Jan 28 2015 | Posted in Press Releases

Sophia Lee and Yayoi Ban debut in iconic leading role

Winnipeg, MB – (January 28, 2015) Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s 75th Anniversary season continues with the stunning and quintessential classic Swan Lake, March 4-8 at the Centennial Concert Hall. Based on alluring choreography from Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov alongside the luminous score of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, the classical work has been cited as “easily one of [RWB’s] most magical”. (Uptown Magazine, 2010)

“Seeing 20 dancers in white tutus moving in unison took the audience’s breath away - literally - on opening night. Audible gasps were heard.” (Uptown Magazine, 2010)

Added to the RWB repertoire in 1987, this year’s return of the Russian-born classic features two rising stars as Swan Lake’s leading ladies. Well known for her critically-acclaimed performances as Moira in The Handmaid’s Tale, and her recent outstanding debut as Annie in Going Home Star – Truth and Reconciliation, Sophia Lee takes on the dual role rich with emotional contrast: the innocent white swan, Odette and the deceitful black swan, Odile. Alternating with Lee is RWB Soloist Yayoi Ban who shone brightly in James Kudelka’s The Four Seasons and as Clara in RWB’s holiday favourite Nutcracker. Both Lee and Ban step into the coveted Odette/Odile role for the first time this March with RWB talents Liang Xing and Dmitri Dovgoselets alternating as Prince Seigfried.

As a new addition, dancers from Winnipeg-based troupe SPK Iskry join the Royal Winnipeg Ballet Company dancers in Act III. The award-winning Polish Folk Dance Ensemble brings lively energy to the Mazurka scene.

Rich visual elements accent the Swan Lake stage with sets and costumes created by one of England’s foremost ballet designers, Peter Farmer, and lighting designed by Nicholas Cernovitch. All shows feature live accompaniment by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, conducted by RWB Music Director & Conductor Tadeusz Biernacki.

RWB gratefully acknowledges the generous support of Qualico as a Swan Lake Performance Sponsor.

Media Opportunities

Open Rehearsal

In Open Rehearsal, RWB Artistic Staff work closely with the artists fine-tuning characters and choreography in preparation for upcoming performances of Swan Lake.
Media is invited to attend the Open Rehearsal on February 27 at 7pm in RWB’s Founders’ Studio
(380 Graham Avenue). To attend, please RSVP to RWB Public Relations Coordinator, Jane Puchniak.
(E | P 204.957.3456 | C 204.223.4010)

Media Call

RWB invites media to an excerpt of Swan Lake on March 3 at the Centennial Concert Hall. Time TBA.

Calendar Listing

What: Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet presents Swan Lake
Location: Centennial Concert Hall, 555 Main Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Date: Wednesday, March 4 to Sunday, March 8, 2015
Time: 7:30 pm March 4, 5, 6, 7; matinee at 2:00 pm on March 8
Tickets: Tickets for Swan Lake start as low as $29.00 for adults plus taxes and fees and can be purchased 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.

About Swan Lake

Since its premiere over a century ago in Russia, Swan Lake has become one of the most popular classical ballets of all time. This heart-wrenching story of true love has enchanted audiences young and old and remains timeless because of the range of human emotions expressed through dance and Tchaikovsky’s luminous score. The poetic work resonates with melancholy and hope and draws the audience into the story of Odette, a princess-turned-swan and the heroic Prince Siegfried, until the end of this tragic tale, where love triumphs, and the lovers are united for eternity. With Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s quintessential production featuring breathtaking choreography and visually magnificent sets evoking a Renaissance court, the fabled lake of the swans rises into view, inspiring awe for generations to come.

About Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet (

Founded in 1939, Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet holds the double distinction of being Canada’s premier ballet company and one of the oldest ballet companies in North America. Versatility, technical excellence and a captivating style are the trademarks of Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet, qualities that have garnered both critical and audience acclaim. RWB’s superlative standards keep the Company in demand around the globe as it presents more than 150 performances every season across Canada and in the United States, South America, Europe, the Middle East, Russia, Japan, Asia and Mexico. Under the artistic direction of André Lewis for 17 years, the Company is said to have never looked more resplendent, more assured, and more ravishing.

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For further media information, please contact
Jane Puchniak I RWB Public Relations Coordinator
T. 204.957.3456 I C. 204.223.4010