Royal Winnipeg Ballet performance celebrates 40 years of professional dance training

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Alumni and students unite for anniversary show!

Winnipeg, Manitoba (May 2, 2011) – Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet School Professional Division presents In Concert a year-end showcase featuring George Balanchine’s Scotch Symphony, ‘Hula’ from William Forsythe’s The Second Detail, Youske Mino’s Kase and the one-act story ballet Fairy Doll. In Concert will be performed at the CanWest Global Performing Arts Centre from May 18 – 22.

two ballet dancers on pointe

Jo-Ann Sundermeier, Alexander Gamayunov in Scotch Symphony Choreography by George Balanchine © 1952 The George Balanchine Trust Photo: Gustavo Levy

Joining the Professional Division students on stage for Balanchine’s Scotch Symphony are RWB Soloists Jo-Ann Sundermeier and Alexander Gamayunov, and Second Soloist Maureya Lebowitz. RWB Soloist Yosuke Mino will perform his pas de deux Kase with Lebowitz. Sundermeier, Lebowitz and Mino are all graduates of the Professional Division.

Scotch Symphony

Balanchine’s  Scotch Symphony drew inspiration from New York City Ballet’s first visit to the Edinburgh Festival, where every night on the castle esplanade the Searchlight Tattoo was performed with marching pipers, drummers and the dancing of reels. The ballet is set to Felix Mendelssohn’s ‘Symphony No.3 in A Minor, 1842’ (2nd, 3rd and 4th Movements). Balanchine found the first movement unsuitable for dancing and consequently used only the last three.

Guest Balanchine Répétiteur Joysanne Sidimus has been working with the dancers to set this ballet. One of contemporary ballet’s most respected and knowledgeable authorities on the work of George Balanchine, Ms Sidimus’ extensive and intimate understanding of his choreography has led her to stage them for ballet companies all over the world.

‘Hula’ from The Second Detail

The Second Detail was originally choreographed by William Forsythe for The National Ballet of Canada in 1991. As with most Forsythe ballets, The Second Detail is a high energy work laced with complex movements which differ from those of tradition ballet.

This excerpt was set by Professional Division graduate and former RWB Principal Dancer Laura Graham. Ms Graham is currently ballet master at the Semperoper Ballett in Dresden, Germany. She has worked as a Forsythe Ballet Master and has guest taught and set ballets for companies around the world

Kase is an original work by RWB Soloist Yosuke Mino. The pas de deux is set to ‘Spiegel Im Spiegel’ by Arvo Pärt. Over the past few years, Mino has been expanding his choreographic repertoire. He recently won second place at the International Solo Tanz Theater Festival in Stuttgart, Germany for a work he both choreographed and performed.

Fairy Doll

Fairy Doll is the fantastical tale of a shopkeeper’s apprentice who undergoes a night of revelry when a broken doll he is fixing comes to life. Set to music by Josef Bayer, the ballet is fun for everyone and filled with beautiful costumes and colourful characters.

Fairy Doll was set by the talented artistic faculty of the Professional Division, including Jorden Morris, Choreographer & Associate School Director; Jacqueline Weber, RWB School Principal; Bruce Monk, School Faculty and Scott Andrew, School Faculty – all RWB School graduates.

Alumni Reunion

On Saturday, May 21, RWB School Professional Division will be hosting a reunion for its alumni in celebration of the division’s 40th Anniversary. Alumni from all over the world will gather to connect with friends and colleagues and to share memories in commemoration of four decades of excellence


What: RWB School, Professional Division’s In Concert

Location: CanWest Global Performing Arts Centre (2 Forks Market Rd, Winnipeg)

Dates/Times: May 18-21 at 7:30 pm and May 22 at 2:00 pm

Tickets: Tickets for In Concert are $22 and $18 for students/seniors and are available through the RWB Customer Service Office at 380 Graham Avenue or by calling (204) 956-2792 or available at the door.

For more information, visit the RWB website at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet website.

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