Royal Winnipeg Ballet Premieres ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’

Royal Winnipeg’s Ballet’s bold new creation, The Handmaid’s Tale set to launch on October 16th, 2013

The Handmaid’s Tale
Image ©Royal Winnipeg Ballet

Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s highly anticipated full length ballet prepares to engage audiences for the first time as opening night for the 74th season rapidly approaches. For the powerful debut of the season, RWB presents the groundbreaking new creation  The Handmaid’s Tale based on the critically acclaimed novel by Canadian literary giant Margaret Atwood, from October 16 – 20th, 2013 at the Centennial Concert Hall in Downtown Winnipeg. Committed to presenting dynamic, new creations, RWB Artistic Director Andre Lewis has commissioned renowned New York choreographer Lila York to create this gripping new full length ballet.

The Handmaid’s Tale is a ballet interpretation of Margaret Atwoods prophetic novel, portraying a future society where human rights – and women’s rights in particular – have been nullifed,” says York. “But is is also a story of redemption that I hope will reach deep within the audience and encourage them to ask the important questions and spark conversation“.

York, the celebrated choreographer, performer and long time muse of modern dance icon Paul Taylor, is in Winnipeg working through the creative process with the RWB Company dancers and artistic team. Through dialogue with the author, York has spent nearly a decade re-imagining the dystopian world of Gilead to enthrall a ballet audience. Atwood, who is immensely supportive of the project, will be attending the Winnipeg premiere and treating the Winnipeg audience to a 20 minute pre show talk at 6.45 on October 16th. The pre show chat will be screened in the lobby at 7 pm for the remainder of the run.

I can scarcely imagine what this ballet will be like“, says Ms. Atwood. “I know that dance aficionados around the world, as well as devoted readers of the book , are waiting for it with keen anticipation.”

York, has assembled a team of top international talent in lighting, design, and costuming to give life to the dance drama. Innovative set designer Clifton Taylor, who has  worked with the world’s leading dance and opera companies, will be assisted by Anshuman Bhatia to bring the world so vividly imagined by Atwood to the stage. Designer Liz Vandal, lauded for her cutting edge fashion design and costuming for Cirque du Soleil, and Marie Chouinard, will create original costuming to fit the narrative’s dark romanticism.

Set to a pastiche score of renowned composers, the thought provoking ballet will provide a rich array of new characters to showcase the energy, athleticism and theatricality of the RWB Company dancers.

Calender Listing

What: The Handmaid’s Tale, based on the novel by Margaret Atwood
Location: Centennial Concert Hall, 555 Main Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Dates: 7.30 pm October 16 – Sunday, October 20th, 2013
Tickets : Available on line at

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