February Company Spotlight

Feb 10 2017 | Posted in Spotlight

Up Next: Alberta Ballet’s Love Lies Bleeding, Presented by the Royal Winnipeg Ballet

“Elton John Ballet is a Blast—The Toronto Star”

Yukichi Hattori and Alberta Ballet Company Artists in Love Lies Bleeding; Photo by Don Lee

Winnipeggers will be cheering for a different kind of Jets from March 1-5 as the Centennial Concert Hall will house the Winnipeg premiere of Alberta Ballet’s Love Lies Bleeding, a semi-biographical ballet based on Sir Elton John, set to the music of 14 Sir Elton John and Bernie Taupin songs.

The Royal Winnipeg Ballet is proud to present this provocative and thrilling pop ballet that recounts the triumphs and tribulations of Sir Elton John’s superstardom. By means of rollerblades, aerial dance, drag queens—and much more, Love Lies Bleeding hits the powerful chords of substance abuse and sexual repression that envenomed the pop idol’s life.

“Creating a biographical ballet is different than telling a biography through video,” says Alberta Ballet’s Artistic Director and choreographer of Love Lies Bleeding: Jean Grand-Maître. “To tell a biography through ballet, you must compose a poem of the biography.”

What are the critics saying about Love Lies Bleeding?

“The crowd screamed, it sang, it clapped along; some in the house could be seen even dancing in their seats. At the end, it rose en masse to give the ballet an instantaneous standing ovation on top of prolonged applause.”- Deirdre Kelly, Critics At Large,

Read The Globe and Mail review here.

See the show that has been embraced by audiences throughout North America! Tickets are available online here, in person through the RWB Customer Service Office at 380 Graham Avenue or by calling 204-956-2792 or toll free 1-800-667-4792. Groups of ten or more should contact the RWB Customer Service Office for more information on group discounts.

First Steps is a Short Step Away!

RWB School Professional Division Students; Photo by Stanislav Belyaevsky

Fall in love with a new piece of choreography this February at First Steps, RWB School Professional Division’s annual choreography competition. First Steps runs from February 15-18 at RWB’s Founders’ Studio and is open to the public to view. In total, 11 pieces will be presented in dance styles ranging from ballet, to contemporary, to jazz. First Steps has given students an opportunity to create original choreography, overseeing all creative elements including music, lighting, costuming, and dancer selection.

This year First Steps welcomes Ray Hogg, Artistic Director of Rainbow Stage, Casimiro Nhussi, Artistic Director and founder of NAfro Dance Productions, and award-winning entertainment producer, Linda Nelson, to the jury panel. They will be joined by RWB Principal Dancer, Jo-Ann Sundermeier and RWB School’s Aspirant Program Director, Stéphane Léonard, to adjudicate the competition.

“As a graduate of the School, my fondest performance memories are of First Steps because it gave us complete creative freedom,” says First Steps Artistic Coordinator, Philippe-Alexandre Jacques. “The Professional Division students always love First Steps and put much of themselves in it. The dedication really shows through in the performances and the energy is always amazing. It’s definitely a show worth seeing.”

Students will have a chance to win multiple awards including the People’s Choice Award for the choreographer whose work is voted most popular by the audience.

For more information or to buy tickets, please click here.

Mixed Programme, that’s a Wrap!

RWB Company Dancers; Photo by Stanislav Belyaevsky

The RWB Company wowed audiences with our 2017 Mixed Programme: Mark Godden’s Angles in the Architecture, Lila York’s Celts, William Forsythe’s The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude, and Marius Petipa’s Don Quixote Pas de Deux. Mixed Programme’s diverse and powerful repertoire brought the audience to its feet!

Read Holly Harris’ review here.

Read below to see what the audience had to say on social media:

-“This was the most enjoyable mixed rep programme I’ve seen you present in the past 15 years. The Don Quixote pas de deux was, of course, stunning (no wonder that pair won at Varna), but Angels in the Architecture has always been a favourite of mine - especially the passage set to Tis a Gift to be Simple. The absolute height of the evening, though, was Celts - so joyful, so energetic and beautiful to watch, and Yosuke Mino as a Lord of the Dance was beyond enchanting. It saddens me that so many people are reluctant to attend mixed rep programmes. More like this, please.” –Haanitz Seval
-“The show was amazing this afternoon! Start to finish was beautiful. Thank you to all that work hard to put on such an amazing performance.” –Vicky Wilson

-“What a wonderful programme it was, too! Angels was just so beautiful. Exactitude is always a fantastic showcase!!” -@bookended
-“I cannot say it enough ... Angels was the most moving piece of dance I have ever witnessed!!!!!” -@ewaknits
-“One word to describe the evening…JOY” -@kkellyl

-“The Mixed Programme was breathtakingly beautiful! The Pas de Deux, Angels in Architecture, and Celts were mesmerizing” -@apeculiarpanda
-“Just saw @RWBallet Mixed Programme. Incredible! Get tickets for tonight’s show if you can. #seriouslygood #wpgarts #winnipeg #ballet” -@jamiemclennan
-“Attended the @RWBallet Mixed Programme tonight. Amazing, beautiful and inspiring! Thank you dancers! #winnipeg #dance #goandseetheshow #now” -@drls250
-“Don’t know if there are any tix left for @RWBallet Mixed Programme tomorrow night, but if there are you need to go! It was UNREAL!” -@katieannfowler

Print off Something Sweet for Your Valentine!

What pairs nicely with chocolate and roses? Printable Valentines from the Royal Winnipeg Ballet! Right click on the Valentine of your choice, save it to your computer and print it- it’s just that easy!

Single and ready to mingle at the ballet? Keep an eye on our social media for an exclusive Love Lies Bleeding ticket offer.

Hola from Mexico City!

L-R: Kostyantyn Keshyshev (RWB Company Dancer), Pierre Alarie (Canadian Ambassador to Mexico), Katie Bonnell (RWB Company Dancer), Jaime Vargas (RWB Ballet Master + former Company Dancer); Photo by: Chris Turyk

On Thursday, February 2nd the Royal Winnipeg Ballet was invited to perform at the launch of Canada’s 150th events in Mexico City, Mexico. Katie Bonnell and Kostyantyn Keshyshev, RWB Company Dancers, performed Going Home Star – Truth and Reconciliation at the beautiful National Museum of Anthropology.

Going Home Star - Truth and Reconciliation is a choreographic representation of the many stories, both told and untold, by Indian Residential School Survivors and their families. Following Going Home Star was a breathtaking performance by Ballet Folklórico de México de Amalia Hernández: La Danza del Venado (Dance of the Deer). This dance is a ritual dance performed by the indigenous peoples of Sonora and Sinaloa. It is a dramatization of the hunt of a deer, the cultural hero of these peoples.

Greenroom: Former RWB Company Dancers Return to Old Stomping Ground

Alberta Ballet Company Dancers: Catherine Rutherford (Center) and Serena Sanford (Right) in Love Lies Bleeding; Photo courtesy of the Alberta Ballet

Catherine Rutherford and Serena Sandford return to the Centennial Concert Hall stage for Alberta’ Ballet’s Love Lies Bleeding. RWB School graduates and former RWB Company dancers, now with the Alberta Ballet, are excited to perform again in Winnipeg.

Both Catherine and Serena look forward to seeing friends, Company dancers, and old teachers during their time in Winnipeg. For Catherine, she will have the opportunity to once again perform for her family in her hometown.

How do Catherine and Serena describe Love Lies Bleeding? Catherine uses the words seductive, explosive, and empowering, while Serena describes Love Lies Bleeding as a spectacle, passionate, and electric.

Be sure to catch these talented dancers on stage from March 1-5th. For Serena, this will be her last time performing in Winnipeg as she will retire her pointe shoes at the end of this season.

Welcome back Serena and Catherine—we look forward to seeing you perform again!