Five Things About Crystal Pite
January 20, 2020
1. Crystal Pite created her first work for The National Ballet of Canada, Emergence, in 2009 as part of the Innovation programme featuring all Canadian choreographers. An instant success, Emergence swept the Dora Mavor Moore Awards that year, winning all four dance categories for Production, New Choreography, Sound Design and Performance.
2. The National Ballet took Emergence on tour to Hamburg, Germany in July 2018 and to Moscow and St. Petersburg in October 2018 as part of the company’s first-ever Russian tour. Emergence is now in the repertoires of Pacific Northwest Ballet, Scottish Ballet and Ballett Zürich.
3. Pite’s choreographic language balances abstraction with the poetry of human experience, blending classical elements with the freedom of contemporary dance. Emergence was the first piece Pite created for a large ballet company and her first to feature dancers in pointe shoes.
4. Ensemble work is a distinctive feature of Pite’s choreography. In Emergence, dancers pool and expand across the stage like swarming insects in an allusion to social hierarchies. In Flight Pattern, which Pite created for The Royal Ballet, the group conveys the enormity of the international refugee crisis.
5. In September 2019, The Guardian named Crystal Pite’s Betroffenheit, a co-creation with playwright and actor Jonathon Young, the best dance show so far of the 21st century, praising it as a powerful study of grief and trauma.