Jacob's Pillow presents Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet in a packed program that features works by award-winning choreographers Peter Quanz, Mark Godden, and Mauricio Wainrot, at the Ted Shawn Theatre August 1–5. This marks their first appearance at the Pillow since their historic two-week engagement in 1964, a high-profile showcase that launched the company toward international recognition. Versatility, technical excellence, and captivating finesse are the hallmarks of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet.
"The Royal Winnipeg Ballet is one of the most accomplished and appealing ballet companies in the world, yet is rarely seen in the U.S." comments Ella Baff, Executive and Artistic Director of Jacob's Pillow. "A great deal of cooperation made it possible to overcome an expansive geographic distance so that the Pillow could present this exciting program of varied and superb dance and music."
The varied program opens with Canadian choreographer Peter Quanz's In Tandem, a dynamic choreographic work set to the 2009 Pulitzer-prize winning score "Double Sextet" by American composer Steve Reich. Originally commissioned by the Guggenheim Museum's Works & Process Series, In Tandem is a fast-paced and pointed neo-classical ballet that Alastair Macaulay of The New York Times praised for its "smartly expansive vocabulary [that] is full of chic." Quanz, a former dancer with the Stuttgart Ballet, is an award-winning choreographer whose work has been presented by acclaimed companies such as American Ballet Theatre, the Mariinsky Ballet, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal, and the National Ballet of Canada. Quanz's work was most recently seen at the Pillow earlier this season, when Luminous was performed by The Hong Kong Ballet to critical and audience acclaim.
The program continues with Moonlight Sonata, an excerpt from AS ABOVE, SO BELOW, by Montréal-based American choreographer Mark Godden, who describes the ballet as a meditation on "who we are and who we struggle to be…there's who you love and then there's who you are." The pas de deux, set to the eponymous piano music by Ludwig van Beethoven, explores the purity of romantic love in the human imagination. Although it premiered in 2001, Moonlight Sonata was presented as part of the 2010 Cultural Olympiad in Vancouver, when Royal Winnipeg Ballet performed in a rare collaboration with National Ballet of Canada. Godden has created original works for dance companies across Canada and the United States as well as in Latin America. A former Resident Choreographer for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Godden has received numerous awards for his ballets at international ballet competitions and his full-length ballet Dracula, a Royal Winnipeg Ballet commission, was adapted into an International Emmy-award winning film.