Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet dances straight on till morning with Jorden Morris’ production of Peter Pan. The classic fairy tale by J.M. Barrie, which first graced the stage in 1904, is back at the Centennial Concert Hall this May. Featuring the beloved boy who refused to grow up, a fiery fairy, and a sinister pirate, Barrie’s magical characters are brought to life by stunning costumes and masterful choreography.
Barrie’s inspiration for Peter Pan centres on children he befriended in London’s Kensington Gardens, the Llewelyn Davies boys. Barrie first met George, Jack, and Peter, the three eldest brothers, while out walking his St. Bernard Porthos. The character of Peter was created to entertain the Llewelyn children and Barrie would often meet the family in the park to share stories of Peter’s adventures. Peter’s character first appears in The Little White Bird, a book for adults, followed by Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up. The “fairy play” went on to be Barrie’s most famous story.
The legacy of Peter Pan and its connection to children is enduring. Though Barrie never had any children of his own, he became the legal guardian of the Llewelyn Davies boys after their parents’ deaths. In 1929, Barrie turned over all the rights to Peter Pan to the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, a hospital specializing in the care for sick children. Now, the boy who never grew up helps hundreds of children grow up every day.
The mischievous lad and his troupe of Lost Boys have captivated audiences for close to 120 years, and Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet honours J.M. Barrie’s enchanting, high flying story with its own twist. The RWB’s Peter Pan wonderfully portrays the adventures of Peter and the Neverland gang.
In 2006, when the RWB premiered Peter Pan in Winnipeg, The Globe and Mail reviewer Paula Citron wrote that Jorden Morris “succeeds mightily in his adroit portraits of his leading players, namely Peter, Wendy, Michael and John, with Tinker Bell as his finest creation. The tapestry of the fairy’s flat-footed walk, splayed feet, precision toe work, thrust pelvis, and staccato arms perfectly captures her hair-trigger temper and abrupt mood swings.”
With playful swordplay, soaring flight scenes, and heartfelt storytelling, Peter Pan is a family favourite for all ages. Coupled with the dynamic Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, led by Principal Conductor Julian Pellicano, the RWB’s season finale is a blockbuster dance event not to be missed!
Watch Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet perform Peter Pan at the Centennial Concert Hall, May 3-7, 2023. Children’s tickets are $35. To secure your seats today and for more information, please visit rwb.org.