As I’m sure you’re all well aware, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet is one of this city’s treasures. I always marvel that we have such a gem here in our quiet prairie town–I mean, having our own ballet is such a status symbol. (They don’t have their own ballet in Vancouver by the way, so take that people. Please refer to my post below if you haven’t seen it, and that snide comment might make sense. I’m really not that crabby.)
Anyway, the RWB has been around for 75 years and was granted royal status by Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. (Does that mean the RWB gets to refer to itself as the royal “we” whenever it talks about itself? Well, when I see it wearing flower hats and primly waving in a parade, I’ll let you know.)
A few years ago I actually took some adult ballet and jazz classes at the RWB, and it was one of the best things I’ve ever done. If you’ve ever had visions of floating across the stage in a delicate, chiffon skirt, then this is for you.
There were people of all skill levels and backgrounds–some had danced before, some had two left feet and some even had just one foot (OK, I made that last one up. Please don’t send the Coalition for One-Footed Ballerinas after me; I was just kidding around.) We even got to participate in a recital with costumes as our parents took photos and boasted about us–just like we were eight years old again.
I bring up the RWB today because they’ve got a new show coming up in April. A Cinderella Story returns this year, with its groovy 50s theme. I think it’s pretty fitting since vintage and everything that goes with it is as hot as can be right now. I recently read a good article in the New York Times that suggested pop culture is starting to become more obsessed with “old” things than “young” things and vintage was a perfect example. They cited that people appearing to be more interested in what Meryl Streep was wearing at the Oscars than Miley Cirus as proof that there is still some sanity and rational thinking in the world.
The RWB’s rendition of Cinderella is fun and colourful and the perfect intro into ballet for “people who don’t like ballet.” It’s such a familiar story that everyone can identify with it and take something away from it. And of course, one of the main reasons I love the ballet is the costumes and this one doesn’t disappoint. (Did you see those dresses they wore during Moulin Rouge? I thought I had died and gone to fashion heaven.)