Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet: Nutcracker, December 19-29

HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS: RWB BRINGS MAGIC OF THE SEASON TO HOMETOWN

WINNIPEG—November 28, 2018. The Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy returns to the Centennial Concert Hallfrom December 19-29 with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet (RWB)'s Canadian version of the festive classic,Nutcracker. Just in time for the holidays, the RWB celebrates the spirit of the season by ushering attendees to a winter wonderland at the turn of the nineteenth century.

Nutcracker, choreographed by Galina Yordanova and Nina Menon, is one of the largest productions by the RWB, putting around 60 dancers on stage. Two casts perform Nutcracker during its run, joined by students from both the RWB School's Professional and Recreational Division, along with a colourful crew of walk-on guests.

"While producing Nutcracker, I tried to picture myself as Clara, adding my experience in every little detail," said Menon. "I wanted Clara, the main character, to be surrounded by various strong women in her life, like Aunt Josephine, a character based on my great grandmother- an extremely practical down-to-earth woman."

Nutcracker features stunningly beautiful and intricate costumes, such as a snowflake tutu which can take up to50 hours to make, set designs reminiscent of Winnipeg in the early 1900's, and lighting that illuminates the stage with magical winter wonderland effects. The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra completes the time-honored tradition as they accompany the dancers with Tchaikovsky's brilliant and enduring score.

"I believe Nutcracker appeals to the child in all of us," said RWB Artistic Director and CEO André Lewis. "In creating this version of Nutcracker nearly twenty years ago, I wanted to provide a Canadian perspective to this classic – something that people can relate to and relive those childhood memories."

This year, the RWB is thrilled to have Canadian's premier Ukrainian dance ensemble, Rusalka, join them on stage in Act II to dance a portion of Hopak, a traditional Ukrainian folk dance.

Prior to Winnipeg's performances, the RWB performed Nutcracker at the Walton Arts Centre in Arkansas fromNovember 23 – 25, and will perform at The Royal Theatre in Victoria, BC, from November 30 – December 2, Port Theatre in Nanaimo, BC, from December 4 – 5 and Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver, BC, fromDecember 7 – 9.

Nutcracker has been made possible in part by the Government of Canada, the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Manitoba Arts Council. The RWB would like to express their gratitude to Great West Life, Premier Sponsor of Nutcracker.

"We're proud to provide our continued support to the RWB as they bring families and our community together through world-class performances, during the holiday season and throughout the year," said Debbie Down, Director, Community Relations, Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life. "The Nutcracker is a timeless classic, and experiencing it at this time of year has become a tradition for many families."

Nutcracker

Location:

Centennial Concert Hall, 555 Main Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Date:

Wednesday, December 19 to Saturday, December 29, 2018

Time:

7:00 pm December 19, 20, 21, 22, 28; matinees at 1:00 pm on December 22, 23, 29; afternoon at 4:00 pm on December 26.

Tickets:

Tickets for Nutcracker start as low as $30 for adults and $25 for children plus taxes and fees and can be purchased online at www.rwb.org, in person through the RWB Customer Service Office at 380 Graham Avenue or by calling 204-956-2792 or toll free 1-800-667-4792. Groups of ten or more should contact the RWB Customer Service Office for more information on group discounts.

Please note that the RWB does not sell tickets through any third-party websites.

"This newly re-energized production of the RWB Christmas classic received its own leaping standing ovation by the enchanted crowd of young — and those just young-at-heart." – Holly Harris, Winnipeg Free Press, December 22/17

"Where the dance may be the twinkling lights on this Christmas tree, it is the lavish costumes from Paul Daigle, and the gorgeous backdrops from scenic designer Brian Perchaluk, that become the star at the top."- Mark Robins, Vancouver Presents, December 9/16

About Nutcracker

Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet's acclaimed production of Nutcracker is a sheer delight, featuring endearing Canadian scenes including a snowy pond hockey game, Parliament Hill, and 13 heart-warming polar bears! Danced to Tchaikovsky's timeless score, Nutcracker, featuring the dancers of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet accompanied by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, will take you on a wondrous adventure this holiday season.

About Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet

Founded in 1939, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet holds the double distinction of being Canada's premier ballet company and one of the oldest ballet companies in North America. Under the artistic direction of André Lewis, versatility, technical excellence and a captivating style are the trademarks of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, qualities that have garnered both critical and audience acclaim. RWB's superlative standards keep the Company in demand across North America. In addition to the Company, the RWB is home to the RWB School, consisting of both a professional division which trains young artists for a professional career in dance, and a recreational division which provides classes to over 1,500 students each week.

About Great-West Life

Great-West Life is a leading Canadian insurer, focused on improving the financial, physical and mental well-being of Canadians. For more than 125 years, our customers across Canada have trusted us to provide for their financial security needs and deliver on the promises we have made. Together with our subsidiaries London Life and Canada Life, we serve the financial security needs of 13 million people across Canada. As an Imagine Caring Company supporting the principles of corporate citizenship and benchmarks for community investment established by Imagine Canada, our companies contribute at least one per cent of pre-tax profit in support of the communities where our employees and customers live and work. In 2017, we contributed $13.5 million to communities. To learn more, visit greatwestlife.com.

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For further RWB media information, please contact:

Natasha Havrilenko | Communications and Public Relations Manager

T. 204. 957.3456 | C. 204.223.4010

nhavrilenko@rwb.org