2017/18 Season - World Premiere by Robert Lepage and Guillaume Côté, Tour to Paris
February 15, 2017
Karen Kain, Artistic Director of The National Ballet of Canada, today announced the 2017/18 season featuring the world premiere of Frame by Frame, a multidisciplinary production created by renowned theatre artist Robert Lepage and Choreographic Associate Guillaume Côté, based on the work of Canadian filmmaker Norman McLaren. The new work premieres on June 1, 2018 and is a collaboration between The National Ballet of Canada, Ex Machina and the National Film Board of Canada.
Ms. Kain also announced that the company will tour to Paris for the first time in 45 years to perform John Neumeier’s Nijinsky at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées October 3 – 8, 2017. The tour continues the company’s commitment to showcasing the National Ballet artists and repertoire on the world stage. Recent tours have included appearances in London, England, New York City, Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles.
The 2017/18 season also features the company premiere of Paz de la Jolla by Justin Peck. Mr. Peck, a dancer and Resident Choreographer at New York City Ballet, created Paz de la Jolla for NYCB in 2013, inspired by his southern California upbringing. The programme will also include James Kudelka’s The Man in Black and Alexander Ekman’s irreverent Cacti in June 2018.
The National Ballet will present Made in Canada, a programme of all-Canadian choreographers in March 2018. Made in Canada will feature The Dreamers Ever Leave You by Choreographic Associate Robert Binet, originally created as a co-production with the Art Gallery of Ontario inspired by the work of Lawren Harris, James Kudelka’s The Four Seasons and Crystal Pite’s Emergence. The Toronto season also features Christopher Wheeldon’s The Winter’s Tale, Mr. Neumeier’s Nijinsky and treasured classics The Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker. The company’s annual appearance at the National Arts Centre, January 25 – 27, 2018 will feature Nijinsky.
“With two such brilliant creative forces collaborating, the highlight of our season will undoubtedly be the world premiere of Frame by Frame by the visionary Robert Lepage and gifted choreographer Guillaume Côté. I am thrilled the National Ballet is collaborating with two acclaimed organizations, Ex Machina and The National Film Board of Canada, to present a truly multidisciplinary work about one of Canada’s most influential film artists, Norman McLaren,” said Ms. Kain. “I am also delighted the company will be on the world stage again this season, performing John Neumeier’s masterwork Nijinsky at the legendary Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris.”
Christopher Stowell has been appointed Associate Artistic Director of The National Ballet of Canada. Mr. Stowell joined the company in January 2017 and brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience in artistic leadership, as a dancer, coach and teacher. The role of Associate Artistic Director, a permanent support position, will assist Artistic Director Ms. Kain and work with the National Ballet’s artistic department in maintaining the highest standards of the company.
Born in New York City, Mr. Stowell is a former Principal Dancer with San Francisco Ballet. He was Artistic Director of Oregon Ballet Theatre from 2003 to 2012. While there, he expanded the repertoire to include works by such choreographers as Fredrick Ashton, George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, William Forsythe, James Kudelka, Lar Lubovitch, Helgi Tomasson and Christopher Wheeldon as well creating 11 world premieres for the company. Under his leadership, the company toured to Korea, Washington D.C, New York City and Chicago. Mr. Stowell also served as Assistant to the Artistic Director at San Francisco Ballet from 2014 to 2015.
As a choreographer, Mr. Stowell has created new works for San Francisco Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Diablo Ballet and Pacific Northwest Ballet, as well as the New York City Ballet Choreographic Institute. He has staged works of George Balanchine, Mark Morris and Christopher Wheeldon and taught and coached in San Francisco, New York City, Japan, China and Europe. As a dancer, Mr. Stowell trained at School of American Ballet and Pacific Northwest Ballet School.
Full biography for Christopher Stowell >
The National Ballet of Canada’s 2017/18 Season
October 3 – 8, 2017, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Paris, France
The Winter’s Tale
November 10 – 19, 2017
Based on the classic play by Shakespeare, The Winter’s Tale is a story of the deterioration of a marriage and the complex emotions that follow. “With brutal choreography and dramatic intelligence, Christopher Wheeldon has turned Shakespeare’s problem play into a mind-snagging ballet.” (The New Yorker) With an original score by Joby Talbot, set and costume design by Bob Crowley and lighting design by Natasha Katz, the ballet is an engaging and touching reflection on love, jealousy and the nature of family.
November 22 – 26, 2017
Renowned for his unforgettable stage presence, Vaslav Nijinsky not only shattered all prevailing notions and expectations of the male dancer, but the limitation that convention had imposed on the dramatic possibilities in dance itself. Hailed “a triumph on all fronts” and “a ballet for the ages,” (The Globe and Mail). John Neumeier’s Nijinsky is a modern classic that resonates both with audiences and critics alike.
December 9 – 30, 2017
The holiday classic choreographed by James Kudelka, with sets and costumes by Santo Loquasto, sold out completely in 2016 and returns with 25 performances in 2017.
January 25 – 27, 2018, National Arts Centre, Ottawa
Made in Canada:
The Dreamers Ever Leave You & The Four Seasons & Emergence
February 28 – March 4, 2018
Made in Canada is a programme of work by three of the finest Canadian choreographers working today. Choreographic Associate Robert Binet’s The Dreamers Ever Leave You is inspired by the work of artist Lawren Harris and was created in collaboration with Art Gallery of Ontario. The piece has its main stage debut along with James Kudelka’s masterwork The Four Seasons, set to the concerti by Vivaldi, and Crystal Pite’s sensational Emergence, which posits the instinct for social organization found in the insect realm as a precise metaphor for human interaction and purpose.
The Sleeping Beauty
March 8 – 18, 2018
Of all the full-length works in the ballet repertoire, none embodies the unabashed exuberance, grace and technical virtuosity of classical ballet as The Sleeping Beauty. Choreographed by Rudolf Nureyev and staged by Karen Kain, The Sleeping Beauty is one of the most treasured works and holds a singular place in the company’s history.
Frame by Frame†
A ballet based on the work of Norman McLaren
By Robert Lepage and Guillaume Côté
June 1 – 10, 2018
The legendary Canadian filmmaker and animator Norman McLaren set new standards for his art form throughout his long and illustrious career. Now, the playwright, director, actor and filmmaker Robert Lepage comes to the National Ballet for the first time to collaborate with Choreographic Associate Guillaume Côté in a multidisciplinary production that explores McLaren’s’ life and work.
MAD HOT BALLET Gala
June 13, 2018
Paz de la Jolla* & The Man in Black & Cacti
June 16 – 22, 2018
A mixed programme featuring the company premiere of Paz de la Jolla, Justin Peck’s heartfelt and sunwashed homage to his southern California upbringing set to music by Martinu. Rounding out the programme is the return of James Kudelka’s The Man in Black and the audience favourite Cacti, choreographed by Alexandar Ekman.
† World Premiere
New productions and touring are vital parts of Ms. Kain's strategy for the artistic growth of the National Ballet. These initiatives are being funded by the Soaring Campaign, with the goal of reaching $100 million by 2020. This campaign is inspiring more people than ever before and the National Ballet thanks all the generous donors who have contributed to the company’s success to date.
Venue: Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen Street West, Toronto
Box Office: The box office is located at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts (145 Queen Street West) or call 416 (toll free 1 866) 345 9595. Tickets can also be purchased online at national.ballet.ca
2017/18 Season Information >
2017/18 Season Video Announcement >
2017/18 Season Media Kit >
2017/18 Season Brochure >
The National Ballet of Canada gratefully acknowledges Margaret Fountain, C.M. and David Fountain as our Exclusive Tour Partners.
Lead philanthropic support for Nijinsky is provided by The Catherine and Maxwell Meighen Foundation, an anonymous friend of the National Ballet, The Volunteer Committee of The National Ballet of Canada and The Producers’ Circle.
Lead philanthropic support for The Dreamers Ever Leave You is provided by The Volunteer Committee of The National Ballet of Canada and The Producers’ Circle.
The initial presentation of The Dreamers Ever Leave You in Toronto was supported by Sandra Faire & Ivan Fecan, Kevin Garland, Joan & Jerry Lozinski and The Honourable Margaret McCain, C.C.
The Producers’ Circle: Gail & Mark Appel, John & Claudine Bailey, Inger Bartlett & Marshal Stearns, Susanne Boyce & Brendan Mullen, Gail Drummond & Bob Dorrance, The Thor E. and Nicole Eaton Family Charitable Foundation, Sandra Faire & Ivan Fecan, Kevin & Roger Garland, Emmanuelle Gattuso, C.M. & Allan Slaight, C.M., Ira Gluskin & Maxine Granovsky Gluskin, The William & Nona Heaslip Foundation, Rosamond Ivey, Hal Jackman Foundation, Anna McCowan-Johnson & Donald K. Johnson, O.C., Judy Korthals & Peter Irwin, Judith & Robert Lawrie, Mona & Harvey Levenstein, Jerry & Joan Lozinski, The Honourable Margaret Norrie McCain, C.C., Julie Medland, Sandra Pitblado & Jim Pitblado, C.M., Lynda & Jonas Prince, Susan Scace & Arthur Scace, C.M., Q.C., Gerald Sheff & Shanitha Kachan, Sandra Simpson and Noreen Taylor, C.M. & David Staines, C.M., O.Ont.
Coty presents The Winter’s Tale.
Lead philanthropic support for The Winter’s Tale is provided by The Catherine and Maxwell Meighen Foundation, Richard M. Ivey, C.C., an anonymous friend of the National Ballet and The Producers’ Circle.
TD Bank Group presents The Nutcracker.
The Nutcracker is made possible by generous financial support from production underwriters Sandra Pitblado & Jim Pitblado, C.M., Lawrence and Ann Heisey and an anonymous friend of the National Ballet.
The company’s Canadian tours are made possible with the generous support of The John and Margaret Bahen Fund of The National Ballet of Canada, Endowment Foundation.
Thomson Reuters presents Made in Canada.
The Four Seasons is a gift from The Volunteer Committee, The National Ballet of Canada.
Emergence is generously supported by Gail Hutchison.
The Sleeping Beauty presented by Porsche Cars Canada Ltd.
The Sleeping Beauty is made possible by generous contributions from Margaret Fleck & Jim Fleck, C.C., The Catherine and Maxwell Meighen Foundation, Sandra Pitblado & Jim Pitblado, C.M., Gretchen Ross and Nancy Pencer & Michael Benjamin.
BMO presents Frame by Frame.
Lead philanthropic support for Frame by Frame is generously provided by The Walter Carsen New Creations Fund, with additional support from The Catherine and Maxwell Meighen Foundation, Rosamond Ivey, Hal Jackman Foundation and The Producers’ Circle.
Cacti & The Man in Black & Paz de la Jolla presented by Deloitte.
Lead philanthropic support for Paz de la Jolla is provided by The Volunteer Committee of The National Ballet of Canada and The Producers’ Circle.
The Man in Black is generously supported by Gail Hutchison.
Lead philanthropic support for Cacti is made possible by an anonymous friend of the National Ballet and The Producers’ Circle.
Guillaume Côté is sponsored through Dancers First by Emmanuelle Gattuso, C.M. and Allan Slaight, C.M.
The National Ballet of Canada gratefully acknowledges the ongoing support of the Canada Council for the Arts; the Ontario Arts Council; the City of Toronto through the Economic Development & Culture Department; the Government of Canada – Department of Canadian Heritage, through the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage; and the Government of Ontario through The Honourable Daiene Vernile, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport.