Nov 03 2017 | Posted in Press Releases

Concert Hour Ballet Delivers First-hand Touring Experience to Professional Division Students

Female dancer wearing a tutu, in a ballet pose

WINNIPEG – November 2, 2017. This fall, Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet (RWB) School Professional Division students continue a tradition that has been a cornerstone of the program for over 40 years: Concert Hour Ballet. With 15 performances taking place in venues across Manitoba and northwestern Ontario from November 13-24, Concert Hour Ballet provides a unique experience for both dance students and audiences.

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.

Henriette Hartl, student of the RWB School Professional Division, shared that she is “very excited to perform for different communities and schools, as each show is a unique experience.” Hartl said she “would like audiences to keep an open mind when watching Concert Hour Ballet, as some of the pieces display unconventional choreography.”

Not only are students responsible for performing, they also learn about the production elements involved in putting on a show, such as setting up the dance floor for performance and assembling the stage lighting.

“Touring is a necessity in every professional dancer’s career,” says Aspirant Program Director and artistic lead on Concert Hour Ballet, Stéphane Léonard. “Concert Hour Ballet provides senior Ballet Academic students tangible touring experience, from being on the road with long travel days, to getting their bodies ready to perform. Touring dancers must also adapt quickly to different stages and theatres, as well as learn to live and work closely with their peers.”

While the RWB School Professional Division students are learning the ropes of touring, they are also teaching students of schools 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.

“The opportunity to view high calibre dance in our schools not only inspires, but allows another avenue for students to engage with the Manitoba Dance Curriculum,” says Robertson Elementary School Dance and Music Educator Sarah Roche. “I am proud to say our province has an in-depth dance curriculum and outreach from places like The Royal Winnipeg Ballet that allows students to connect to the rich history and culture of dance in our own city. Seeing life outside of the four walls of school is always a valuable lesson and crucial for learning about one’s city and community.”

A variety of schools will host the performances of the Professional Division students; furthermore, community shows in Thunder Bay, ON and Winkler, MB are open to the public.

Tickets to the Thunder Bay performance can be purchased in person at Superior CVI and are $20 for adults and $12 for children under 12. Tickets to the Winkler performance can be purchased for $12 in person at City Hall, 185 Main Street, or online at www.winklerconcerthall.ca.

The RWB School Professional Division’s Concert Hour Ballet has been made possible in part by the Government of Canada and the Manitoba Arts Council. The RWB School Professional Division gratefully acknowledges Concert Hour Ballet’s Presenting Sponsor: BellMTS.

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

About Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet School Professional Division

Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet School Professional Division is well-known across the country and around the world for providing excellence in dance education. Founded in 1970 by celebrated teacher and former RWB Company Principal Dancer David Moroni C.M., O.M., D.Litt, (h.c.), the RWB School offers classical ballet training based on the Russian system along with a full program of study in complementary dance forms. Under the direction of Arlene Minkhorst since 2004, the RWB School has prepared thousands of dancers and dance teachers for meaningful employment in the profession. Alumni have gone on to exciting careers in all facets of the dance industry around the world and currently make up 65% of the RWB Company and over half of the RWB School’s artistic faculty.