Mar 21 2018 | Posted in

The Wizard of Oz Canadian Premiere among list of Season’s Repertoire

RWB Company Dancers standing in costume. Sophia Lee as Dorothy, Alanna McAdie as Offred, Elizabeth Lamont as Juliet.

Females take the lead in the Royal Winnipeg Ballet (RWB)’s 79th season of time-honored classics and a stunning new creation.

Today in the Royal Winnipeg Ballet (RWB) Founders’ Studio at 380 Graham Avenue, RWB Artistic Director André Lewis launched the historical ballet’s 79th season with a video by acclaimed performing arts photographer/videographer David Cooper and performances by RWB Company dancers and RWB School Professional Division students.

The Company’s upcoming season features four female protagonists: The Handmaid Tale’s Offred, Clara from Nutcracker, Juliet from Romeo & Juliet, and The Wizard of Oz’s Dorothy.

RWB’s 79th season begins on July 25 with a treasured tradition that spans over four decades, Ballet in the Park. This free, family-friendly event showcases performances by the RWB Company dancers, as well as the RWB School Professional and Recreational Division students, until July 27.

The RWB’s season of mainstage productions opens in a dystopian future where the audience shadows the restricted, yet resilient, Offred as she navigates a world where women’s rights have been stripped away in choreographer Lila York’s powerful interpretation of Margaret Atwood’s gripping novel, The Handmaid’s Tale. This dance-drama returns to the Centennial Concert Hall from October 10-14 for the first time since the ballet made its World Premiere five years ago.

From December 19-29, audience members adventure alongside Clara in Nutcracker, RWB’s timeless family favourite. With Nutcracker’s stunning and intricate costumes, set designs reminiscent of Winnipeg at the turn of the century, and lighting that illuminates the stage with magical winter wonderland effects, it’s no wonder patrons welcome Nutcracker as their holiday tradition.

From February 13-17, audiences stand alongside Juliet as she defies the ordered social structure in the re-telling of Shakespeare’s enduring Romeo & Juliet. The splendour of sixteenth-century Verona is recreated by the magnificent sets and costumes of Toer van Schayk in this full-length ballet that demands the most of a dancer’s personal capacity to create a role

The RWB’s season of mainstage performances ends in The Emerald City as audiences journey alongside the iconic, headstrong Dorothy and her friends in the Canadian Premiere of The Wizard of Oz from May 1-5. In this collaboration between the RWB, Kansas City Ballet and Colorado Ballet, L. Frank Baum’s tale of family, friendship, and courage is vividly brought to life by choreographer Septime Webre, choreographer of the hit Alice (in Wonderland).

From March 28-30, the RWB will present Ballet & the Band, a new and exciting artistic collaboration between the RWB and The Bros. Landreth.

The season will wrap up with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School Professional Division’s year-end performances: Spotlight and On the Edge. Spotlight, which runs from May 23-25, is an outstanding selection of repertoire and presents the impeccable artistry and budding talent of students from RWB School’s Professional Division.

On the Edge runs from June 5-7 and closes the RWB’s 79th season with provoking narratives and the fearlessness of dancers about to embark on a professional career in dance. On the Edge gives audiences a front-row seat to experience the passion and intensity of RWB School Aspirants during this diverse programme of new creations and timeless classics.

“It promises to be an exciting season of compelling narratives brought to life through dramatic choreography– from the classical Romeo & Juliet, to inventive choreography from international talents like Lila York, Septime Webre, and the emerging talent of our own Phillipe Larouche, who will work with The Bros. Landreth for Ballet & the Band,” states RWB Artistic Director André Lewis.

Lewis also announced that the Company will return to Canada’s capital in early November to tour the recently commissioned Vespers at the National Arts Centre. The well-loved classic Nutcracker will tour Fayetteville, AR, and Victoria, Nanaimo, and Vancouver, BC during the end of November to early December.

The Royal Winnipeg Ballet gratefully acknowledges the ongoing support of its Funders – Canadian Heritage, Canada Council for the Arts, Manitoba Tourism, Manitoba Arts Council, Winnipeg Arts Council, The Winnipeg Foundation, and Manitoba Sport, Culture, and Heritage, as well as the generous support of patrons, sponsors and donors.


Ballet in the Park
July 25-27, 2018
Assiniboine Park – Lyric Theatre

The Handmaid’s Tale
October 10-14, 2018
Centennial Concert Hall

Choreography-Lila York

December 19 – 29, 2018
Centennial Concert Hall

Choreography- Galina Yordanova and Nina Menon

Romeo & Juliet
February 13-17, 2019
Centennial Concert Hall

Choreography – Rudi van Dantzig

Ballet & the Band
March 28-30, 2019
Pantages Playhouse Theatre

Choreography – Mark Godden, Jera Wolfe, Philippe Larouche

The Wizard of Oz
May 1 – 5, 2019
Centennial Concert Hall

Choreography- Septime Webre

Story lines and visual elements
from the MGM Motion Picture
provided by Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures

RWB School Professional Division presents Spotlight
May 23 – 25, 2019
Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre – John Hirsch Mainstage

RWB School Professional Division presents On the Edge
June 5 – 7, 2019
Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s Founders’ Studio

2018-19 TOURING

Ottawa, ON- November 1-3, 2018- National Arts Centre

Fayetteville, AR- November 23-25, 2018- Walton Arts Centre
Victoria, BC- November 30- December 2, 2018- Dance Victoria
Nanaimo, BC- December 4-5, 2018- Port Theatre
Vancouver, BC- December 7-9, 2018- Ballet BC