News | 17 January 2024
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Public invited to memorial for dance legend

The public is invited to a celebration of the life of Sir Jon Trimmer KNZM MBE on Friday 2 February at the Opera House.

Sir Jon Trimmer performing as Hook on stage
Hook photo credit Maarten Holl

Sir Jon’s life (18 September 1939 – 26 October 2023) will be honoured through performances by members of the Royal New Zealand Ballet (RNZB), alongside speeches and archive footage from his long and distinguished career. 

The public are welcome to attend this free event. Doors open at 3pm, with the main programme running from 3.30pm to 5pm.

Entry for the public will be limited to the venue’s capacity and will be on a first-come, first-serve basis. There will be monitors in the foyer for any overflow, and this will have a live feed of the stage.

The memorial will also be recorded for those unable to attend, which will be posted on the Wellington City Council’s YouTube channel the following week.

Wellington City Council’s City Events Manager Stephen Blackburn says: “This special event is an opportunity for Wellingtonians and the New Zealand dance community to come together and celebrate the life and career of a consummate local artist who performed on the international dance stage and here in Aotearoa for almost the entire life of our national ballet company.”

A spokesperson for RNZB says: “It was with great sadness that the Royal New Zealand Ballet learned of the death of our beloved kaumatua and leading artist Sir Jon Trimmer. Our friend ‘Jon T’ was associated with the RNZB for almost 60 years, and we had the greatest privilege of being able to dedicate our season opening of Hansel & Gretel to his memory. This memorial event allows the wider community and all those whose lives he reached to commemorate his passion, vigour and steadfast joy in sharing the magic of dance.”

Sir Jon Trimmer performing on stage with Lucy Green in Royal New Zealand Ballet's Coppelia
Coppelia photo credit Evan Li

Sir Jon Trimmer Memorial

Āhea | When 3.30pm–5pm, Friday 2 February 2024 (doors open 3pm)
Ki hea | Where The Opera House | View on Google Maps

Programme (subject to change)

  • Blessing
  • Excerpt from Te Ao Mārama (Moss Te Ururangi Patterson)
  • MC welcome
  • Gisella Carr
  • Jon's early life – documentary
  • James Act I Variation, La Sylphide (August Bournonville)
  • Lousie Hawke
  • Albrecht’s Act II Entrance and first Pas de Deux, Giselle (Johan Kobborg/Ethan Stiefel)
  • Lee Patrice
  • Balcony Pas de Deux, Romeo and Juliet (Francesco Ventriglia)
  • Speakers RNZB
  • Matron and Fritz Dance, The Nutcracker (Gary Harris/Adrian Burnett)
  • Speaker on behalf of Lady Jacqui Trimmer
  • Speaker – Tributes
  • Excerpt from Meeting Karpovsky
  • Roll AV footage compilation

Any queries about the event and for attendees with accessibility requirements, contact