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Posted: February 13, 2012

A tale of betrayal, death and ghostly revenge will bewitch ballet goers from March 7th to 11th, 2012 when Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet transports audiences on an unearthly journey where classical ballet meets the supernatural. Eagerly awaited by audiences for a decade, Giselle returns to the Centennial Concert Hall with a newly refurbished set and costumes to create a haunting experience for longtime ballet fans and newcomers alike.

Choreographed by Peter Wright, this romantic-style ‘ballet blanc,’ which premiered at the Paris Opera Ballet in 1841, tells the story of a young peasant girl’s love for a nobleman and her ultimate betrayal at his hands. Giselle’s heartbreak and despair lead to her tragic demise, but she and the Wilis, the spirits of other jilted lovers, seek their revenge from beyond the grave as irresistible spirits of a deathly dance.

Principal Dancer Vanessa Lawson is thrilled to be revising her role as Giselle after a decade. Giselle was Lawson’s break-out role 10 years ago and since then she has taken the ballet world by storm. She returns to this defining role after recovering from a lengthy injury and this time round Lawson brings a greater wealth of artistic and life experiences to the role.

In the following interview Lawson talks about what it takes to dance this demanding role and how she will bring something different to it this time around. “Now to do it 10 years later, with all the experiences I have had in dance, and life as well, will bring an entirely different side to it,” said Lawson.

Posted: February 02, 2012

RWB Aspirants had a rare treat yesterday when La la la Human Steps dancers; William Smith and RWB School alumni Zofia Tujaka and Jason Shipley-Holmes held a workshop at the RWB. The two-day workshop gave Aspirants a glimpse of what a day of work might be like with leading contemporary choreographer Edouard Lock and his globe-trotting company La La La Human Steps.

Renowned choreographer and La la la Human Steps Artistic Director Edouard Lock made an appearance at day two of the workshop to bestow some words of wisdom on the young artists. “Think percussive, rhythmic, precision,” Lock instructed the Aspirants. The company is famed for its intricate movements and breakneck performance speed and accuracy, and the workshop combined all those elements into some truly unique movement patterns.

“It was much more physical than I ever would have expected,” said Aspirant Katie Bonnell. “The movements are sharp and intricate but they’re not huge. It takes the skill of the performers to get the impressiveness of the movements across. I loved it – I never would have thought I’d have the chance to work with them and it was incredible.”

"It was a great workshop,”  agrees Jera Wolfe. "They take ballet and classical lines and just mess with it and speed it up. It’s amazing to dance. When we started learning it, it was a complete mess but then once you get it together it’s incredible movement!”

Catch La la la Human steps in performance tonight at the Centennial Concert Hall as part of  the WSO New Music Festival. Read more »

Posted: February 01, 2012

The RWB School Audition Tour will wrap up this Sunday in Winnipeg. It is the last chance for talented young dancers to try out for a coveted spot at the RWB School Summer Session. Level 7 Professional Division students Kylie Duggan and Filip Kurlowicz both know what it takes to make it in the Professional Division of the RWB School and they took some time out of their busy schedule to share some of their experience and wisdom with the hopefuls.

This video with Kylie and Filip also includes footage of them dancing the Grand Pas de Deux from The Sleeping Beauty, sheds some light on what it’s really like to live and dance at the RWB.

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