Jen Zoratti, Winnipeg Free Press

Jen Zoratti

Winnipeg Free Press

Winnipeg, MB, Canada

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Recent articles by Jen:

All that Cinderella jazz

There’s a wicked stepmother and a fairy godmother. There’s a beautiful girl worked to the bone, a handsome man waiting for her at a ball and a spell that ends when the clock strikes midnight. → Read More

Discovering music shifts with technology, but joys stay the same

At the risk of being all “kids today don’t even know,” kids today don’t even know. When I was a teenager in the late 1990s/early 2000s — a.k.a. when the eldest members of gen Z were born — here were my choices if I heard a song I liked and then wanted to hear it again: I could save all my babysitting money to buy an entire $20 CD for one single; I could wait until the radio played it, or… → Read More

Traditional Inuit tattooing a sacred practice that tells a personal story

When Mumilaaq Qaqqaq, the former Member of Parliament for Nunavut, won her seat in the 2019 federal election, she made waves: here was a young (then just 25) Inuk woman poised to be a voice of change, and she was the only candidate to have visible tattoos on her face. “What I look like already is very different from what you’re used to seeing in politics,” she told Fashion Magazine at the time. → Read More

Actors find connection as sisters in adaptation of Miriam Toews’ All My Puny Sorrows

When we talk about “onscreen chemistry,” it’s often in the context of romantic leads. But Canadian actors Alison Pill (The Newsroom) and Sarah Gadon (Alias Grace), who star as sisters in All My Puny Sorrows, writer-director Michael McGowan’s affecting adaptation of Miriam Toews’ stunning semi-autobiographical 2014 novel of the same name, have sizzle in spades. → Read More

Pandemic planning has made RWB more flexible as it announces new season

The Royal Winnipeg Ballet has certainly been kept on the tippy-toes of its pointe shoes over the past couple of seasons. Cancellations, interruptions and pivots to digital were the hallmarks of the company’s 2020/21 and 2021/22 seasons, which were altered or abbreviated by the COVID-19 pandemic. → Read More

Arts institutions work to better represent city’s diversity

Jauvon Gilliam was born and raised as an only child in Gary, a rust-belt Indiana city home to a predominately African-American working class. Located roughly 50 kilometres southeast of Chicago on the edge of Lake Michigan, Gary was once known as the “magic city,” anchored by the largest steel plant in America. → Read More

RWB pivots on pointe

It’s a Tuesday afternoon in February, and ballet dancers are gracefully twirling across the stage at the Centennial Concert Hall. The stage is opulent, a kingdom of pillars and vines cutting a striking figure against a brilliant turquoise sky. → Read More

The inaugural play at the Gargoyle Theatre launches the space as a home for new local works

At long last, actors will tread the boards before a live audience at the newly refurbished Gargoyle Theatre on Ellice Avenue. The brainchild of writer Andrew Davidson and named for his 2008 New York Times bestseller, the Gargoyle is a workshop theatre that seeks to eliminate as many barriers to staging a play as possible. → Read More

Going to the movies smells mostly like it used to

Amid all the changes that have happened to movie-going over the past two years – and even before that – there is one reliable, comforting constant: the smell of movie-theatre popcorn. Our sense of smell is closely linked to memory; certain scents can evoke a time and a place more vividly than other senses. → Read More

Will Neil Young influence others to demand accountability?

Neil Young made headlines this week when he issued an ultimatum to Spotify: him or Joe Rogan.In a since-deleted letter to his label and management team on his website, the singer/songwriter demanded the removal of his music from streaming-giant Spotify because of vaccine disinformation — specifically the vaccine disinformation being spread by the reliably controversial Rogan on his now… → Read More

Michael Redhead Champagne writes book for young readers

Michael Redhead Champagne is an award-winning community organizer, public speaker, writer, volunteer and advocate — and now, the Ininew multi-hyphenate can add children’s book author to the list. Champagne, 34, has written a children’s book called We Need Everyone, which will be out in September via HighWater Press, an imprint of Portage & Main Press. → Read More

Better friendships begin with a better you

Our friendships are among the most important, formative, joyful and fulfilling relationships we can have as humans. As the saying goes, friends are the family we choose. → Read More

Bob Saget’s Full House role made him dad to a generation

As an Elder Millennial, I knew Bob Saget best as Danny Tanner. Danny Tanner, the corny, khaki-loving, clean-freak patriarch at the centre of ABC’s saccharine sitcom Full House, who dispensed both hugs and advice to the three daughters he’s raising with the help of his brother-in-law, Jesse (John Stamos), and best friend Joey (Dave Coulier) after the death of his wife. → Read More

Readers share tales of beloved family ornaments

Precious family heirlooms. Kindergarten crafts made from Popsicle sticks and glitter. → Read More

RWB dancers and students reflect on the significance of performing Nutcracker’s Clara

In ballet, there are certain iconic, career-making lead roles dancers start dreaming of performing the moment they first slip on pointe shoes. Juliet, of Romeo and Juliet, is one such part. → Read More

A guide to some of television’s greatest Christmas sitcom episodes

Many of us return to the well-loved holiday specials every year — your Rudolphs, your Charlie Browns — but the Christmas Episode is also tradition. Most sitcoms do them; in the days before streaming, they aired in the weeks leading up to The Big Show. → Read More

There’s a reason pickleball is the hottest court sport around

Welcome to Jen Tries, a semi-regular feature in which Free Press columnist Jen Zoratti will try something new and report back. In this instalment, Jen Tries… pickleball. → Read More

New building gives RWB students a place to call home, space to dance

The sprung studio floor is still packed up on pallets, and the paint is still drying on the walls. But in a little under two months, boarding students in the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School’s Professional Division will have a brand new home away from home in the heart of downtown Winnipeg. → Read More

Digital expert believes Facebook can be fixed

Taylor Owen gets a little sick of talking about Facebook sometimes. These days, however, conversations about Facebook are hard to escape. → Read More

School of Contemporary Dancers showcase their skills

In the darkness of the Rachel Browne Theatre, contemporary dancers Shayla Rudd and Sophie Milord are rehearsing a kinetic new work. At first, their movements are sharp, specific and rigid, driven by an unsettling score. → Read More