CanCanCan You Feel the Love?

For those of you clinging strongly to your last few years before the big 3-0, the Sony Centre for the Performing ArtsUnder-30 Rush Club offers last minute discount tickets to shows and restaurants downtown. While this initiative has been around since last April, it wasn’t until this week we decided to take advantage of Ashley’s pestering youth and sign up. A day later, we were given the opportunity to attend the opening night of Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s production of Moulin Rouge – The Ballet.

Having never been to a ballet before, Moulin Rouge was the perfect opportunity for our first cultured taste. The passionate story of love, ambition and heartbreak is similar to Baz Luhrmann’s vision in the 2001 movie of the same name, only without the kick ass modern pop rock soundtrack, so we could easily follow the numbers and decipher the story and characters.

That story focusing on struggling painter Matthew (Gael Lambiotte) as he finds himself in Paris in search of inspiration but instead meets Nathalie (Vanessa Lawson), a beautiful dancer vying for a chance at stardom, a chance she is given when the owner of the Moulin Rouge, Zidler (Eric Nipp), sees her dance and offers her a position.

Matthew and Nathalie express their growing love through dance and continue to meet in secret, infuriating Zidler who has become more and more obsessed with Nathalie. The two lovers attempt to flee the Moulin Rouge together, something Zidler will do anything to prevent.

While it would be interesting to see a ballet to Luhrmann’s movie soundtrack, the orchestrated French melodies provide a striking accompaniment to the graceful performance.

With high-kicking choreography and beautifully coordinated lifts, each dancer seemed to float across the stage weightlessly, making their movements seem almost too effortless. It was simply amazing to see how a simple elongation of a neck, an extension of an arm or a lift of a leg can be so expressive in the telling of this story.

Moulin Rouge – The Ballet is at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts this weekend only, but it will tour through Hamilton, Mississauga, Kitchener, London, Montreal and Quebec city into April, so don’t miss the chance to see this epic love story in its most sensual state. It could, after all, make a great last minute Valentine’s Day gift.

images from google images