Sep 09 2019 | Posted in Press Releases

La Bayadère opens Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s 80th season

The Royal Winnipeg Ballet (RWB)’s 80th season of mainstage productions begins in 1855 India. La Bayadère, first performed in 1877, graces the Centennial Concert Hall stage from October 2-6 for the first-ever performance in Canada.

This new co-production between Queensland Ballet, West Australian Ballet, and RWB is a must-see classic, re-imagined! Set in 1855 India, this story of eternal love impeded by the cruel manipulations of others, is the epitome of the classic story ballet.

Solor, son of the Maharajah of Koch Bihar, has pledged his undying love to the beautiful Nikiya, a bayadère (temple dancer). When he is forced by his father to marry the Governor-General’s daughter, a string of tragic consequences are unleashed.

This sumptuous new production of La Bayadère will sweep you into the exotic world of the 19th century British Raj. Within a cauldron of colonial politics, glittering balls and opium-fuelled dreams, Solor and Nikiya are entwined through life, death and the ghostly Kingdom of the Shades.

Choreographer Greg Horseman set out to give the movement in this production the feel of a more realistic India by including classical Indian movement and style for the temple dancers (bayadères). There are many layers of La Bayadère and through his choreography, Horseman kept all of the iconic key elements of the traditional story including the Kingdom of Shades; one of the most memorable ensembles in all of classical ballet.

The production of La Bayadère especially exciting as it’s the first show Julian Pellicano will be conducting in his new role as the Principal Conductor of the prestigious Royal Winnipeg Ballet for the 2019-2020 season.

Pellicano has rapidly established himself as a leading interpreter of music across a broad spectrum of genres, traditions, and time periods. Whether it be traditional and contemporary symphonic repertoire, classical and modern ballet, opera, films live with orchestra, pops, musical theatre, multi-media productions, workshops, or his carefully programmed concerts for young listeners, Julian brings an incisive musicality and collaborative spirit to every performance.

“I’ve conducted four productions with the RWB before taking on the role of Principal Conductor and one of the many reasons I am so excited about my new appointment is because I have this wonderful opportunity to perform with some of the most incredible dancers in the ballet world and be on the podium with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, a world-class orchestra I truly feel at home with, since I am also their Associate Conductor,” says Pellicano. “Additionally, the artistic team and staff at the RWB are so collegial and artistically dynamic that I feel like there is simply great art to be made with this company and I’m honoured to be a part of it.”

At the Bolshoi Theatre in St Petersburg, Ludwig Minkus composed the original music of La Bayadère in 1877. RWB’s co-production between Queensland Ballet and West Australian Ballet will feature the original music with additional adaption by Nigel Gaynor, and is sure to add an extra layer of captivation to the show.

“I couldn’t be happier that my first production as Principal Conductor with the RWB is one of the most important classical works in the repertory, La Bayadère. This new production is really quite extraordinary and the music by Ludwig Minkus with additional adaptation by Nigel Gaynor is absolutely stunning for the orchestra to perform,” says Pellicano. “It will be my first time conducting this ballet, and it’s always a pleasure to bring together the extraordinary dancers of the RWB with the music of my wonderful colleagues in the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.”

The Royal Winnipeg Ballet gratefully acknowledges the ongoing support of its Funders Canada Council for the Arts, Manitoba Arts Council, Winnipeg Arts Council, and Manitoba Sport, Culture, and Heritage, our Production Supporter Richardson Foundation and Performance Sponsors Arnold Brothers Transport Ltd. as well as the generous support of patrons, sponsors and donors.

What: La Bayadère, a classic re-imagined
Location: Centennial Concert Hall, 555 Main Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Date: Wednesday, October 2 to Sunday, October 6, 2019
Time: 7:30 pm October 2, 3, 4 & 5; matinee at 2 pm on October 6
Tickets: Season subscriptions and single tickets are available online at, in person through the RWB Customer Service Office at 380 Graham Avenue or by calling 204-956-2792 or toll free 1-800-667-4792. Groups of ten or more should contact the RWB Customer Service Office for more information on group discounts.
Please note that the RWB does not sell tickets through any third-party websites.