RWB offers affordable entertainment for young ballet newbies
Brittany Hobson, Arts & Culture Editor
With the cost of movie tickets reaching almost $20 and stadium concert tickets averaging $60, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet (RWB) wants to give young people more bang for their buck. To provide more affordable local entertainment, the RWB created Access Pointe, a discount program for people under 30.
“Growing up sometimes you’re restricted by budget on things you can do for entertainment,” said Amy Simoes, the multimedia communications coordinator for the RWB. “But why should budget restrict your cultural experiences?”
The Access Pointe program allows people ages 15 to 29 to purchase up to two tickets per performances for $30 a ticket. All people have to do is sign up through the RWB’s website and a week before the performance, you get a code to purchase discounted tickets.
The program really does save you money since you get the best seats available at the time you buy the tickets. Regular student pricing, depending on seating, ranges from $30 to $105. With Access Pointe, however, you always pay $30.
Simoes said the program was created to offer ballet as a more accessible option for young people.
“I think the lack of introduction into the art form can be very common in today’s culture. I know I never got to experience the ballet growing up,” said Simoes. “You’re never going to know if you like it unless you see it. Offering this reduced pricing really gives people an opportunity to get a taste.”
It’s a great time to be a ballet newcomer with RWB’s upcoming 76th season. With performances of the Christmas classic The Nutcracker, the Disney favourite Cinderella and the children’s tale Peter Pan, there are a wide variety of ballets for young people to connect with.
“A lot of people know the story of Cinderella and a lot of people know the story of Peter Pan,” said Jo-Ann Sundermeier, a principal dancer with the RWB. “There’s a lot of things in this season that are relatable to the general public.”
But for those looking for a traditional, classical ballet, the season will be kicking off with Giselle, the story of a woman who dies of a broken heart after finding out her lover is promised to another woman.
You can sign up for Access Pointe at rwb.org in time for Giselle, which runs from Sept. 30 to Oct. 4.
Sundermeier, who is dancing the part of Giselle this season, said she challenges people to try something new, especially since it’s so accessible.
“Some people may not necessarily know Giselle, but if you came and watched, it’s not like you’re going to be lost,” she said. “We try and make everything clear to the audience.”