40 Years of One Night Stands is the extraordinary account of two British adventurers, Gweneth Lloyd and Betty Hey, who, in 1938, moved to the remote Canadian prairies to start a small dance club that would forever change the face of North American ballet. The fledgling group became known as The Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and grew up to be one of the world’s premiere dance companies and the oldest continuously running ballet company in North America.
From Flin Flon to Moscow, the scrappy, tough and visionary company hit the road and blazed a trail, bringing “Prairie Freshness” and ground-breaking innovation to audiences large and small, from high school gyms in rural backwaters to standing ovations at sold out award-winning performances.
Through the inspired voices of former RWB company members and crew, including basketball-player-turned-ballet-dancer-turned-artistic-director, Arnold Spohr. 40 Years of One Night Stands features rarely seen original dance footage and recounts the dramatic and challenging first four decades of the company’s illustrious history. Floods, fires and financial ruin could not stop the passion for dance or the drive and determination of the talented and courageous troupe.
Directed by Peabody Award winner Jeff McKay (Crapshoot, Call of the Forest: The Forgotten Wisdom of Trees) and narrated by Tony Award winner Brent Carver, 40 Years of One Night Stands documents the dream of two determined immigrants and recounts how—with guts, grit and an indomitable belief in possibility—a fledgling dance group survives challenge and misfortune to become one of the world’s premier ballet companies.
Co-produced with Inside Out Productions.
*Photos are property of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet
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