This week, I was incredibly lucky to be invited to the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s 1718 Season Reveal! I had some vacation time at work and knew that it would be worth it, so on Tuesday morning I made my way down to the Royal Winnipeg Ballet studio to catch a glimpse of what the next season has in store for us! As you can imagine, I was fairly excited to be invited and I am so appreciative that the Royal Winnipeg Ballet takes the time to interact and engage with it’s patrons in a meaningful way. The ballet community in Winnipeg (and really everywhere) is not so big, and they do a wonderful job of reaching out to us!
The 2017/18 season for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet is going to be a season of storytelling, and I could not be more excited. While I appreciate abstract and modern pieces for the technique and choreography that goes into them, I will always prefer story ballets. It doesn’t have to be a classical story ballet, but something please! Well, somehow the RWB heard my plea and it is a season that is focused entirely on story telling. The reveal was done in the Founders Studio at the school itself, allowing for an intimate and cozy feeling. It started with this:
Not only does this video showcase the talents of our dancers and company, it also highlights several gorgeous locations throughout our lovely city. My friend who works at the RWB worked on this specific project, and she continues to blow me away with her talent- this is a unique take on company reveals right now in the ballet world, and it is visually stunning from start to finish. (Yes, those are tiny polar bears. Welcome to Winnipeg, one and all! 🙂 )
So, what does the season look like? We start with Twyla Tharp’s The Princess and the Goblin from September 24 to Oct 1. I’m incredibly excited for this- it premiered while I was living in Ireland, so I missed the first go-around. December sees our wonderful Nutcracker (which of course I will attend). For one night only in February, Canada’s Ballet Jörgen’s Anastasia, to which I let out a scream and book the night off in my calendar right this very moment. (I told you I loved story ballets, and Anastasia is one of the most remarkable stories in existence.) Sleeping Beauty finishes February and brings in March, and the beginning of May finishes the main company’s season with a mixed program of Serenade and Carmina Burana. As a dancer trained in the English style, I don’t particularly love the Balanchine style- while he is the father of American ballet, I find his pieces often brash and loud. However, Serenade is beautiful, and I’m happy to see it’s return!
Two of our amazing Principals, Jo-Ann Sundermeier and Dmitri Dovgoselets, performed a pas de deux from Sleeping Beauty while both being quite under the weather. We didn’t know this until the artistic director, André Lewis, let us know- I have to say, their partnering was on pointe (PUN INTENDED, you can’t stop me), especially given colds and flus. Thank you to both!! We were then treated to a pas de deux from Carmina Burana by two of the Professional Division students- it was an incredibly difficult and physical piece, and they were seamless from start to finish!
Afterwards, there were snacks and beverages in the lobby AND many of the costumes displayed. I was fangirling all over them- the costumes look stunning from up close and fair away, but you typically aren’t ever within a foot of one and able to stare at it as much as you want to. The beading alone is beautiful, not taking into account the fabrics and sewing that went into them. An interesting fact that I learned? We used to borrow the costumes from Ballet West! I was lucky enough to see Ballet West twice in Salt Lake City, you may remember them as the company from Breaking Pointe. (I sadly was not lucky enough to see Christiana Bennett dance, but I am hoping I might take a masterclass with her at some point if she decides to go into teaching.)
I will most certainly be buying season tickets for the 1718 season- it will be my last year in Winnipeg, and I couldn’t imagine a more fitting and perfect season for me.
Which of these ballets would be number one for you?