Royal Winnipeg Ballet's Svengali comes to Vancouver

Dec 19 2017, 1:37 pm

Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet returns to Vancouver, April 20 to 22,  with its newest classical ballet – Svengali. The full-length production is the brainchild of choreographer Mark Godden – the creative genius behind RWB’s critically acclaimed Dracula. The sensual ballet reimagines George Du Maurier’s Victorian novel Trilby, and tells the story of a young ballerina entangled in a complex web of manipulation and control.

The dramatic tale follows Svengali, a young man with hypnotic powers. Yearning for public recognition, Svengali escapes the repression of his mother’s ballet studio to the decadent society of mid-century Weimar, Germany, where he finds the dazzling and malleable young dancer, Trilby. Under Svengali’s entrancing influence, Trilby is transformed into the darling of the ballet world, but her star ultimately rises beyond Svengali’s powerful grasp.

The world-class artists of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet dance the piece to a classical music score that features works by Rachmaninov, Liszt, Richard Strauss, Philip Glass, and the Amsterdam Klezmer Band.

The April presentation will see young and upcoming members of the company take the spotlight, including Harrison James, a 23-year old young man from New Zealand. James, a standout for his incredible athleticism and powerful dramatic presence, will dance the Principal role of Svengali. Harrison will partner extensively with the Langley’s own Sophia Lee. Since leaving the Lower Mainland to join the Royal Winnipeg School at the age of 14, Sophia has quickly risen through the ranks, moving from Professional Division, to Corps, to dancing the main role of ‘Svengali’s First’ in this mesmerizing new ballet.

Svengali runs at the Centre in Vancouver for Performing Arts from April 20-22. Tickets available from $32.50 at

We’re giving away a pair of tickets to the premiere on April 20, 2012! The winner’s name will be held at the will call line.


To enter the contest you must do the following.

1. RT the following

  • Win tix to @RWBallet’s Svengali via @VancityBuzz & @cwistal  RT to Enter!

2. Leave a comment, tell us your favourite dance move of all time.

Contest Ends Saturday April 18, 2012.


DH Vancouver StaffDH Vancouver Staff

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