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Harrison James – Second position


Photo: David Cooper

Today, the dancers return to the studio from their summer break! Harrison James begins his second season with the Company, taking on a new role as second soloist after recently being promoted. Here is what he has to say about the promotion and what his experience with the RWB has been like so far.  

Since joining the Royal Winnipeg Ballet last season I have encountered a whirlwind of highly anticipated experiences. It was my first season as a professional dancer and I had hefty expectations for a job that I have been working towards since my first ballet class 15 years ago at the age of five. Thank goodness I had such a wonderful time dancing in Israel and all across Canada in physically demanding works that allowed me to push my limits both technically and artistically.

The exhausting rehearsals, endless hotel room numbers and day long bus rides, all while somehow putting together show after show in a different city each night all contribute to one of my favorite parts of being in the RWB. Touring! Spending such a significant amount of time with the same group of people, reaching such intense levels of physical and mental exhaustion together creates a powerful sense of camaraderie that I feel blessed to be a part of!

I see this promotion as a wonderful opportunity to continue absorbing and learning. I have some demanding roles coming up this year and therefore a whole lot more to experience and gain. I'm especially looking forward to the two classical shows this year, Nutcracker and Giselle. Well I absolutely love contemporary dance, I've always been so fascinated by an almost mathematical black and white structure to the basics of ballet. Layering a clear image of "perfection" with individuality and emotion creates such a beautiful contrast when it is achieved. Giselle will be especially good for this and I can't wait to see where the rest of the Company takes it.

I've prepared for this season with an intense and inspiring four week program in Banff. This amazing facility somehow manages to set aside all of life's distractions (cooking your own food, money and taxes among others) and allows you to really focus on your dancing in an encouraging and constructive environment amidst talented dances from all over. I feel refreshed, invigorated and ready for season two with Royal Winnipeg Ballet. That starts today!

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