The 2021/22 season will see the dancers return to the Centennial Concert Hall Mainstage and features both classic and contemporary ballets.
In a press release, Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet (RWB) announced their 82nd season.
“Our belief in the power of live performance is the driving force behind every step we take. We long to be together with you again and reengage that sense of shared humanity that comes from a live theatre experience.” says RWB Artistic Director and CEO André Lewis. “It has been an extremely challenging year, and we want to remind everyone that despite pandemic level challenges, we are determined to raise the curtain again.”
The RWB’s new season opens October 14-16 with Perpetual Motion a stunning mix of repertoire originally scheduled as the apex to its 80th season, in 80 Years – A Retrospective in May of 2020. Seventh Symphony, choreographed by Toer van Schayk represents the light at the end of a dark tunnel, and is convinced of a radiant new future. The lighthearted Rodeo, choreographed by Agnes De Milles is an exuberant and amusing ballet that follows the adventures of an awkward Cowgirl, hopelessly in love with the Head Wrangler at the Burnt Ranch.
Nutcracker returns to the Centennial Concert Hall stage from December 18-28 to perfectly capture the essence of the holiday season. The wonder and whimsy of Galina Yordanova and Nina Menon’s choreography pairs beautifully alongside energetic crescendos to tell the story of Clara and her Nutcracker Prince.
The RWB welcomes 2022 with The Sleeping Beauty from February 23-27, a bewitching classic that marries the soaring music of Tchaikovsky with the stunning choreography of Marius Petipa, one of ballet’s most gifted creators.
Then, May 11-15, the season concludes with Val Caniparoli’s A Cinderella Story. Set in the 1950’s, this inventive reinterpretation of the fairy tale favourite infuses ballet with Broadway stylings and a jazz orchestra by Winnipeg’s own Ron Paley.
“At this time, just one year ago, it was impossible to say what the future held,” says RWB Artistic Director and CEO André Lewis. “Today, we still can’t predict the future, but we can say with confidence that regardless of what happens we will Reignite the Stage. Our hope is to return with you in a seat, but if not, we know that we can deliver the art of ballet to your homes. We are extremely grateful for the joint efforts of our artists, staff, audience, and supporters who have brought us to this notable occasion.”
In addition to announcing the upcoming season, the RWB is pleased to announce promotions within the Company: Chenxin Liu, Alanna McAdie and Yue Shi rise from Soloist to Principal. Peter Lancksweerdt and Winnipeg’s own Jaimi Deleau rise from the Corps de Ballet to Second Soloist. This past season Apprentices Emilie Lewis, Brooke Thomas, and Tymin Keown join the Corps de Ballet. And the RWB also welcomes Apprentices Kyra Soo and Logan Savard.
“We promised that when the world was ready, we would return, but the truth is we never left. We are dancers and we know how to pivot. When unforeseen challenges arose, we faced them and evolved,” says Associate Artistic Director Tara Birtwhistle. “It is an honour to recognize just a handful of our dancers who have shown such resilience and dedication to their artistry along with a desire to perform for a live audience again.”
The Royal Winnipeg Ballet gratefully acknowledges the support of their funders: Canada Council for the Arts; Manitoba Arts Council and the Winnipeg Arts Council.
Due to anticipated physically distanced seating, subscriptions will be available to patrons in tiered stages, with current subscribers and donors given first opportunity to reserve a seat at the Centennial Concert Hall. Sales to the general public will be available August 18.
Six weeks prior to opening night, if Public Health Guidelines have not opened to allow a minimum of 50% audience capacity at the Centennial Concert Hall, a full Company on stage, and a full crew backstage; the RWB will make the decision to move to a digital performance. The safety of the artists, staff and patrons is a top priority.