Oct 27 2014 | Posted in Spotlight

Going Home Star – Truth and Reconciliation a great success!

The Royal Winnipeg Ballet opened its 75th Anniversary Season with the world-premiere of Going Home Star – Truth and Reconciliation. We are humbled from the wonderful feedback we received from audience members and the media, alike. Even more so, we are proud and honoured that we were able to express stories and experiences of residential school survivors and their families through dance, and share the spirit of reconciliation with our audience members. We would like to offer our sincerest thanks to all those who attended and shared their thoughts with us after the ballet.

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

“One of the most powerful and amazing ballets I have seen. Everyone should see it.”

“Thank you RWB – overheard at intermission: I have heard about residential schools, but didn’t understand them until tonight.”

“An amazing, beautiful show.”

“Song and dance is always a path to healing reconciliation. Thank you RWB.”

“Amazing. Most important show in Canada right now.”

“#RWBGOINGHOMESTAR is a magnificent ballet and the most brilliant work of art I have ever seen. I really hope it tours.”

“That was an emotionally charged and edgy piece of art that moved the world for the better. Thank you.”

“The review by the Globe and Mail doesn’t come close to explaining how the audience felt and reacted to what was performed on stage by the RWB. It was the most powerful piece that I have seen from them in the over 20 years that I have been a season ticket holder.”

“What an amazing ballet. It was unlike anything I’ve seen before and I loved it.”

“I attended the premiere of Going Home Star – Truth and Reconciliation tonight and am so proud of your company for telling the difficult story of residential schools in such a brilliant and powerful way. Meegwetch.”

Going Home Star – Truth and Reconciliation also received glowing reviews in media both locally and nationally. Holly Harris, of the Winnipeg Free Press, said the ballet is a “turning point in RWB repertoire”, while the Globe and Mail’s Paula Citron commended the company for “turning darkness into beauty”. CBC’s Robert Enright said he has “never seen the RWB dance better”.

If you attended Going Home Star – Truth and Reconciliation and haven’t had a chance to share your thoughts with us, we encourage you to share your feedback on our Facebook page or on Twitter. We hope you will join us again for one of our upcoming performances this season.

Photo Credit: Samanta Katz
Photo Credit: Samanta Katz

Thank you for visiting, RWB Alumni!

During the run of Going Home Star – Truth and Reconciliation, the RWB was proud to host a number of visiting RWB alumni! We’d like to extend a thank you to all alumni who travelled from near and far and participated in several alumni events including a dinner at the Centennial Concert Hall before taking in a performance of Going Home Star – Truth and Reconciliation. At the end of the show, all RWB Alumni posed for a group photo on stage, and witnessed an exciting announcement. RWB Executive Director Jeff Herd was presented with a $20,000 donation from the RWB Alumni Association, which will be used to digitize photo files in the RWB Archives. Thank you, RWB Alumni Association!

It’s not too late for a season subscription

If you’ve been considering a season subscription for the RWB’s 75th Anniversary Season, you are in luck! We’ve recently announced the addition of the Classic Pack, which includes three performances: Nutcracker, Swan Lake and Faerie Queen. Our season subscribers enjoy world-class ballet from the best seats in the house! For more information on how to join the RWB family and become a season subscriber, go to rwb.org or call RWB Customer Service at 204.956.2792 or 1.800.667.4792.

Don’t miss this year’s Nutcracker

Everyone’s favourite holiday tradition is back again this year. Don’t miss your chance to see Nutcracker during one of RWB’s eight performances from Dec. 20-28. Head to the RWB.ORG or call the RWB Box Office at 204.956.2792 or 1.800.667.4792 to purchase your tickets. Stay tuned to our website and social media for exciting RWB appearances in the community throughout the holiday season leading up to Nutcracker.

Additionally, RWB is gearing up for an exciting Nutcracker announcement (hint: there’s going to be a new Canadian addition to the ballet!). Stay glued to RWB.ORG, Facebook and Twitter for the big announcement coming this month!

International Audition Tour kicks off in Winnipeg

Each year, the RWB School sends a team of artistic faculty to cities across Canada and the United States to audition students for its Ballet Academic, Aspirant and Teacher Training Programs, and to conduct master classes. All dance students with a dream of dancing or teaching professionally are encouraged to attend. The RWB School Professional Division kicked off its 2014 International Audition Tour in Winnipeg on Oct. 9. Not to worry if you missed this date, though, the RWB Professional Division will be holding a second audition in Winnipeg on Sunday, January 24, 2015. If you know a dancer wishing to audition in Winnipeg, mark this second date on your calendars. If you know dancers in another city, check RWB.ORG for tour dates.

Jaimi Deleau: the road to RWB

Winnipeg-born Jaimi Deleau is the newest Company member in the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. While Deleau, the only Company member hailing from Winnipeg, trained in the RWB School Professional Division from the age of 8 onwards, she had her start at another local dance school. From ages 3 to 8, Deleau trained at Kids, Etc. Youth Movement Company.

It was her teachers at Kids, Etc. Youth Movement Company who encouraged Deleau to audition for one of the child roles in the RWB Company’s Nutcracker, and they were thrilled when she was cast in the holiday favourite two years in a row. The following summer, Deleau participated in the RWB School Recreational Division’s Dance Intensive, and it was there her talent was discovered. At 9-years-old, Deleau received a letter from the RWB School, inviting her to audition for the Professional Division.

“My teachers at Kids, Etc. were really encouraging and excited that I had the opportunity to audition for the RWB School,” Deleau said.

The studio owner at Kids, Etc. Youth Movement Company, Rheesa Schachter, says she fully supported Deleau taking the next step and auditioning for the RWB School Professional Division.

“It was wonderful to have Jaimi with us in her early years. I was so proud that our staff was able to nurture her growth and watch her take the next step towards a career as a professional dancer. I knew the RWB School Professional Division would be a great fit for her training,” Schachter says.

Deleau was accepted into the Professional Division at the age of 9, and completed the Professional Division’s Ballet Academic Program, moving on to the Aspirant Program. In 2014, Deleau was invited to join the RWB Company as an Apprentice.

“I grew up watching this company, and it has always been a dream of mine throughout my years in the RWB School to become a part of the Company. It’s a dream come true,” Deleau said.

Deleau said it was her start at Kids, Etc., and the encouragement she received which lead to her eventual audition for the RWB Professional Division. She says she still keeps in touch with her teachers from her past.

“We still send messages back and forth, and they follow my career,” she says.

For those who may be thinking about auditioning during the 2014/15 International Audition Tour, Deleau has a few words of advice.

“Confidence is key. Put on your best performance, and smile a lot. Be confident in what you’ve already learned,” she says.

For more information on the RWB School Professional Division’s International Audition Tour click here.

Photo Credit: Rejean Brandt
Photo Credit: Rejean Brandt