On Saturday night, I was lucky enough to see a performance of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s Peter Pan, and I can’t explain how much I loved it! The RWB has really outdone themselves this time. I consider myself very fortunate to live in a city with a world-renowned ballet company. They are not easily found, and for a dancer, it makes the world of difference. (See my past posts on the RWB here and here.) Their repertoire is quite varied, but I personally enjoy story ballets! I will still watch and enjoy modern pieces, but my heart remains with stories. To me, that is classical ballet. When I found out that Peter Pan was happening, I knew that I had to attend!
I might have been missing this for years, but I just discovered that they have Pre-Show Chats before performances with different dancers. As soon as I saw that, I knew I had to be there for it. Natalie from Peg City Lovely interviewed Tristan Dobrowney, as he is actually retiring from the company! I loved hearing from him, it is lovely to be able to learn more about the dancers that we have seen over the years. I found it a touch awkward, as the interviewer didn’t necessarily work with him in the interview. If someone is on the quieter side, you can’t put them on the spot with random questions!! (Just a pet peeve of mine.) Still, Tristan was a great sport, and I wish him the best of luck with all of his upcoming projects!
Back to the show! I thoroughly enjoyed this iteration of Peter Pan– it was all fun and no awkward emotions. I don’t often watch or read Peter Pan even though I love it, because I don’t love the awkward adolescent emotions between Peter and Wendy. This production acknowledges those feelings but doesn’t focus on them! Perfect for moi. For a full synopsis of the show, please see here!
I absolutely loved every element of this performance. A few different people stole the show for me- Tyler Carver as Nana, the sheepdog, was fantastic! It can be incredibly difficult to act in a costume, let alone a huge sheepdog costume, and he was perfect. He is the new Filbert (á la Nutcracker) for me! Elizabeth Lamont as Wendy Darling could not have been a better choice. I can’t remember the last time a dancer had such a clean and sweeping lines. I found that she didn’t approach Wendy as a child OR a teenager, but rather timelessly, which really filled out her perfomance. Saeka Shirai as Tinkerbell is possibly the best Tink there is! Her attitude and spark, her stage presence, her expressions. I couldn’t take my eyes off of her. Her flexed feet were perfect for Tink- it communicated her attitude exactly. (She also rolled through her pointe perfectly, I would kill for articulate feet like that).
One of my favourite campaigns of the RWB is the Pass the Slipper Campaign. They pass pointe shoes throughout the audience to collect money for the school. I think that this is a wonderful idea- it allows audience members that might not have ever seen a pointe shoe to hold it in their hands and see what dancers are really working with. I always makes sure to have at least $10 to donate, because the Professional School is certainly one of the best schools in North America.
What cultural events are you drawn to?