May 2014 Company Spotlight

May 02 2014 | Posted in Spotlight


There was much anticipation and excitement at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet this month as her Royal Highness, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall had visited the Royal Winnipeg Ballet on May 21. This will be the third visit to Canada for the Duchess but will be her first visit to Winnipeg. In 2012, she travelled with Prince Charles to New Brunswick, Ontario and Saskatchewan on a four-day tour to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

“We are delighted that Her Royal Highness has included the Royal Winnipeg Ballet in her first visit to Winnipeg. This is a special time for the RWB as we launch our 75th Anniversary season,” shares Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s Artistic Director, André Lewis.

The Royal Winnipeg Ballet has a special connection to the Royal Family being the first and only ballet company in North America to hold the “Royal” designation. In 1953, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet received its royal title, the first granted under the reign of Queen Elizabeth II.

During her visit, Her Royal Highness observed a performance by students of the RWB School Professional Division and also had an opportunity to engage with children from RWB’s Community Outreach Program led by former RWB Principal dancer and current Ballet Master, Jaime Vargas. The Duchess also observed the ExplorAbility Program – RWB’s special program for adults with varied movement abilities led by RWB Artistic staff, Jacqui Ladwig (Davidson).

Her Royal Highness watches a performance by Royal Winnipeg Ballet School Professional Division Students Akanbe Babatunde and Saeka Shirai. Photo by Vince Pahkala.

“I heard a lot about the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and it has lived up to my expectations” the Duchess said of her visit.

To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, the Royal Canadian Mint is paying colourful tribute to the organization’s rich artistic legacy within Canada and abroad with a unique silver collector coin, which was unveiled today by Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall. Following the unveiling, the Honourable Shelly Glover, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages presented Her Royal Highness with one of the special coins.

The coin’s reverse image is an engraved rendition of a photograph by one of Canada’s foremost dance photographers, David Cooper. The overhead view features six dancers from the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s lavish production of The Sleeping Beauty. Advanced “sheer effect” colour faithfully recreates the stunning costumes worn by the dancers and further showcases the beautiful embellishments that adorn their traditional platter tutus. The coin comes in its very own music box – a Royal Canadian Mint first. When opened, the box plays Sleeping Beauty (Valse) melody by Tchaikovsky.

“This spectacular coin celebrates the 75th anniversary of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, which is an important milestone anniversary for Canada’s internationally renowned ballet company,” said Ian E. Bennett, President and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint. “It will be a meaningful and cherished keepsake for ballet dancers, ballet enthusiasts and collectors alike.”

“As the Royal Winnipeg Ballet celebrates 75 years of bringing joy to audiences and dance enthusiasts alike, we continue to spark excitement and artistic innovation as one of the world’s premiere dance companies,” said André Lewis, Artistic Director of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. “This beautifully crafted coin by the Mint adds to an exciting year of performances and celebrations befitting Canada’s oldest ballet company.”

The $20 fine silver coin 75th anniversary of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet has a limited mintage of 7,500 and retails for $114.95. It can be pre-ordered starting today by contacting the Mint at 1-800-267-1871 in Canada, 1-800-268-6468 in the US, at


You don’t have to wait until October for more ballet! We have a variety of events with friendly prices happening over the summer, and subscriptions and single tickets are now available for our 75th Anniversary Season.


Witness the talent and finesse of the next generation of dance stars firsthand in an intimate setting. RWB School Aspirants are post-graduate, advanced ballet students making the transition to careers as professional artists

Performance Details:
Thursday, May 29, 2014 - 7:30pm
University of Winnipeg / Asper Centre for Theatre + Film / 400 Colony St.
Adult: $10* | Student/Senior/Child: $5*

Performance + Reception:
Friday, May 30, 2014 - 7:30pm
General: $25*


Strengthen your body, focus your mind and treat yourself to some fun this summer as you experience the joys of dance. 
Led by the teaching staff from the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, Adult Summer Dance is a 5 week program for all ages and skill levels. Register for multiple classes to keep in shape, express your individual style and make the most of your summer. Registration now open.


The Royal Winnipeg Ballet School Recreational Division is excited to offer a new program for advanced dancers wanting a challenge this summer.Summer Master Class will give participants the opportunity to work with special guest teachers and choreographers from across Canada and beyond, some of which have been featured in the hottest music videos and top musicals on Broadway!


The RWB School’s Dance Intensive is a dynamic summer dance camp designed to give students ages 9-18 years the opportunity to express themselves artistically, meet other dancers as passionate about the art form as they are and to have fun, all while improving their technique and stamina. Dance Intensive 2014 will run from August 3-16, 2014.

Don’t miss your chance to room with dancers from around the world, enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner in the Residence dining hall and take in all of the planned and unplanned activities that Residence has to offer, all the while affording your parents the break they so rightly deserve.

Register now as this popular program always fills up quickly.


Registration information for new and returning students is now available.


Ballet in the Park 2014 will take place this summer from July 23 - 25 at the Assiniboine Park Lyric Theatre. A summer Tradition since the 1970s, Ballet in the Park attracts thousands of Manitobans and tourists to RWB’s free performances in Assiniboine Park. Sitting on a lawn chair or blanket on the grass, this is a relaxed way to take in ballet with your family and friends. For many who have never seen ballet, this is a great introduction to the art form in a picturesque setting.

This year’s programming features a diverse mix of what the RWB Company and School has to offer, from the amazing pointe work of classical ballet to the edgy moves of contemporary dance.