Northrop Dance Presents MOULIN ROUGE- The Ballet 10/17
Northrop Dance at the University of Minnesota unveils the World Premiere of Moulin Rouge - The Ballet, based on the story of the most celebrated cabaret in history. Created by Canadian superstar choreographer, Jorden Morris, the stage will transform with the signature RWB cinematic flair. Matthew and Nathalie will tempt the fates of Paris in seek of love and destiny in the turn of the century Paris when pomp and excess ran hand in hand with poverty and hardship, and the heady elixir of personal freedom bred lifestyles that were often reckless and addictive. Versatile and technically amazing artists exemplify the contemporary and classical tango and the illustrious energy of the Can-Can.
Moulin Rouge - The Ballet follows Matthew, a young painter who finds himself in Paris, in love and in trouble. Matthew arrives in Paris full of wonder and anticipation; he yearns to experience the Bohemian lifestyle and "la belle époque." As we follow Matthew deeper into Paris, we are exposed to the darker lifestyles and harsh realities of the city. Matthew's innocence brings him to the City of Light, and his love takes him deep into the Paris underground. At the same time Nathalie is trapped in the underground and searching for a way to find the light above. This story is about love, and the unpredictable webs it can weave.
The production will have a very cinematic look, as a camera lens opening into a world where the journey takes place. The choreography and sets provide different images and angles, including a fade and focus on Matthew at the end.
The choreography in this production requires strong and versatile artists. The launderettes dancing will be on pointe and technically challenging. The Tango cafe is a large company scene that involves intricate partnering and strong dancing in the contemporary and classical tango style. Principal and soloist roles have pas de deux's, solo variations, as well as complex character identities to develop and cultivate.
Founded in 1939 by Gweneth Lloyd and Betty Farrally, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet holds the double distinction of being Canada's premier ballet company and the longest continuously operating ballet company in North America.
André Lewis | Artistic Director
After more than two decades of involvement with the RWB, Lewis was named Artistic Director in 1996. His career with the company started in 1975 when he entered the RWB School, and then joined the company in 1979. He was then asked to be a part of the artistic staff in 1984, and was named Associate Artistic Director in 1990, and was named Interim Artistic Director in 1995.
Lewis was born in Quebec, and started his ballet schooling at the Classical Ballet Studio in Ottawa. He then moved on to the Professional Division of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School. Lewis joined the company as a corps de ballet member and was soon after promoted to soloist in 1982.
Lewis has used his role as Artistic Director to revitalize the company's work. Some of the works he has commissioned are: Dracula, The Sleeping Beauty, Anna Karenina, and A Cinderella Story.
Lewis has appeared as a guest artist throughout the world, including the opening Gala performance of the International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi, Le Don des Etoiles in Montreal, a special gala honoring Holland's Queen Beatrix, and a gala performance in Moscow's Tchaikovsky Hall.
Lewis has travelled to many countries, including Italy, France, Japan, Germany and Greece to teach and coach. He currently lives in Winnipeg with his wife, former RWB dancer Caroline Gruber, and their two children.
Jorden Morris | Choreographer
Morris started as a principal dancer, but then retired to study choreography. He went to NYU for a summer to study dance and theatre arts, and also studied early French choreography during this time with Claude Bessy and Serge Golovine from the Paris Opera.
Morris' first work was The Three Musketeers for the RWB School Director David Moroni in 1999. He then choreographed Elle est Quatre in 2000 for the Alabama School of Fine Arts, which was later taken to the Birmingham Arts Festival as well.
André Lewis has commissioned multiple works from Morris, including two works for the visit of Queen Elizabeth in 2000 which were performed by RWB and broadcast nationally on CBC television. Morris' work with RWB does not limit itself to the company only - he has also worked with the RWB School on projects.
In 2003, Morris transformed a popular kid's show called "The Toy Castle" into an interactive live dance performance. The performance sold out multiple times during it's run. He starred in the TV series, and was nominated for a Genie Award in 2003 for the performance.