'Ada, her nine-year-old daughter, and her piano, arrive to an arranged marriage in the remote bush of 19th century New Zealand. Of all her belongings, her husband refuses to transport the piano and it is left behind on the beach. Unable to bear its certain destruction, Ada strikes a bargain with an illiterate neighbour. She may earn her piano back if she allows him to do certain things while she plays: one black key for every lesson. The arrangement draws all three deeper and deeper into a complex emotional, sexual bond, remarkable for its naive passion and frightening disregard for limits.'
Source: Screen Australia.
'25 years ago, cinema goers around the world were captivated by an extraordinary tale of desire, violence and hope. The story of Ada McGrath and her daughter Flora, husband Alastair and lover Baines unfolded against the wild grandeur and desolation of Aotearoa, as Jane Campion’s award-winning film took audiences on a visceral journey into New Zealand’s imagined past, as it had never been portrayed before.
'Drawing on the rich inspiration of The Piano, the Royal New Zealand Ballet is honoured to stage the world premiere of this new full-length dance work by Jiří Bubeníček. Originally conceived as a short work for Dortmund Ballet, The Piano: the ballet is now re-imagined and expanded for the RNZB, giving Ada’s story a new and distinctively New Zealand voice and, in dance, a powerful new means of expression. Excerpts from Michael Nyman’s iconic film score are blended with evocative music by Debussy, Arensky, Stravinsky, Schnittke, Brahms and Shostakovich.' (Production abstract)
'The Piano, written and directed by Jane Campion, is one of the most honoured films of the new Australian cinema, and is considered by many critics to be a modern masterpiece. Campion won the Palme D'Or at Cannes in 1993 for the film, making her the first woman ever to win this prestigious award; it also won Best Original Screenplay (Campion), Best Actress (Holly Hunter) and Best Supporting Actress (Anna Paquin) at the 1994 Oscars.
'In 1880 the widowed, and mute, Ada (Holly Hunter) and her young daughter, Flora (Anna Paquin) leave their native Scotland and travel to New Zealand’s remote South Island, as the arranged family of Stewart (Sam Neil), an Englishman who lives and works the land there. With them come Ada’s piano which serves as her outlet of expression, her ‘voice’. Despite fierce insistence from Ada, Stewart leaves the piano on the beach after he decides it is too heavy to carry back to his homestead. Stewart’s neighbour Baines (Harvey Kietel) makes a deal with Stewart for the piano and lessons with Ada, which has dire repercussions for them all.' (Publication summary)