Choreographers in the Making at RWBS

By Brittany Duggan
  • Photo by Vince Pahkala
  • Blink and Miss by Philippe Larouche / Photo by Vince Pahkala

On February 14, the Professional Division of Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet School (RWBS) hosted the twenty-fifth anniversary of their First Steps Choreographic Competition.

First Steps began in 1990 when students at the school expressed a desire to present their own creative work. Twenty-five years later the competition runs over six shows, with donations from Winnipeg businesses and arts organizations as prizes for the winners. With access to their peers, who perform the works, and the wardrobe department, this competition encourages students to increase their artistic sensitivity and gain awareness and respect for the creative process while finding their own style of expression. 

Nicolas Noguera won first place and also took home the Doreen MacDonald Scholarship for his work Game Number 13. Second place was awarded to Alie Wagar for her work Sail, while third place went to Isabella Pisapia for her work Run Boy Run. The CIBC Award for Innovation went to Philippe Larouche, who also won the RWB School Award, for his work Blink and Miss. The Jacqueline Weber Award for Classical Choreography went to Anna Benko for her work Listen Closely; the Paddy Stone Scholarship for Jazz, Tap and Musical Theatre went to Keaton Leier for his work Tamashii; the People’s Choice Award went to Jao Woramontri for her work First Dance, with Honourable Mention going to Nathaniel Moore for The Shadow Shaped by Light.

Guest jury members this year included Mark Godden and Josée Garant, both choreographers and teachers at the school; Jorden Morris, graduate of the program and former principal dancer with the company and choreographer; and Heather Myers, an independent dance artist currently based in Vancouver.

Learn more >> rwb.org

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