October RWB Spotlight

Oct 30 2018 | Posted in Newsletter

RWB Company Dancers performing in The Handmaid's Tale

Until next time, Handmaids!

Five days and six performances later, we wrapped up the emotional, resonating work, The Handmaid’s Tale. Much like in 2013 when Lila York’s The Handmaid’s Tale premiered, the RWB appreciated telling this haunting tale through dance.

As always, thank you to the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra for bringing this diverse score to life.

We are thrilled attendees enjoyed the dark, but beautiful performances too. Read what attendees had to say:


  • Simply fantastic” -Joy Sheldon
  • “I teared up during the solo finale piece – absolutely breathtaking” -Lauren Alexandra
  • “Absolutely LOVED this performance. So moving and beautifully danced. Truly exceptional. World class.” -Cynthia Easley
  • “Saw this ballet for the first time – it was amazing! If you are a fan of the novel (or the mini-series) you will definitely enjoy this!” -Jan Ivey


  • “Echoing current events of today, The Handmaid’s Tale @RWBallet has both beauty and horror. Superb dancing!” -csharfe
  • “@RWBallet congratulations to the company for a magnificent production of The Handmaid’s Tale! Stunning and wonderful in every way. You should make a Spotify playlist of the music! That would be great to hear.” -ceebdweeb
  • “@RWBallet The Handmaid’s Tale is so incredibly moving! Exceptional interpretation of this cautionary tale with beautiful yet haunting music and impressive dancers. Love the powerful message. Especially important now more than ever. A must-see! #Winnipeg #RWBHandmaids” -michelle373737
  • “Tremendous time at the Concert Hall last night for the @RWBallet production of The Handmaid’s Tale. Incredibly powerful show! #RWBHandmaids #Winnipeg” -SteveAdamsWpg
  • “Powerful interpretation of the @MargaretAtwood classic ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’, @RWBallet congratulations on your opening night! #RWBHandmaids #mbpoli” -Min_CathyCox


  • “Lila York soutient que ce type d’oeuvre « a le pouvoir de changer les choses. Je ne sais pas à quel point on peut provoquer du changement. Je vois plus de résistance, mais jusqu’à maintenant, il y a eu peu de résultats. L’internet est contrôlé par quatre multinationales, et la censure devient intense. Or, ce n’est pas censé arriver dans un pays qui garantit la liberté de la presse. Mais je pense qu’en travaillant tous ensemble, on pourra avoir un impact positif. »” -ManellaVila Nova, La Liberte
  • “The choreography is very specific and stylized, but that makes it that much more fun to watch. Lila York’s choreography has a life and quality of movement that holds your eye and your attention. The Handmaids’ footwork and body lines make such striking pictures, there are few choreographers whose ballets stand out in the same way for me. What I love about this most though is that anyone can enjoy this production! You don’t need to have any prior knowledge of ballet and its technique, but rather just be willing to get lost in the story for a few hours.” -Jessica Storoschuk, An Historian About Town

Read Holly Harris (of The Winnipeg Free Press)’s 4.5/5 star review here.

RWB School Professional Division Students wearing white costumes, in a dance pose.

Senior Level Students Debut Famed Choreographer’s Work for Concert Hour Ballet

All aboard! Eighteen Royal Winnipeg Ballet School Professional Division students, 1 tour manager, 2 techs, 2 artistic faculty, 1 wardrobe staff, 1 accompanist, and 1 residence staff member are packing their bags for a tour around Manitoba and northwestern Ontario for Concert Hour Ballet, a tradition that has been a cornerstone of the Professional Division program for over 40 years. With performances taking place in venues across two provinces from November 12-24, Concert Hour Ballet provides a unique experience for both dance students and audiences.

Citizens of Brandon and Carman, Manitoba, along with citizens of Kenora, Ontario have the rare opportunity of witnessing a World Premiere by multi award-winning choreographer Mark Godden during the open-to-the-public Concert Hour Ballet performances. Godden, a graduate of the RWB School Professional Division and choreographer of the crowd-pleasing Dracula, first created a piece for the School’s Professional Division thirty years ago and created contemporary piece The Marshmallow Test on senior level Professional Division students this past summer.

The Marshmallow Test is an experiment conducted on young children to test delayed gratification. It’s also an old story: sacrifice now, in the present, for something better in the future,” says Godden. “The dance and movement ideas for this ballet spring forth from the body’s dilemma of wanting something now while the mind works overtime to convince the body to wait. It is an internal tug-of-war; but, it’s also a chance to sublimate the moment.”

Aside from Godden’s The Marshmallow Test, attendees will be treated to experts from notable ballets such as Giselle, Swan Lake, and Harlequinade, among others.

This dynamic mixed-repertoire program has the dual goal of sharing dance with new audiences – particularly those who might not otherwise have the opportunity to see a live performance – and allowing professional dance students to experience the demands of performing and touring first-hand. On top of the performances, attendees are privy to a lecture demonstration that gives

While the RWB School Professional Division students are learning the ropes of touring and production, such as setting up the dance floor and assembling the stage, they are also teaching students across Manitoba and northwestern Ontario the importance of dance education in schools. Through Concert Hour Ballet, students learn that dance is a form of communication and creativity. Students in the audience learn how to analyze dance and are exposed to the athleticism and professionalism of young dance students.

A variety of schools will host the performances of the Professional Division students on top of the open-to-the-public community shows in Brandon, MB, Kenora, ON, and Carman, MB.

For more information on Concert Hour Ballet, please clickhere, call the RWB School Office at 204.957.3467, or email school@rwb.org.

Evelyn Hart and Liam Caines performing in Vespers

Vespers Takes Flight

Evelyn Hart and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet are thrilled to once again bring James Kudelka’s Vespers to life. Kudelka’s layered, evocative ballet will be seen by an Ottawa audience for the first time as the Company tours to the country’s capital to perform at the National Arts Centre from November 1-3, 2018.

Vespers is what dance does best,” says Hart. “It will touch you in ways that are unexpected; it is lyrical, mysterious, and evocative without being literal. It gives you a sense of music and movement—it moves me deeply.”

Kudelka’s creation is based on the music of Claudio Monteverdi’s “Vespers”. Monteverdi’s stunning score is performed by Studio de musique ancienne de Montréal, accompanied by the NAC Orchestra. Vespers is alive with vibrant character, colour and texture with all the richness of a renaissance painting. This emotionally powerful ballet features iconic ballerina Evelyn Hart in a role created for her.

“This collaboration between the RWB, Evelyn Hart, and James Kudelka is an unparalleled opportunity,” says RWB Artistic Director and CEO André Lewis. “Kudelka’s pieces exemplify the imaginative work being choreographed in contemporary ballet. Vespers is truly a unique experience, one that is sure to leave a lasting impression.”

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

Filbert at the Winnipeg Art Gallery Holiday Party with WAG Staff and RWB School Students

Filbert Out and About!

It may only be October, but we are already getting ready to spread the holiday cheer around Winnipeg.

For those that are members of the Children’s Museum, we will see you for our annual visit to the Children’s Museum Holiday Members Night on Friday, November 16. Explore the galleries, create a winter mobile at the craft table and drop by the Lunch Box area for a refreshment and enter the Members Night survey draw for a chance to win prizes, including tickets to Nutcracker and a Children’s Museum membership. Please click here for more information.

New this year! We are teaming up with our friends at McNally Robinson for a Nutcracker Tea on Sunday, November 25 at 9:30 AM at their Grant Park Prairie Ink Restaurant. Come dine on fancy sandwiches, fresh fruit, mini scones, and mini Nutcracker-themed imperial cookies. RWB School Professional Division students will be reading stories, taking questions, and taking photos with guests and Filbert the Bear. Tickets are $23.50 and are on sale now at Prairie Ink Restaurant, or by calling 204-975-2659.

We will also be making our annual visit to the Nutcracker-themed Winnipeg Art Gallery Holiday Party from 1-4 PM on Sunday, December 2 at the Gallery at 300 Memorial Boulevard. Enjoy a mug of hot cocoa, cookies, and crafts, as we come together to deck the halls and celebrate another winter season. Don’t forget your camera to take a picture with our infamous Filbert the Nutcracker Bear. FREE for all. Please click here for more information.

We are welcoming the holiday season with a special storytelling of the enchanting children’s classic The Nutcracker. Join an RWB Company dancer and Filbert the Bear at the Millennium Library on Saturday, December 15 at 251 Donald Street from 2-4 PM for arts and crafts, a costume dress-up station, giveaways, and other party delights! This event is completely FREE and open to everyone.

RWB’s Nutcracker runs from December 19-29 at the Centennial Concert Hall. For more information or to purchase tickets, please click here.

RWB School Professional Division Students performing a contemporary ballet

Support the Future of Dance Education

“We are the future of dance. Dancers like me need support to keep the art form alive and progressing. The RWB School is what gives us the tools to do so.”
- Erin Atkinson, former RWB Aspirant and current Company dancer.

By supporting the David Moroni School Endowment Fund, donors like you make it possible for dancers like Erin Atkinson to complete their education at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School and go on to dance, choreograph and teach in Canada and around the world. Your gift to the David Moroni School Endowment Fund allows the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School to continue to provide future generations of dancers with world class ballet training, facilities, and performance opportunities to achieve their dreams. Today, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet invites you to make a gift to the David Moroni School Endowment Fund!

Did you know that if you donate by November 30th, 2018 your gift will be matched up to 100% by the Government of Canada’s Cultural Investment Fund? By donating today, you will increase the impact of your gift, reaching the lives of not one but many young dancers.

The David Moroni School Endowment Fund was established in honour of David Moroni, C.M.,O.M., D.Litt, upon his retirement as RWB School Director, after 35 years at its helm. The goal of the Fund is to create a lasting legacy to ensure the long-term health and stability of the Professional Division and enable the RWB School to continue to cultivate the dedication and creative spirit of its young artists. For more information, please click here.

Childhood photos of Jaimi Delau and Ryan Vetter in Halloween Costumes.

The Gh’oul Times

Double double, toil and trouble… RWB Company dancers reflect on some of their favourite Halloween memories, costumes, and more!

SOPHIA LEE | Principal

Favourite Halloween memory?
Going trick-or-treating with my little brother when we lived in Langley, BC. It was chilly the whole night but collecting all the candy and chocolate felt like collecting gold!

Favourite (or most memorable) Halloween costume?
My friend showed up with a “grape” costume where he had purple balloons stuck all over him. It was both surprising and awesome.

Favourite scary movie?
I do not have a favourite scary movie, but I do enjoy watching horror & thriller movies.

YAYOI BAN | Soloist

Most memorable Halloween?
One year I dressed as my husband with a soccer uniform because he loves to play soccer and my husband dressed as me, so he looked like a lady. We got to the house where the party was happening, and no one was wearing costumes—my husband was really embarrassed with his “lady look”. Since the party was on Oct. 31st we assumed that people would be wearing costumes but actually it was not “Halloween party”!

Favourite scary movie?
Child’s Play

YUE SHI | Second Soloist

Favourite scary movie?
Unfriended Dark Web

ALANNA MCADIE | Second Soloist

Favourite Halloween memory?
Warming up with hot chocolate in between trick-or-treat shifts with my two best friends while we dumped out our candy and traded our goods.

Favourite (or most memorable) Halloween costume?
I dressed up as a witch every year because it was the only thing that fit a full snowsuit underneath it, Halloween in Canada!!!

Favourite scary movie?
Silence of the Lambs

RYAN VETTER | Second Soloist

Favourite Halloween memory?
My family hates scary movies, and my birthday is exactly one week before Halloween. For my second birthday I got “The Wizard of Oz” on VHS. We ended up making a tradition of watching The Wizard of Oz every Halloween!

JAIMI DELEAU | Corps de Ballet

Favourite Halloween memory?
My favourite Halloween memory is carving pumpkins with my parents and two brothers and eating the pumpkin seeds after.