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World Premiere Adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale to Open

Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s 2013/14 Season


Live Skype Chat with Margaret Atwood Reveals Gripping Season Opener


Winnipeg, MB – André Lewis, Artistic Director of Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet, today launched the Company’s extraordinary 2013/14 season, featuring six diverse performances for Winnipeg audiences and an extensive international touring schedule. With a World Premiere and three Winnipeg premieres, the RWB’s 74th season includes beloved classics, as well as bold new creations.


The 2013/14 season launches with the World Premiere of New York-based choreographer Lila York’s gripping adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale based on the celebrated novel by Canadian literary icon Margaret Atwood. Lewis also confirmed the season will include everyone’s sparkling holiday favourite Nutcracker, Rudi van Dantzig’s romantic Romeo + Juliet, coupled with an eclectic Mixed Programme featuring James Kudelka’s The Four Seasons, William Forsythe’s The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude and a new work by Jorden Morris titled Défilé, which will include the entire RWB company and artists from the School. 2013/14 will also invite audiences to experience not-to-be missed performances by Les Grands Ballet Canadiens de Montréal and Peter Quanz’s visionary contemporary ballet company, Q Dance.

“We are thrilled to be presenting audiences with such a dynamic season that includes a World Premiere and three Winnipeg premieres. The Royal Winnipeg Ballet is going from strength to strength, celebrating critical success on an international level as well as receiving accolades at home in Winnipeg,” said Lewis. Our 2013/14 season will push the creative boundaries of our art form with a mix of beloved classical and bold contemporary ballets, showcasing the incredible athleticism and theatricality of the RWB Company.”


The World Premiere of The Handmaid’s Tale, based on the novel by Margaret Atwood, opens the season from October 16–20. In a live Skype chat, celebrated author Margaret Atwood expressed her enthusiasm for the project, which has been years in the making. Acclaimed choreographer Lila York, best-known for her signature work Rapture, has consulted with Atwood to create a gripping interpretation of the iconic work, which will transport audiences to a society where human rights have been stripped away. Atwood’s cautionary tale, which celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2015, will be set to a dynamic musical score by James MacMillan.


Another first for a select ensemble of RWB dancers is the fifth installation of the absorbing and adventurous Q Dance from November 13–15. Created by internationally renowned choreographer and Artistic Director Peter Quanz, the popular series brings an electric array of risk-taking short works to the intimate quarters of the Gas Station Arts Centre.


The family holiday tradition Nutcracker, onstage from December 19-29, will be followed by a romantic Valentine’s Day treat - Rudi van Dantzig’s captivating classical vision of Romeo + Juliet, onstage from February 12-16, 2014.


The season continues on March 4 & 5 with an anticipated visit from Les Grands Ballet Canadiens de Montréal. The explosive company will perform Winnipeg choreographer Peter Quanz’s evening-length wonder Rodin/Claudel, a story about the torrid romance between famed artists Auguste Rodin and Camille Claude.


Rounding out the 2013/14 season is a dynamic Mixed Programme featuring works from some of the world’s leading choreographers. James Kudelka’s The Four Seasons, William Forsythe’s The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude and a new work by Jorden Morris titled Défilé, celebrating the connectivity between the RWB Company and School, will bring the season to a close.


The 2013/14 season will also see the Company tour extensively, including: Ottawa performances of the holiday classic Nutcracker in December; a Western Canadian tour of Romeo + Juliet in January 2014; and a multi-week tour of the wildly successful Moulin Rouge® - The Ballet throughout the United States.


To close the season launch event, Director of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, Arlene Minkhorst announced the promotion of four dancers from the RWB School’s Aspirant Program. Katie Bonnell, Kylie Duggan, Manami Tsubai and Ryan Vetter were recently accepted into the Company as Apprentices for the 2013/14 Season.


The Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s 2013/14 season:

Based on the novel by Margaret Atwood

Choreography by Lila York

October 16 – 20, 2013

World Premiere



Artistic Director and Choreographer Peter Quanz

November 13 – 15, 2013



Choreography by Galina Yordanova and Nina Menon

December 19 – 29, 2013



Choreography by Rudi Van Dantzig

February 12 – 16, 2014



Choreography by Peter Quanz

March 4 & 5, 2014



Choreography by:


The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude


The Four Seasons



May 7 – 11, 2014


Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet gratefully acknowledges the ongoing support of its Funders - Canadian Heritage, Canada Council for the Arts, Manitoba Culture, Heritage, Tourism & Sport, Manitoba Arts Council, Winnipeg Arts Council and The Winnipeg Foundation. We also wish to acknowledge the generous support of our sponsors and donors.





For further media information, contact

Rebecca McCauley I Communications Manager

T. 204.957.3447I C. 204.223.4010



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