The Royal Winnipeg Ballet's The Handmaid's Tale had its world premiere Wednesday night in Winnipeg.

The performance, based on a novel by Margaret Atwood, debuted with the famous author in attendance.

She also signed books for the dancers.

The ballet, which runs until Oct. 20, is about a dystopian society in which a totalitarian regime reigns according to militaristic,and ultra-conservative beliefs. The story follows Offred, a member of a concubine-like class of women who live solely as reproductive vessels for the society's leaders.

The RWB production stars principal dancer Amanda Green as Offred and soloist Alexander Gamayunov as the Commander, the man with whom she is paired.

The novel, first published in 1985, has also been adapted for the cinema, radio, opera, and stage.