This week Winnipeg audiences will have the opportunity to travel – or travel back – to Neverland with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet.
Peter Pan returns to the Centennial Concert Hall stage with Tinkerbell, Wendy, the Lost Boys and yes, the infamous Captain Hook.
Choreographed by the celebrated Jorden Morris, a former RWB principal dancer, the ballet premiered in 2006.
“This will be my first production of Peter Pan but my relationship with Jorden (Morris)… is actually quite significant in my ballet career,” says RWB Principal Conductor Julian Pellicano.
It was the score to Morris’ Moulin Rouge that would prove to be the last work conducted by Pellicano in 2020 before the world came to a halt.
“Since then, Jorden and I have kept up a very close dialogue,” says Pellicano, who has travelled twice to Orlando since returning to performances, working with Morris at the Orlando Ballet conducting Moulin Rouge and a more recent work, The Great Gatsby.
“Going into Peter Pan, I totally can see Jorden picking all of this music because I know how his musical brain works,” says Pellicano, who notes Morris’ “astute” musical ear.
Featuring a mashup of English composers, the musical selections reflect the composers who might have been heard by novelist J.M. Barrie as he worked on Peter Pan at the turn of the twentieth century.
“A choreographer will choose a variety of different pieces of music by different composers that are chosen specifically to serve the story,” explains Pellicano.
Selections from the catalogues of Elgar, Coates, Britten, Phillips, and Goodwin add to the drama unfolding on stage.
“(Morris) spent so much time sorting through music that just perfectly fits the scene,” says Pellicano.
“Did Elgar in his Wand of Youth Suite think of Tinkerbell in this music? Of course not!” he says. “But it really shows how music... can be interpreted in so many ways.”
RWB’s Peter Pan runs from Wednesday, May 3 through Sunday, May 7.
For more details and tickets, visit: www.rwb.org