Royal Winnipeg Ballet announces roster for 72nd season

June 30, 2011

Press Releases

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Royal Winnipeg Ballet announces roster for 72nd season! 



Winnipeg, Manitoba (June 29, 2011) – André Lewis, Artistic Director of Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet has just announced the roster for the Company’s 72nd season. The RWB welcomes three new principal dancers: Yun Wang, Yang Jiao, and Nurzhan Kulybaev. Also joining the Company as a corps de ballet member is Sophia Lee. Three returning dancers have been promoted from within the Company. Harrison James and Eric Nipp have been promoted to second soloist from the corps de ballet and Sarah Davey moves to the corps de ballet from apprentice. The RWB also welcomes Alanna McAdie and Catherine Rutherford as apprentices.

Yun Wang comes to the RWB from the Liaoning Ballet in China where she was a principal dancer. She began her dance career with this company after graduating from Liaoning Ballet’s School of Ballet in 2005. Representing China, Wang has won several domestic and foreign competitions and has been invited to perform throughout China and around the world. She has performed lead roles in several classical ballets including Don Quixote, Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Giselle, The Sleeping Beauty, Le Corsaire, Raymonda and Napoli. She has also received critical acclaim from both reviewers and audience members.

Yang Jiao also joins the RWB from the Liaoning Ballet where he was a senior principal dancer. A graduate from Liaoning Ballet’s School of Ballet in 2001, he has won awards in international competitions including Gold Prize, Senior Division in the Nagoya International Ballet Competition. Yang has been invited to perform around the world and most recently toured the United States. His repertoire includes the lead roles in several classical ballets including Jean de Brienne in Raymonda, The Prince in The Nutcracker, Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake, Count Albrecht in Giselle and Conrad in Le Corsaire, Florimond in The Sleeping Beauty and Basilio in Don Quixote. He has also performed in a number of Chinese ballets and contemporary works.

Nurzhan Kulybaev has been a principal dancer with Jacobson’s State Academic Ballet Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia since 2007. He graduated from The Tashkent Academy of Choreography in 2002 and subsequently joined the Alisher Navoi State Academic Opera and Ballet Theater of Tashkent. Nurzhan’s roles include parts in both classical and modern repertory. He has had many characters created on him in productions choreographed by Leonid Jacobson. His roles in classical ballets include Count Albrecht in Giselle, Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake, Romeo in Romeo & Juliet and The Prince in The Nutcracker. He has received several awards for his performances including an honorary diploma for his participation in the finale of the XI International Ballet Competition and became a Laureate of the highest theatre prize of St. Petersburg, the Golden Sophit.

Sophia Lee graduated from the RWB School Professional Division in 2010. In 2009 she travelled to Toronto to participate in The National Ballet School’s 50th anniversary Assemblée Internationale. Lee attended the Monaco Dance Forum as part of the Tremplin Jeunes Ballets event in 2010. As a student, she performed lead roles in Don Quixote, Deverell, Laurentia and Coppélia. This past season she was in the RWB School Aspirant program and shared the stage with the Company in Nutcracker. Most recently, Lee was selected to perform with former RWB Principal Dancer Jaime Vargas at the 31st Annual Genie Awards to Jorden Morris’ Dance Me to the End of Love with Montréal rock band Karkwa.

Harrison James trained at the New Zealand School of Dance and the San Francisco Ballet School’s Trainee Program. As a student, he danced a variety of works including Balanchine’s Theme and Variations, Tomasson’s 7 for Eight Pas de Deux and The Sleeping Beauty, and also performed with the San Francisco Ballet in Swan Lake, Romeo & Juliet, Nutcracker, John Neumeier’s The Little Mermaid and Jerome Robbins’ The Concert. James joined the RWB last season dancing in Dracula, Nutcracker, Carmina Burana, In the Upper Room, In Tandem and Moulin Rouge® – The Ballet. He also had the opportunity to perform the role of White Rabbit in Shawn Hounsell’s Wonderland.

Eric Nipp is a graduate of the RWB School Professional Division. Nipp began his professional dance career in 2006 with Ballet Kelowna where he danced for a season. He returned to Winnipeg the following year to join the RWB Company. Nipp’s RWB repertoire includes The Sleeping Beauty, Serenade, Carmina Burana, Hikarizatto, Dracula, Quantz by Quanz, Nutcracker, Swan Lake and Val Caniparoli’s A Cinderella Story. For the world premiere of Moulin Rouge® – The Ballet, Jorden Morris created the role of Zidler on Nipp. Most recently, Nipp partnered Tara Birtwhistle in The Ecstasy of Rita Joe for Birtwhistle’s farewell performances.

Sarah Davey trained professionally at the RWB School Professional Division and graduated in 2007. After training in the School’s Aspirant program, Davey joined the RWB Company in 2009 as an apprentice. Her repertoire includes Concerto Barocco, Serenade, The Four Temperaments, Hikarizatto, The Sleeping Beauty, Peter Pan, Moulin Rouge® – The Ballet, Nutcracker, Swan Lake and Dracula. Davey also took part in the Banff Centre’s professional dancer program in the summer of 2008 where she danced Divertimento #15 and Prefigured Effect by Robert Glumbek. She also performed with the Company at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games Cultural Olympiad.

Alanna McAdie is a graduate of the RWB School Professional Division program. She has been in the RWB School Aspirant program since graduating in 2009 and has performed with the Company in a few ballets including Dracula, Nutcracker and Moulin Rouge® – The Ballet.

Catherine Rutherford is from Winnipeg and graduated from the RWB Professional Division in 2009. Since that time she has been part of the RWB School Aspirant program. She has danced with the RWB in a number of ballets including the role of Filbert the Bear in Nutcracker. Rutherford was also featured in the television series Ballet Girls.

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