Reviewed by Paula Citron
Royal Winnipeg Ballet
Choreographed by Jorden Morris
Performed by Vanessa Lawson, Gael Lambiotte, Yosuke Mino, Eric Nipp, Jo-Ann Sundermeier and Jacelyn Lobay
Feb. 10 to 12, 2011
When I reviewed Jorden Morris’s Moulin Rouge, created for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet in 2009, I thought it had weak choreography, and my opinion hasn’t changed. But out of fairness, I should mention that many will find it a pleasant diversion.
The story is a love triangle, between Nathalie, a new dancer at the Moulin Rouge, Zidler, owner of the Moulin Rouge, and Nathalie’s artist lover, Matthew.
The main problem with Morris’ choreography is the lack of sex and passion, and yes, even sleaze. The mean streets of Montmartre have been totally sanitized into bloodless and bland. It doesn’t help that Andrew Beck’s set is just plain ugly.
The company possesses well-schooled dancers who perform with commitment. If one takes Moulin Rouge on a very superficial level, it is pretty dancing, performed in pretty costumes, to pretty music.
The Royal Winnipeg Ballet is in Toronto until Feb. 12, then tours to Hamilton, Feb. 13, Mississauga, Feb. 14, Kitchener-Waterloo, Feb. 15, and London, February 16.