Jan 23 2019 | Posted in Press Releases

RWB School’s annual competition sets choreography careers in motion

See them here first! The next generation of professional choreographers will debut new work from February 6-9 at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet (RWB) School Professional Division’s annual chorography competition: First Steps. Held in RWB Founders’ Studio at 380 Graham Avenue, First Steps is designed to increase students’ artistic sensitivity. The competition gives these young artists an opportunity to create original work and oversee all creative elements including music, lighting, costuming, and casting.

Open to the public, students will present their original pieces and receive feedback on their work from some of the most creative minds in performing arts.

This year, First Steps welcomes adjudicators: Ari Weinberg, artistic & managing director of the Winnipeg Jewish Theater; RWB School Recreational Division Principal Nicole Kepp; Paula Blair, independent dance artist and choreographer; Sophia Lee, RWB School Professional Division grad and RWB principal dancer; and Craig Ramsay, RWB Professional Division alumnus, Broadway performer, and sought-after celebrity fitness trainer.

“First Steps is an opportunity for the students to become independent artists, each lending their unique voice to the art of dance,” says First Steps Artistic Coordinator Nicole Coppens. “As they take on the roles of creator, lighting and costume designer, producer, rehearsal director, etc. they are increasing their understanding of the complexities of dance production while also enriching our community of dance and art in Winnipeg.”

In total, 13 pieces will be presented in dance styles ranging from ballet to contemporary. The work explores themes such as like female empowerment, inner struggles, and seeking independence.

In addition to the adjudicated awards, RWB School artistic faculty will select the recipient of the RWB School Award and audience members will cast their vote for the People’s Choice Award. All award presentations will be made at the First Steps Award Ceremony on February 9 at 7:30 pm, which will also feature the award-winning performances and will be followed by an after party with live music.

First Steps has been made possible in part by the Government of Canada and the Manitoba Arts Council.

Please click here to watch videos of the students talking about the First Steps creative process and behind-the-scenes clips of them rehearsing in studio.