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Brush up on your ballet: Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet offers something for everyone

by on October 31, 2012

On Friday, November 9, RWB makes a triumphant return to Atlantic Canada, and to The Playhouse stage, bringing an impressive program that will leave no doubt that the company deserves its distinguished global reputation.The 2012-2013 RWB season brings with it a virtuosic quadruple-bill which features Peter Quanz’s In Tandem, Brian Macdonald’s Pas D’action, Jorden Morris’ The Doorway set to the music of Leonard Cohen, and William Forsythe’s The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude.

In Tandem by rising international star and RWB alumnus Peter Quanz was commissioned by the Guggenheim Museum in New York City. The neo-classical ballet is set to the 2009 Pulitzer Prize-winning Double Sextet by American composer Steve Reich, and will take you on a swift-paced journey that is as charming and complex as its urban birthplace. The music’s vibrant rhythm carries the dancers from beginning to end through their suspenseful movements, unmistakably echoing both the darker and lighter moods of the performance.

It is a dynamic choreographic journey that stands apart due to its energetic and pulsing movements that have been characterized as “stretchy”, “edgy” and “angular”. As Quanz’s breakthrough ballet, In Tandem overflows with social charm and fleeting suggestions of the fundamental confrontations any love-based relationship must face. Fast-paced and pointed, this ballet is a modern inspection of some of our deepest and most unbridled emotions.

————World Premiere: September 11, 2009
————Royal Winnipeg Ballet Premiere: July 29, 2010

Pas D’Action is a witty story ballet by award-winning Canadian choreographer Brian McDonald that wonderfully satirizes the posturing and mannerisms of turn-of-the-century classical ballet in a humourous portrayal of Princess Naissa and her four suitors.

————World Premiere: March 20, 1964
————Royal Winnipeg Ballet Premiere: March 20, 1964

The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude by internationally-acclaimed artist William Forsythe, set to Franz Schubert’s Symphony N° 9 in C Major, is a rapid, dynamic ballet full of energy and vitality. The work embodies the whole tradition of dance as it explores a range of choreographic possibilities, testing the dancers’ physical limits with its technical rigour.

An affectionate homage to Petipa and Balanchine in its courtly partnering, structure and speedy, precise allegro work, The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude nonetheless belongs to present time in its celebration of the dancers’ ability to make technical difficulty into a triumph of physical mastery and in its self-aware embodiment of a whole tradition of dance.

————World Premiere (Frankfurt Ballet): January 20, 2096
————Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet Premiere: November 7, 2012

The Doorway: Scenes from Leonard Cohen by Jorden Morris, creator of RWB’s smash hit Moulin Rouge® – The Ballet, will take you inside the contemplative mind and complex heart of music icon Leonard Cohen. Graceful, moving and achingly honest, the series of dance vignettes set to Cohen’s songs and poems explores the emotional journey across the threshold to love and longing.

Former principal dancer with the RWB and Gemini Award nominee for his television work, Morris’s ballets delight audiences across North America. Morris created the smouldering pas de deux Dance Me to the End of Love for the live broadcast of the 2011 Genie Awards, the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television’s annual presentation has honouring and showcasing outstanding achievements in Canadian cinem

Performing live in The Doorway: Scenes from Leonard Cohen will be Canadian songstress Allison Crowe and American singer-songwriter Cris Williamson.  Crowe, a native of Nanaimo, B.C., will be performing Cohen’s 1984 legendary ballad Hallelujah while Williamson will sing her version of Cohen’s 1967 song Sisters of Mercy. Crowe and Williamson will also be performing a duet of Cohen’s 1969 song, Bird on a Wire.

————World Premiere (Royal Winnipeg Ballet): May 9, 2012

Want to learn more about these pieces, their choreographers, and the company? Join us after the performance on Friday November 9 as we sit down at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery and chat with André Lewis, artistic director of Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet. Approaching nearly 35 years with the company, Lewis enjoyed an accomplished career as a dancer with RWB for over ten years before being appointed artistic director in 1996.  Since then, Lewis has been the driving force behind the new and innovative works that have dramatically rejuvenated the Company’s repertoire. Tickets for the post-show chat are free of charge and are available at The Playhouse box office in limited quantity.

Tickets for Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet are available at The Fredericton Playhouse box office 1-866-884-5800, or online at

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