Entertainment Local

Ballet on the prairies

Emily Distefano, The Carman Valley Leader

Concert Hour Ballet brings the art and beauty of dance to audiences across the province who might not otherwise get the chance to see it. (STANISLAV BALYAEVSKY)

Concert Hour Ballet brings the art and beauty of dance to audiences across the province who might not otherwise get the chance to see it. (STANISLAV BALYAEVSKY)

They’re hoping to ignite a passion for dance on the prairies.

The Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s annual Concert Hour Ballet tour began November 14 and will wrap up in Carman on November 25.

The tour, which has been a cornerstone of the RWB’s Professional Dance Division for over 40 years, gives audiences beyond the perimeter the chance to experience some of Manitoba’s most promising dance talent.

Founded in 1970 by celebrated teacher and former RWB Company Principal Dancer David Moroni, the RWB School Professional Division offers classical ballet training based on the Russian system and supported with a full program of study in complementary dance forms.

And with 16 performances taking place in venues across Manitoba, the division’s Concert Hour Ballet tour “provides a unique experience to both dancers and audiences.”

Dynamic program, dual goal

The dynamic program has the “dual goal of sharing dance with new audiences – particularly those who might not otherwise have the opportunity to see a live performance – and allowing professional dance students to experience the demands of performing and touring first-hand.”

Clare Flemming, student of the RWB School’s Professional Division, said that she is very excited to share her love of dance with those who may have had little or no exposure to it.

Not only are students responsible for performing, they also learn about the production elements involved in putting on a show. Flemming noted that “audiences might also find it interesting to know that we are actually part of the entire production. The dancers help with everything we can- from loading and unloading the van to rolling out the dance floor and hanging the lights.”

The majority of shows will be held exclusively for schools. The Carman performance is one of only two chances for the public to view the action. (The other public performance is in Flin Flon.)

RWB PR coordinator Natasha Havrilenko said Concert Hour Ballet’s mandate is designed to educate and expose both students and communities on the art form of dance.

A variety of dances

Audiences can look forward to excerpts from a variety of modern and classical pieces that “highlight the exceptional talent of the touring students.”

Havrilenko said people should expect a mix of original pieces created by students and Artistic Faculty at the RWB School such as “Two Guitars” created by Oleksandra Kondratyeva and inspired by Russian Folk music, and “Now That We’ve Started” by Mark Sampson, a previous RWB Professional Division student.

Classic ballet pieces such as “Hungarian Dance” from Raymonda and “O Fortuna” from Carmina Burana will complement the original pieces.

“We wanted to include a mix of classic pieces that have been performed all over the world for many years and pieces that were created right here in Manitoba by the talented artists we have at the RWB,” said Havrilenko.

The Carman performance will take place on Friday, November 25 at 7:30pm at the Carman Collegiate Community Theatre.

Contact the Golden Prairie Arts Council to reserve and purchase your tickets. Tickets cost $20 or $10 for students. There will be assigned seating.

For more information contact the Golden Prairie Arts Council at 204-745-6568.

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edistefano@postmedia.com