Svengali at the Port

The Royal Winnipeg Ballet is set to perform in Oceanside

You won't want to miss the next performance of ballet in Oceanside.


Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet (RWB) is set to mesmerize its audience when the company performs Svengali on April 23 and 24 at the Port Theatre in Nanaimo.

The dramatically crafted ballet from choreographer Mark Godden has been described as a beautiful and visual turn-on.

Godden is the genius behind the RWB smash hit Dracula and Svengali promises to be a powerfully seductive feast for the senses.

Glitter and doom …beauty and power …Svengali’s family secrets and inner purposes are revealed in this complex balletic drama with riveting choreography.

The story, based on the novel Trilby by George du Maurier, goes like this: Yearning for public recognition, Svengali escapes the repression of his mother’s ballet studio to a decadent world reminiscent of mid-century Weimar, where he finds the beautiful 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 psychic grasp.

“With Dracula, Mark Godden proved that he could translate seduction and control into movement in a way quite unlike any other choreographer.  In Svengali, he takes this to an entirely new level, crafting a story about a young man who brings women under his hypnotic spell. The choreography is breathtaking and the story riveting, but what truly elevates the production is the way he fills the ballet with rich meaning and social commentary,” said artistic director André Lewis.

Lewis said this is Nanaimo’s chance to see the RWB before the company takes a year hiatus from touring the West Coast in 2012/13. The company is heading east for the first time in a number of years.

“We hope that everyone who wants to see us can get to Svengali this month, as it is truly a remarkable ballet,” admitted Lewis.

With a dynamic musical selection featuring stirring scores by Richard Strauss, Sergei Rachmaninov, Franz Liszt, Philip Glass and stunning pieces from two Klezmer bands, Svengali is an intriguing psychological drama that challenges our understanding of control and resistance. The full-length ballet is brought to vivid life by the creative team including costume designer Paul Daigle, set designer Andrew Beck and lighting designer Pierre Lavoie.

Call 250-754-8550 for tickets or visit the Ticket Centre at 125 Front Street, Nanaimo. Tickets can also be purchased on-line at


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