Experience Ballet Outdoors This Summer!
By Caroline Dickie
July 17, 2023
Heather Ogden and Harrison James in After the Rain at Harbourfront Centre. Photo by Karolina Kuras.
There is something particularly special about seeing ballet outdoors, comingling with the unknown but almost always magical factor of nature. The National Ballet continues its rich tradition of outdoor performances this summer as Sharing the Stage returns to Harbourfront Centre with free performances and events. From August 17 – 19, the dancers of the National Ballet will join the RBC Apprentices and three Toronto-based guest companies in a range of styles to share new works and highlights from the 2022/23 season.
Sharing the Stage begins each evening at 6:00 pm with a free dance class on the lawn followed by pre-show programming on the Concert Stage at 7:15 pm and the performance at 8:00 pm. The National Ballet will perform an excerpt from Rena Butler’s Alleged Dances, a world premiere by Cameron Fraser-Monroe, who is a member of the Tla'amin First Nation, and the second movement pas de deux from Kenneth Macmillan’s Concerto, accompanied by live solo piano.
The three guest companies have all worked with the National Ballet before, either in earlier iterations of Sharing the Stage or through CreativAction, a suite of programmes that develop choreographic talent and share the company’s resources with our dance community.
“We’re excited to be joined this year by Lua Shayenne Dance Company, Compañía Carmen Romero and Rock Bottom Movement,” says Robert Binet, Curator and Producer, CreativAction and Special Initiatives. “These are all artists we have been working with across CreativAction, YOU dance and Sharing the Stage over the last few years and it has been very rewarding to support the development of these projects. We are so excited to bring these works to Harbourfront Centre this summer.”
Photo by Elana Emer.
Lua Shayenne Dance Company will perform Waves | Vagues, a short piece that Lua Shayenne has been developing through CreativAction’s Open Space programme and in residency as part of Sharing the Stage 2021. Exploring the metaphysical, Waves | Vagues features dance, music and text inspired by the Bahai Writings and African mythology.
Flamenco dancer and choreographer Carmen Romero will present a reimagining of Vida, a piece she first created for the RBC Apprentices to perform as part of the National Ballet’s signature education programme, YOU dance. In a true expression of the phrase “Sharing the Stage,” Carmen will perform Vida alongside two Apprentices from the National Ballet.
Natasha Poon Woo, Morgyn Aronyk-Schell, Brayden Jamil Cairns and Steph Harkness in Sex Dalmatian. Photo by Alyssa Martin.
The interdisciplinary performance group Rock Bottom Movement brought the house down at Harbourfront Centre last year with DINO, a wild and theatrical piece inspired by the extinction of dinosaurs. The troupe is back this summer with a brilliant new work by the company’s founder and artistic director, Alyssa Martin called KID SISTER, set to music by Jacob Vanderham.
The Apprentices will perform the final work on the programme, Robert Binet’s Ever New. Robert initiated the creation of Ever New and then invited the student audiences of YOU dance to complete the process with their suggestions. “Set to the music of Beverly Glenn-Copeland, Ever New has been shaped by the ideas and contributions of the thousands of students we shared the work with at YOU dance performances this season,” says Robert.
Don’t miss the opportunity to see this innovative programme on the outdoor stage at Harbourfront Centre this summer!
Learn More About Sharing the Stage