March 2015 Company Spotlight

Mar 31 2015 | Posted in Spotlight


Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s 75th anniversary season has been amazing and memorable so far and we continue to embrace this milestone year with great excitement and immense pride. Going Home Star – Truth and Reconciliation, our season opener in the fall touched the lives of many audiences and we are proud and humbled by the experience of performing this piece. The enchanting addition of 13 polar bears to our Nutcracker production made the holiday season performances even more special. The beloved classic with a Canadian twist has proven itself once again as one of Winnipeg’s treasured holiday traditions. The 75th season performance of the grand classic Swan Lake captured the hearts of everyone this past month. In a few weeks we present the Winnipeg premiere of the The Faerie Queen – A Ballet Based On A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Winnipeg along with tour stops in Regina, Saskatoon and Brandon.

In addition to our Winnipeg shows, the RWB spends anywhere from five to 20 weeks a year on the road, performing in centres large and small all over the world. RWB’s rich history created a distinct identity for the Company and over the years has appealed to a broad section of Canadian and international society. In the last two decades, the company has toured consistently across Canada and the US and internationally to South America, Central America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Throughout its history, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet has performed in over five hundred cities and visited most continents. As one of the most toured companies in North America, we proudly carry the name and reputation of Winnipeg, Manitoba and Canada, as well as the Royal title all over the globe.

We can never stop thanking those who support us: our donors, partners, parent, students and dedicated audiences. It’s because of you that we are able to celebrate 75 years of performing, creating, and teaching outstanding dance. Our 75th anniversary is about celebrating our rich history, experiencing our present and looking forward to our future. We hope that you continue to celebrate with us this season and we will see you soon at the ballet.

Dmitri Dovgoselets and Yayoi Ban in Swan Lake, 2015; photo by Samanta Katz
Dmitri Dovgoselets and Yayoi Ban in Swan Lake, 2015; photo by Samanta Katz

Success at Swan Lake

You have made the 75th season performance of Swan Lake successful and memorable for us! ​The production ran from March 4-8 at the Centennial Concert Hall and was watched by packed audiences every night.

Swan Lake received 4.5/5 stars from the Winnipeg Free Press in a review by Holly Harris on Friday. “There’s something so right about staging one of the world’s most beloved classical ballets when celebrating your auspicious diamond anniversary,” said Harris.

Congratulations to Principal Dancer Liang Xing and his wife Ke on the birth of their second child Vincent. Vincent was born March 4 at 4:30 AM, the day that Swan Lake premiered. Xing and his family were featured in the 49.8 section of the Winnipeg Free Press on Saturday.

Here is just some of the feedback we received about the ballet on social media:

Swan Lake at the @RWBallet was amazing. Brilliant work by the company and soloists coupled w/ inspired staging, costuming and choreography.

Beautiful dancing by @RWBallet at Swan Lake. Those new tutus are gorgeous as well!

Yayoi Ban’s depiction of Odette was strikingly different than her depiction of Odile, which is remarkable. The dancing was technically so different, or rather, conveyed an entirely different personality and emotion. Pretty extraordinary.

Lovely time @RWBallet! A beautiful production that gave me chills until the very end. First of many shows to come! - Shannon Cuciz, Global News Winnipeg

Liang killed it!! Fabulous job! And Sophia, she is my favourite RWB dancer. She is magical on stage

RWB Swan Lake! Excellent corps, wonderful principals, great performance for 75th anniversary celebration.

Really digging my first ever @RWBallet concert. People actually seem to enjoy themselves there: such a refreshing change from concert music.

We loved @RWBallet production of Swan Lake - a timeless story of true love. - Pepper & Vine Blog

Swan Lake was magnificent. Royal Winnipeg Ballet is a sparkling jewel in Manitoba’s cultural tiara.

The Faerie Queen - A Ballet Based On A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Experience this enchanting story filled with love, magic, and deception. Fantasy meets visually exquisite dance as choreographer John Alleyne paints the stage in this full-length ballet based on Henry Purcell’s opera of the same name, and on Shakespeare’s magical comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Follow Puck, as the fairy with a penchant for causing chaos, ensnaring both humans and fairies alike in romance and confusion with her magical flower blossom. The Faerie Queen is an exploration of the contrasting elements of fantasy and reality - dark and light, mortal and immortal, male and female - and what happens when these powerful elements collide with one another.

To find out more or purchase tickets, click here.

Second Soloist Elizabeth Lamont. Photo by Rejean Brandt.
Second Soloist Elizabeth Lamont. Photo by Rejean Brandt.

Commemorating Brian MacDonald

A memorial event commemorating the life of Brian MacDonald will be held by The Banff Centre to recognize Brian’s contributions to the arts in Canada.

Ballet Kelowna – A celebration and fundraiser in memory of Brian MacDonald, CC
Saturday, April 11, 2015 - 7:30 p.m.
Eric Harvie Theatre | $25
Box office: 403.762.6301 or 1.800.413.8368
View the full event details

The Banff Centre and Ballet Kelowna present an evening of performance, celebration, and tribute to legendary Canadian choreographer, mentor, artistic visionary and friend, Brian Macdonald, CC (1928 – 2014) on Saturday, April 11, 2015.

Hosted by Emily Molnar, Artistic Director of Dance at The Banff Centre and Simone Orlando, Artistic Director at Ballet Kelowna, the evening will celebrate Macdonald’s distinguished career at The Banff Centre as both a mentor and creator and his contribution to the world of dance.

“Brian was a beacon of wisdom and creativity at The Banff Centre for over 45 years, inspiring countless dancers and choreographers to reach their potential with grace, passion, and discipline,” said Molnar. “It’s an honour to recognize his lifelong contribution to Canadian arts and culture alongside his wife and former head of The Banff Centre Professional Dance Program, Annette av Paul.”

Following this tribute will be a performance by Ballet Kelowna titled Forward: A Mixed Repertory Programme. Included in this presentation are three pieces by some of Canada’s leading contemporary ballet choreographers: James Kudelka, Shawn Hounsell, and Simone Orlando. Accompanying these three works is Lee Dances, a presentation of excerpts from award-winning works created for the esteemed Clifford E. Lee Choreography Award at The Banff Centre, and Shawn Hounsell’s Creaturehood (1996), Simone Orlando’s Winter Journey (2006) and Heather Myers’s Dedications (2009).

“Brian was a generous and valued mentor to both individuals and companies. As honorary patrons of Ballet Kelowna, Brian and Annette helped lay the foundation of a company that is widely recognized and admired,” said Orlando. “Ballet Kelowna is honoured to perform at The Banff Centre in recognition of his passionate leadership and outstanding legacy.” All ticket sales proceeds and donations will be used to establish “Brian Macdonald” dance scholarships at The Banff Centre.

Brian Macdonald

Internationally renowned as a versatile and charismatic artist, Macdonald was known for his passionate interpretations of ballet, opera, and musical theatre. Macdonald taught dance at The Banff Centre from 1962 and, in 1982 founded the Professional Dance Program which he ran until 2007. The Professional Dance program under Macdonald’s leadership put The Banff Centre on the international map as one of the world’s most exceptional and rigorous dance training programs. During this period The Banff Centre also introduced the Clifford E Lee Choreography award which fostered the development of such eminent dance figures as Judith Marcuse, Crystal Pite, Christopher House, Bengt Jorgen, Peter Quanz, and Wen Wei Wang, among many others. Macdonald was one of Canada’s most recognizable artists on the National and International stage, and enjoyed engagements around the world, including directing productions for the Stratford Festival, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, the New York City Opera, the Kennedy Centre in Washington, La Scala, the Sydney Opera House, and Les Grand Ballet Canadiens.

Brian MacDonald
Brian MacDonald

David Moroni School Endowment Fund

One of the most comprehensive dancer and dance teacher training facilities in Canada, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School Professional Division enjoys an international reputation for providing high calibre training to aspiring young dancers and teachers. Established in 1970, the Professional Division was created to provide the renowned Royal Winnipeg Ballet with exceptionally trained classical ballet dancers.

Named after the Professional Division’s founding director, the David Moroni School Endowment Fund was established to create a lasting legacy to ensure the long term health and stability of the RWB School Professional Division and enable to cultivate the dedication and creative spirit of its young artists. Building this Endowment is one of the most important fundraising initiatives that the RWB School has undertaken.

Please join us in investing in the growth and future of Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet School Professional Division and the young lives that it supports and inspires by making your gift to the David Moroni School Endowment Fund by contacting 204-957-3495 or CLICK HERE.

Donations to the RWB School Endowment are held in perpetuity at The Winnipeg Foundation.