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MAKING CONNECTIONS

RWB SCHOOL ENGAGES YOUNG PEOPLE IN NORTHERN MANITOBA THROUGH INNOVATIVE ARTS-EDUCATION PROJECT

Winnipeg, Manitoba (April 4, 2011) – Early this morning, dancers from Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet School’s Aspirant Program boarded a bus headed on a fourteen hour long trip North! Their departure marks the official launch of The Connections Tour, a two-phased integrated arts education project designed to engage young people in Northern Manitoba. Conceived by RWB School Director Arlene Minkhorst, The Connections Tour was created in celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the Professional Division of the School with the support of Manitoba Theatre for Young People (MTYP) and Graffiti Art Programming, Inc. (GAP).

"I’ve long desired a means of sharing our love of dance with all Manitobans,”  said Minkhorst.  “The 40th Anniversary of the Professional Division of the School presented the perfect opportunity to hit the road and make this dream a reality. The Connections Tour is more than a performance series. It is an opportunity for young people and arts professionals of different backgrounds to work together and learn from one another and, ultimately, to be inspired.”

During Phase One of The Connections Tour (April 4-15, 2011), Aspirants, together with a creative team comprised of Aspirant Program Director Stéphane Léonard, Choreographer and RWB School Faculty Member Gabriela Rehak, MTYP Theatre School Director Kent Suss, Musician Mark Cameron and Visual Artist Nereo Eugenio (Nereo2), will conduct a series of two-day workshops for middle-years students in the Northern Manitoba communities of Norway House (Helen Betty Osborne Ininiw Education Resource Centre), Wabowden (Mel Johnson School), Moose Lake (Frontier Mosakahiken School) and Waterhen (Waterhen School). These workshops will provide an opportunity for students to explore the disciplines of dance, drama, music, visual art and production and will culminate in a performance at the end of the two days. The RWB School has developed an adaptable framework for this collaboration that will be responsive to the respective participants in each of the schools visited.

Phase Two of The Connections Tour (June 27-29, 2011) will see 20 students, specially selected from the hundreds who participate in Phase One, travel from Northern Manitoba to Winnipeg for a three-day intensive workshop with the same group of artists. During Phase Two, students will be housed in the RWB School’s residence facility. Phase Two will culminate in an exclusive inside look at this exciting collaboration in action for supporters of The Connections Tour and members of the media.

The RWB School thanks The Connections Tour’s Presenting Sponsor Manitoba Hydro for their generous support. The RWB School would also like to acknowledge Tour Partner Beaver Bus Lines, as well as the Manitoba Arts Council and the ongoing support Department of Canadian Heritage. Together with the Frontier School Division, these supporters have made The Connections Tour possible.

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A Media Call for The Connections Tour will be held in the afternoon of Wednesday, June 29, 2011 at the RWB Building (380 Graham Avenue). English and French-speaking RWB School faculty and dancers will be available for interviews. More details to follow.

For more information, to arrange interviews, or for access to high-resolution images and video footage, please contact:

Heather Saxton
Publicity Manager
Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet
hsaxton@rwb.org
380 Graham Avenue
Winnipeg, MB R3C 4K2
(204) 957-3447
www.rwb.org

 

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