The Handmaid’s Tale – the ballet

Royal Winnipeg Ballet (RWB) is turning a Canadian classic into a ballet. The Handmaid’s Tale, based on Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel, will open in Winnipeg on 10 October.

Choreographed by Lila York, it is the first time the piece has been performed since Bruce Miller’s TV award-winning adaptation created a new generation of fans. Set in the dystopian country of Gilead, the ballet follows the struggles of Offred as she tries to escape a life of servitude.

“Creating a ballet based on Margaret Atwood’s prescient novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, has been a longstanding and passionate wish for me,” said York. “In the years since the novel’s debut in 1985 it has only grown in relevance and importance.”

Added RWB artistic director and CEO André Lewis: “Through dialogue with Margaret Atwood, Lila York spent nearly a decade re-imagining the dystopian world of Gilead to enthral our audience. Written over 30 years ago, The Handmaid’s Tale rings truer than ever as we observe the current political climate.”

Set designer Clifton Taylor and costume designer Liz Vandal created the production’s look, which was a critical success when it debuted in 2013. The production runs until 14 October.

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