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Guelph, ON January 5, 2015 – “Real isn’t how you are made. It’s the thing that happens to you. When a child really loves you for a long, long time… then you become real.” Those were the wise words of the Skin Horse, a character in author Margery Williams’ beloved children’s story, The Velveteen Rabbit. Canada’s Ballet Jörgen makes this favourite children’s story ‘real’, bringing it to life through movement and music at River Run Centre. The main stage performance, presented as part of the Guelph Mercury Family series and sponsored by RBC Royal Bank, takes place on Sunday, January 18, 2015 at 2 p.m.

Six dancers tell the story of a young boy who is given a Velveteen Rabbit by his Nana as a Christmas gift. Despite initially feeling outshone by the other more glamorous toys in the boy’s collection – a wind-up soldier and a spinning top – the simple, stuffed Velveteen Rabbit eventually becomes the boy’s constant companion. As promised by the Skin Horse, the Rabbit discovers that it is love that makes you come to life. The story tells not only about the importance of friendship, but also teaches children about the twin emotions of joy and pain. It is a poignant tale, beautifully told through dance in a way that will touch the hearts of audience members of all ages.

Margery Williams was a prolific writer, publishing dozens of children’s stories. First released in 1922, The Velveteen Rabbit has remained her most popular work. It was a childhood favourite of Ballet Jörgen choreographer, Kathleen Rea, who was inspired to use the story as the foundation for a ballet and to teach children the importance of character. Throughout the course of her impressive career, Dora Award nominee Rea has danced with Canada’s Ballet Jörgen, the National Ballet of Canada, and Tiroler Landestheater in Austria. She teaches dance at George Brown College, Niagara College and York University, and has choreographed over 40 dance works.

Formed in 1987, Ballet Jörgen is the only major Canadian ballet company with a repertoire exclusively of original works. With over two decades of innovation in creating opportunities for Canadian choreographers and engagement with communities in outreach and educational activities, Canada’s Ballet Jörgen remains true to the vision of its founders, Bengt Jörgen and Susan Bodie. Many of the company’s over 117 ballets have earned national and international recognition propelling Canada’s Ballet Jörgen to the forefront of the North American dance scene.

Music for this production was composed by Ivan Barbotin, conducted by Daniel Warren, and performed by the Canadian Chamber Ensemble. The set was designed by Glenn Davidson, and costumes designed by Andrew Majtenyi and Kathleen Rea. Recorded narration was performed by actress Collette Micks.

Tickets start at $21 for adults and $17 for children. $5 eyeGO tickets are available for high school students with valid ID. $20 uGO tickets are available to university and college students with valid ID. Tickets are available at the River Run Box Office at 519-763-3000, or online at


Ella Pauls | Manager of Cultural Development
Culture & Tourism| Community & Social Services
City of Guelph

519-822-1260 extension 2589
[email protected]

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