Inspiring More People
The generosity of donors who have given to the Soaring Campaign so far is creating incredible momentum for The National Ballet of Canada. Each gift has made it possible for the National Ballet to recruit and nurture talented dancers, create exceptional new works, perform on tour at home and abroad, and engage the community in new and meaningful ways.
Today the National Ballet is investing in talent and creativity in order to inspire more people than ever before. See below for the most recent updates of how the National Ballet is advancing each strategic priority.
"The members of the National Ballet’s community of support have always had an extraordinary passion and desire to see the company excel. Through the Soaring Campaign, this philanthropic spirit and commitment is truly encouraging the company to reach new heights of excellence.” Barry Hughson, Executive Director
National Ballet Premiere: The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude and Approximate Sonata
June 1, 2019 | New Productions
The National Ballet presented The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude and Approximate Sonata as part of Physical Thinking, a programme dedicated to works by William Forsythe. The iconoclastic choreographer created The Second Detail for the National Ballet in 1991.
Alysa Pires Named Choreographic Associate
March 23, 2019 | Artistic Excellence & New Productions
Alysa Pires has been named Choreographic Associate, beginning in the 2019/20 season. After participating in the 2018 Choreographic Workshop, Karen Kain commissioned an original new work from Ms. Pires to represent the National Ballet at the 2019 International Competition for the Erik Bruhn Prize.
National Ballet Premiere: Night
March 1, 2019 | New Productions
The National Ballet performed Night by Julia Adam, the first work by the choreographer and former National Ballet dancer to enter the repertoire. She described the experience as a “true homecoming.”
February 12, 2019 | New Productions & Community Engagement
The National Ballet launched CreativAction, a new project focused on developing Canadian dancemakers and supporting the broader dance community in Toronto. Curated by Choreographic Associate Robert Binet, CreativAction features three core activities: Choreographic Workshop, Open Space and micro-commissions.
North American Premiere: Anna Karenina
November 10-18, 2018 | New Productions
The National Ballet presented the North American premiere of Anna Karenina, a ballet by John Neumeier, inspired by the novel by Leo Tolstoy. The production, a cooperation between the National Ballet, The Hamburg Ballet and The Bolshoi Ballet, was seen by over 17,500 people.
On the World Stage: Moscow & St. Petersburg
October 15-19, 2018 | Touring
The National Ballet toured to Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia for the first time in its history performing Crystal Pites’s Emergence , Guillaume Côté's Being and Nothingness and Justin Pecks’s Paz de la Jolla as part of Diana Vishneva's Context festival.
On the World Stage: Hamburg
July 3-4, 2018 | Touring
The National Ballet of Canada was the international guest company at Hamburg Ballet’s Ballet Days, its 44th annual festival. The National Ballet presented an all-Canadian programme of The Dreamers Ever Leave You, The Man in Black and Emergence.
Promotions and Award Winners
June, 2018 | Artistic Excellence
Karen Kain announced six promotions for the 2018/19 season: Skylar Campbell and Francesco Gabriele Frola to Principal Dancer, Jack Bertinshaw to First Soloist, and Christopher Gerty, Spencer Hack and Miyoko Koyasu to Second Soloist. Christopher and Miyoko were also the recipients of the Patron Award of Merit, and Alexandra MacDonald was the recipient of the David Tory Award.
Company Premiere: Paz de la Jolla
June, 2018 | New Productions
The National Ballet of Canada presented the company premiere of Paz de la Jolla, the first production by Justin Peck to enter the repertoire. Over 8,250 audience members attended the triple bill that also featured Cacti by Alexander Ekman and The Man in Black by James Kudelka.
World Premiere: Frame by Frame
June, 2018 | New Productions
The National Ballet of Canada presented the world premiere of Frame by Frame, a collaboration by Robert Lepage and Guillaume Côté celebrating the life and work of pioneering animator and filmmaker Norman McLaren. 20,600 audience members attended the multi-media performance.
YOU dance Livestream
April 25, 2018 | Community Engagement
The national livestream of YOU dance reached over 20,000 students in 175 cities. The National Ballet was able to reach every province and territory, including 160 students in Iqaluit, Nunavut, the most northern city that tuned in.
On the World Stage: San Francisco
April, 2018 | Touring
The National Ballet of Canada presented Nijinsky, A Ballet by John Neumeier, as part of San Francisco Ballet’s 2017/18 season. In total there were 7 performances for 15,900 people.
A New Work by Crystal Pite
March, 2018 | New Productions
Karen Kain has commissioned acclaimed Canadian choreographer Crystal Pite to create a new work on the company to debut in the 2019/20 season. Ms. Pite’s Emergence, created in 2009, won four Dora Mavor Moore Awards and has become a favourite with National Ballet audiences.
January, 2018 | Artistic Excellence
The Choreographic Workshop’s new two-year structure concluded with a formal, stage presentation of five works. The Workshop provides emerging choreographers with the opportunity to develop their skills in a flexible, supported creative process.
On the World Stage: London
October, 2017 | Touring
In celebration of Canada 150, The National Ballet of Canada presented The Dreamers Ever Leave You for three evenings in London, October 11 – 13, 2017. Four Royal Ballet dancers joined nine National Ballet dancers to present the immersive ballet by Robert Binet, inspired by the works of Lawren Harris.
On the World Stage: Paris
October, 2017 | Touring
The National Ballet of Canada returned to Paris for the first time in 45 years with five performances of Nijinsky, October 3 – 8, 2017, at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, the very theatre where Nijinsky himself performed over 100 years ago.
World Ballet Day
October 5, 2017 | Community Engagement
The National Ballet of Canada participated in the fourth World Ballet Day, a 22 hour broadcast of behind the scenes footage at five of the world’s leading ballet companies. The National Ballet collaborated once again with The Australian Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, The Royal Ballet and San Francisco Ballet.
YOU dance Performances
September, 2017 | Community Engagement
During the first week of YOU dance for the 2017/18 season, September 12 – 16, the members of the RBC Apprentice Programme gave 4 performances for 1,050 students in grades four to six. The performance and Q&A introduces the students to ballet and promotes imagination, movement and creative self-expression. A special performance completed the week for 260 guests dealing with autism.
Dancer Promotions and Awards
June 18, 2017 | Artistic Excellence
Karen Kain recognized dancer talent by announcing the promotions for the 2017/18 Season: Emma Hawes, Hannah Fischer and Brendan Saye to First Soloist; Félix Paquet and Ben Rudisin to Second Soloist. Giorgio Galli received the David Tory Award and Spencer Hack and Jaclyn Oakley received the Patron Award of Merit.
Canadian Premiere: A Streetcar Named Desire
June 3, 2017 | New Productions
The National Ballet presents the Canadian premiere of A Streetcar Named Desire by John Neumeier, a compelling interpretation of a seminal work of 20th century drama. The ballet, which explores themes of memory, desire and madness, is seen by 13,650 audience members.
YOU dance National Livestream
April 12, 2017 | Community Engagement
Over 16,000 students in grades four to six from over 77 school boards across the country watched the YOU dance livestream. The students tuned in from a total of 144 cities from every province in Canada, including the northernmost community on Canada's mainland, Taloyoak, Nunavut.
Specialist High School Workshops
March 30, 2017 | Community Engagement
For the first time, the National Ballet offered arts and culture focused workshops for high school students in the Ontario Ministry of Education’s Specialist High Skills Major programme. In total, 80 students in grades 11 and 12 attended one of two workshops: Stage Management or Wardrobe & Make-Up.
North American Premiere: Genus
March 29, 2017 | New Productions
The National Ballet presents the North American premiere of Genus by Wayne McGregor, an exhilarating ballet inspired by Darwin’s Origin of Species. The ballet, featuring intricate and rigorous dance vocabulary that tests the boundaries of physical expression, is seen by 8,971 audience members.
World Premiere: Pinocchio
March 11, 2017 | New Productions
The National Ballet presents the world premiere of Pinocchio, a new work by Will Tuckett. The family entertainment captures the adventures of the famous wooden boy with brilliance, inventive stagecraft and a stunning original score. In total, 22,789 people attend during the run of 12 sold-out performances.
2017/18 Season Announcement
February 15, 2017 | New Productions, Touring
The 2017/18 season will feature the world premiere of Frame by Frame, a multidisciplinary production created by renowned theatre artist Robert Lepage and Choreographic Associate Guillaume Côté, as well as two company premieres: Paz de la Jolla by Justin Peck and Dark Angels by Mr. Côté. The National Ballet will also tour to Paris for the first time in 45 years to perform Nijinsky at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées.
YOU dance Regent Park Residency
January 30-February 3, 2017 | Community Engagement
Over 1,300 students and teachers in Grades 3 – 8 at six Regent Park schools participated in 45 movement workshops, followed by four free afternoon YOU dance performances at Daniels Spectrum performed by the National Ballet’s RBC Apprentices. In addition, 30 students in Grades 7 and 8 participated in 30 creative workshops to create two original works that were presented during an evening show for 300 community and family members.
Share the Magic
November 11, 2016 | Community Engagement
Share the Magic invited 1,500 children and family members dealing with health or socio-economic issues for free to a special presentation of Cinderella.
2015/16 Season Highlight and Results
October 26, 2016 | Governance
At its Annual General Meeting, The National Ballet of Canada announced a modest surplus for the 7th consecutive season.
YOU dance Performances
October 4, 2016 | Community Engagement
The dancers in the RBC Apprentice Programme began a series of seven YOU dance Performances for students in grades for to six, as well as a Performance dedicated to families dealing with autism and special needs. In total, the National Ballet inspired a total of 4,005 through the performances and related workshops.
Choreographer Wayne McGregor
October 4, 2016 | New Productions
Choreographer Wayne McGregor visited the National Ballet to watch class and rehearsals to begin casting for Genus, which will receive its North American premiere in March, 2017.
World Ballet Day
October 4, 2016 | Community Engagement
The National Ballet continued its partnership with four other leading ballet companies for the third annual World Ballet Day, a continuous livestream that invited fans from around the world to glimpse behind the scenes. In total, 6.7 million people tuned into the event.
RBC Emerging Artist Apprentice Award
September 20, 2016 | Artistic Excellence
Corps de Ballet member Jeannine Haller and Apprentice Isaac Wright received the fourth annual RBC Emerging Artist Apprentice Award to recognize their performances and progress during the 2015/16 Season.
Dancers First Award
September 18, 2016 | Artistic Excellence
Principal Dancer Piotr Stanczyk and Second Soloist Hannah Fischer received the Rolex Dancers First Award in recognition for their powerful performances in The Winter's Tale during the 2015/16 Season.
The Dreamers Ever Leave You
August 31, 2016 | New Productions
The Dreamers Ever Leave You by Robert Binet, inspired by the works of Lawren Harris, premiered at the Art Gallery of Ontario. The ballet was performed by 14 dancers in an immersive gallery setting for a total of 2,337 people.
New York City
July 28, 2016 | Touring
The National Ballet performed The Winter's Tale by Christopher Wheeldon at New York City's Lincoln Center Festival. The five performance run was hailed by great critical response and standing ovations from the over 10,000 people who attended.
June 12, 2016 | Artistic Excellence
Karen Kain recognized dancer talent by announcing the promotions for the 2016/17 Season: Harrison James to Principal Dancer; Alexandra MacDonald to First Soloist; Rui Huang and Donald Thom to Second Soloist; Jeannine Haller, Clare Peterson and Andrew Tomlinson to the Corps de Ballet.