CANADA’S ROYAL WINNIPEG BALLET BRINGS THE HANDMAID’S TALE: BASED ON THE NOVEL BY MARGARET ATWOOD TO NAC SOUTHAM HALL
An episodic dance-drama on pointe that shines a different light on the current global conversation about women rights.
October 20, 2022 – OTTAWA, Canada – From October 27-29, Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet (RWB) returns to NAC’s Southam Hall for three performances of The Handmaid’s Tale, a contemporary ballet on pointe that boldly retells the story of Canadian author Margaret Atwood’s award-winning novel.
In this ambitious and thought-provoking interpretation of Margaret Atwood’s novel a rich array of characters showcase the energy, athleticism, and theatricality of the RWB company dancers. Set to a pastiche score of renowned composers, including James MacMillan, Arvo Pärt, and Alfred Schnittke among others, this speculative tale brings forth a sobering message, one that is more relevant than ever.
Enslaved to the Commander of Gilead, where human rights – and women’s rights in particular - have been nullified, the concubine Offred must navigate this dystopian society alongside her fearless friend Moira and illicit lover Nick.
Commissioned by RWB Artistic Director, André Lewis, acclaimed New York-based choreographer Lila York took close to a decade to reimagine this daunting world. Along with a talented creative team, York preserved the novel’s prophetic spirit and human story, creating a powerful and poignant interpretation of the gripping tale.
“Creating a ballet based on Margaret Atwood’s prescient novel, The Handmaid’s Tale has been a longstanding and passionate wish for me. In the years since the novel’s debut in 1985, it has only grown in relevance and importance. Once seen as “controversial”, the story, its premise, and its characters are now fully part of our culture and our lexicon. It has been a privilege for me to work with RWB and their brilliant and dedicated dancers on this project. I am deeply indebted to Ms. Atwood for her support and her wisdom.” — Lila York
"Since first premiering this piece in 2013, the impact of the story has taken on even greater relevance as the world wrestles with intense social issues. Audiences have flocked to the television series based on the novel and the continued significance of its themes is debated and discussed. Yet as we delve into the RWB’s production, we experience both the darkness and the light, a complex yet hopeful world that makes for an engaging and powerful dance experience." – says Cathy Levy, Executive Producer, NAC Dance.
RWB’s The Handmaid’s Tale will be accompanied by the National Arts Centre Orchestra under the baton of Julian Pellicano
Members of the Press are invited to attend the Dress Rehearsal on October 27th at 2:30 p.m. in Southam Hall. RSVP is recommended.
To learn more about the 2022–2023 NAC Dance season, visit the NAC website.
PERFORMANCE AND TICKET INFORMATION
In-person in Southam Hall
October 27-29 at 8 PM
Tickets for performances start at $29
To purchase tickets, visit Ticketmaster online or call 1-844-985-2787 (ARTS). We encourage visitors to buy their tickets or make a restaurant reservation online prior to their visit. Please visit https://nac-cna.ca/en/visit to find out what you need to know before accessing the building and facilities.
THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS
NAC Dance and the NAC Foundation would like to thank the donors and partners who have made the season possible. Thank you to Hotel Partner the Lord Elgin Hotel. The role of Executive Producer, NAC Dance is generously supported by an anonymous donor.
ABOUT THE NAC
The National Arts Centre is Canada’s bilingual, multi-disciplinary home for the performing arts. The NAC presents, creates, produces, and co-produces performing arts programming in various streams — the NAC Orchestra, Dance, English Theatre in collaboration with Black Theatre Workshop, French Theatre, Indigenous Theatre, and Popular Music and Variety — and nurtures the next generation of audiences and artists from across Canada. The NAC is located in the National Capital Region on the unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabe.
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