Promotions Shine Light on Artists
International Tour Brightens New Season
Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet is gearing up to illuminate your world with an engaging series of story ballets for our exciting 83rd season. Our artists are bringing fresh new takes on familiar favourites to the stage.
Whether it is a dark romantic story with enlightening truths and forbidden desires, a lush and dreamy quintessential classic or a free-spirited tale that brings out the child in all of us, our season of Illumination will reflect the scope of the human experience as depicted in our season launch video that showcases the work of the acclaimed performing arts photographer David Cooper and our mesmerizing Company artists. View the season launch video here.
"Be it spoken, written, or performed, stories connect us with one another," states André Lewis, the RWB's Artistic Director & CEO. "Dance allows us to feel and live a story without words. Throughout history, we have turned to dance as a way of expressing ourselves and connecting with one another. Our new season will take us on journeys through magical lands, where the power of beautifully-told stories will thrill and delight our audiences."
The RWB's 2022-23 season begins with a treasured tradition that spans over five decades, Ballet in the Park. This free, family-friendly event has become a staple in many Winnipeggers' summers and showcases performances by the RWB Company, as well as the RWB School Professional and Recreational Division students. The Company will perform choreographer Agnes de Mille's exuberant and amusing Rodeo, a show that portrays our universal desire to be loved – and our fear of rejection from those we love. The awkward, tomboyish Cowgirl vies for the attention of the Head Wrangler at The Burnt Ranch and discovers love where she least expects it. Ballet in the Park runs from July 27-29 at the Lyric Theatre in Assiniboine Park – join us to watch world-class ballet under the prairie sky.
The Company is back at the Centennial Concert Hall for the mainstage shows starting October 12th with our fall performance, The Handmaid's Tale, based on the novel by Margaret Atwood. Enslaved to the Commander of Gilead where human rights have been stripped away, the concubine Offred must navigate this dystopian society alongside her fearless friend Moira and illicit lover Nick. This sobering speculative tale is thrillingly illuminated through extraordinary athleticism and theatricality.
The beloved holiday family favourite Nutcracker sparkles with charm and nostalgia as our traditional tale of adventure and enchantment gets underway on December 21st. From a battle with the fiendish Mouse King to the opulent kingdom of the Sugar Plum Fairy, the costumes, choreography and characters in this distinctly Canadian production are bound to illuminate your eyes and your heart.
March 8th marks the illuminating opening night of the exquisite Swan Lake with its iconic choreography set to Tchaikovsky's masterpiece score. Wicked sorcery from the Baron von Rothbart has trapped the Princess Odette in the form of a swan. The gallant Prince Siegfried offers a glimmer of hope, but deception threatens to unravel the lovers' rescue when von Rothbart transforms his daughter Odile into Odette's likeness to enthrall the Prince.
Audiences will be taken to new heights on May 3rd with our electrifying take on Peter Pan and the Escape to Neverland. Our story follows Peter through daring adventures as he invites Wendy to care for his Lost Boys and defends his home against the pirate Captain Hook, with sassy fairy Tinker Bell as his sidekick. High-flying action and incredible heart await you in this blockbuster dance event that illuminates the childlike wonder within us all.
The season will conclude with performances by the RWB Aspirants and dancers of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School Professional Division, all of whom play an integral part in the Royal Winnipeg Ballet story. Under the direction of School Director Stéphane Léonard, the School is the foundation upon which the RWB is built. We are immensely proud to present Spotlight at the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre from May 25-27, 2023, and On The Edge at the RWB Founders' Studio on June 7-9, 2023 during our illuminating new season.
According to Léonard: "Spotlight is a luminous collection of dances from the young artists in the Professional Division that serves as a culmination of their artistic growth. Technical excellence meets expert storytelling as students take to the stage." Aspirant Program Director Vanessa Léonard adds: "On The Edge provides the best opportunity to see the RWB Aspirants in their element. It is a thrilling showcase of up-and-coming talent in a dynamic and intimate series of performances. This mix of contemporary and classical pieces provides these breakout performers from around the world with a platform to demonstrate and celebrate their full potential." For more information about purchasing 2022-23 subscriptions and tickets, click here.
In addition to sharing the upcoming season, the RWB is pleased to announce promotions within the Company and to congratulate these amazing artists: Elizabeth Lamont rises from Soloist to Principal artist; Winnipeg's own Jaimi Deleau and Stephan Azulay move from Second Soloist to Soloist; Winnipeg-born Michel Lavoie rises from the Corps de Ballet to Second Soloist; Apprentices Kyra Soo and Logan Savard enter the Corps de Ballet; and Aspirants Julianna Generoux, Maggie Weatherdon and Cleighden Butler join the Company as Apprentices. The RWB also extends a special welcome to Vancouver-native Zachary Rogers as Second Soloist. Tara Birtwhistle, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet's Associate Artistic Director beams with pride when saying: "Audiences will marvel at the huge talent on our roster!"
The RWB is also excited to be back on the road this season; our 2022 tour schedule includes the following cities:
The Handmaid's Tale, based on the novel by Margaret Atwood Calgary, Alberta – September 14-17 – Southern Jubilee Auditorium Edmonton, Alberta – September 22- 24 – Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium
The Handmaid's Tale, based on the novel by Margaret Atwood Ottawa, Ontario – October 27-29 – National Arts Centre
Nutcracker Fayetteville, Arkansas – November 25-27 – Walton Arts Center
Nutcracker Victoria, British Columbia – December 2-4 – Royal Theatre Nanaimo, British Columbia – December 6-7 – Port Theatre Vancouver, British Columbia – December 9-11 – Queen Elizabeth Theatre
Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet gratefully acknowledges the ongoing backing of our Funders – Canadian Heritage, Canada Council for the Arts, Sport, Culture & Heritage, Manitoba Arts Council and the Winnipeg Arts Council, as well as Presenting Sponsor of Ballet in the Park – Manitoba Liquor Mart - and the generosity of patrons, sponsors and donors.
About Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet
The heart of dance in Canada and the world, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet teaches, creates and performs, enriching lives through the power of exceptional dance. With the leadership of Artistic Director & CEO André Lewis, versatility, technical excellence and a captivating style have become the trademarks of the RWB, qualities that have garnered both critical and audience acclaim. The RWB's superlative standards keep the Company in demand across North America and beyond. In addition to the Company, the RWB is home to the RWB School, consisting of both the Professional Division, our internationally renowned training centre for aspiring professional dancers and dance teachers, and the Recreational Division, which is Winnipeg's largest dance school for all ages, levels and interests.