.
Period of sale:
These stamps remained on sale until 4 March 2004.

Some of the images in this post were used with permission from the illustrated catalogue of StampsNZ
You can visit their website and Online Catalogue at,

Information for this post came from.

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