Stéphane Leonard | Director, Aspirant Program
Stéphane Leonard is the School Aspirant Program Director at Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet (RWB). He assumed this position after his retirement from the RWB Company (Soloist 1998-2002).
Mr. Leonard began training in Montreal under the tutelage and mentorship of Ms N. Izbinskyand continued at the prestigious Vaganova Academy in St. Petersburg, Russia. Following his graduation in1993, Mr. Leonard made his professional debut with the National Ballet of Canada under the direction of Mr.Reid Anderson. In 1995, Mr. Leonard joined the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory Ballet and Operaunder the direction of Mr. Nikita Dolgushin. In 1998, Mr. Leonard returned to Canada to join the Company the RWB where he performed for many years.
Mr. Leonard’s classical repertoire includes such roles as Prince Desire (The Sleeping Beauty), The Poet (Les Sylphides), The Nutcracker Prince (Nutcracker), Tybalt(Rudi Van Dantzig’sRomeo & Juliet), Hilarion and the Peasant Pas de Quatre (Sir Peter Wright’s Giselle). He has alsoperformed soloist roles in various neo-classical and contemporary repertoire by choreographers such as Balanchine, Ashton, Tetley, McMillan, Cranko, Kyllian and Kudelka. In addition, Mr. Leonard appeared as Arthur Holmwood in Guy Maddin’sGemini-award winning film Draculaand provided choreographed Maddin’s acclaimed My Winnipeg.
Mr. Leonard’s students have enjoyed successful careers with companies across the globe such asthe Miami City Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, Ballet of Monte Carloand Corella Ballet and the RWB Company. In his time with the RWB School, Mr. Leonard hasspear-headed several important initiatives such as The Connection Tour, an innovative arts and education program which saw students from communities in Northern Manitobapartnering with emerging dance artists and practitioners in otherarts disciplines on diverse creative projects.
In addition to his work with the RWB School, Mr. Leonard frequently guest teaches in Canada and abroad, having visited institutions such as the Banff center for the Arts and The National Ballet School of Canada. In 2003, Mr. Leonard assisted Mr. Van Dantzig in the staging Romeo & Juliet for The Greek National Ballet and Boston Ballet.