Top Stories of 2020/21

Relive your favourite moments from the 2020/21 virtual season with our most popular articles and videos of the year! Even though we could not gather in person, the dancers and musicians remained committed to practising their crafts, creating new pieces and staying connected with audiences throughout the pandemic.


Best of 2021 - Filming Ballet

Naoya Ebe and Sonia Rodriguez in the rehearsal of The Sleeping Beauty. Photo by Karolina Kuras.

Filming Ballet

“There was a real sense of excitement, support and respect among the dancers, artistic staff and film crew.”  Sonia Rodriguez on filming The Sleeping Beauty Variations

Principal Dancer Sonia Rodriguez, newly promoted Second Soloist Genevieve Penn Nabity and Choreographic Associate Robert Binet share their experiences with capturing ballet for film.

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Best of 2021 - Lulu

Heather Ogden in Lulu. Photo by Lookout.


"I wanted to tell a very personal story, diving into the idea of grief and moving on. We really dove into that and created a fictional story in a beautiful setting."  Guillaume Côté on Lulu

Part of Expansive Dances, Lulu was created during the first lockdown, unfolding in an expansive space that subverted the state of confinement brought on by the pandemic. In January 2021, Principal Dancer Guillaume Côté’s collaboration with Ben Shirinian and Lookout won Best International Short Film at the 2020 Milan International Film Festival, MIFF Awards.

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Best of 2021 - Return to the Music

David Briskin. Photo by Karolina Kuras.

Harmony and Solidarity: The National Ballet of Canada Orchestra

“We created an ensemble and a musical community from individuals separated by time and distance, recreating what happens organically and naturally when an orchestra gathers and plays together.”  David Briskin, Music Director and Principal Conductor, on Nimrod

In the spring of 2020, members of the National Ballet Orchestra recorded their individual parts to Nimrod from home and the result is one of pure harmony. 

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Best of 2021 - Dreamers

Genevieve Penn Nabity and Christopher Gerty in The Dreamers Ever Leave You. Photo by Karolina Kuras.

The Dreamers Ever Leave You

“The viewer can fly around with the dancers and be close enough to see their sweat and hear them breathing. I hope watching this film will give people some of the intimacy and connection we are all missing so much.” – Robert Binet on The Dreamers Ever Leave You

In 2020/21, Choreographic Associate Robert Binet adapted his ballet, The Dreamers Ever Leave You, first for a series of performances at Harbourfront Centre last fall and then for film, directed by Ben Shirinian, that was presented as part of Spotlight Series.

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Best of 2021 - Ben and Harrison

Harrison James and Ben Rudisin in Soul. Photo by Paul McNulty.

A Romantic Duet

“We were both really excited about dancing together because we admire each other’s partnering skills.” – Harrison James and Ben Rudisin

Partners in life, Principal Dancer Harrison James and newly promoted Principal Dancer Ben Rudisin performed together for the first time in Soul. They share their thoughts about the creation process, performing together and what they learned.

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Best of 2021 - World Apart

Tanya Howard. Photo by Karolina Kuras.

World Apart

Karolina Kuras captured the beauty of dance in unlikely places in her gorgeous video World Apart. Shot during a period of isolation, Karolina filmed the dancers of the National Ballet as they expressed their creativity and shared their joy of movement, with Toronto as the backdrop and set to music by James Onions.

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