Spotlight Series: Commissioned Dance Films

Seven World Premieres and Five Reimaginings
Four Choreographers Make Their National Ballet Debut

February 11, 2021… Karen Kain, Artistic Director of The National Ballet of Canada, today announced that Spotlight Series, part of the company’s 2020/21 virtual season, will feature seven world premieres created for film.

“Commissioning new work remains a priority for The National Ballet of Canada even during these challenging times. It has been a true joy curating this series for our digital stage, pursuing vibrant, unique creations and working with new choreographic voices,” said Ms. Kain.

Seven World Premieres
The commissioned dance films, shot especially for this series by acclaimed directors, will feature world premieres by exciting, original dancemakers, four of whom make their choreographic debuts with the company. The world premieres include Soul by Jera Wolfe, in a state of vanishing by National Ballet Choreographic Associate Alysa Pires, Trase Pa by Kevin A. Ormsby, Shadowlands by National Ballet Principal Dancer Brendan Saye, a new work by Jennifer Archibald, a new work by Vanesa Garcia-Ribala Montoya and a new work by National Ballet Choreographic Associate and Principal Dancer Guillaume Côté. Mr. Wolfe, Mr. Ormsby, Ms. Archibald and Ms. Garcia-Ribala Montoya are all making their National Ballet debut. The filming schedule was revised due to the lockdown in Ontario and release dates for the new films will be forthcoming.

Existing Repertoire Reimagined
The Dreamers Ever Leave You Released Today
Spotlight Series also features cinematic reimaginings of existing works. The first film, featuring excerpts from The Dreamers Ever Leave You by Choreographic Associate Robert Binet, is released today. Directed by Ben Shirinian and produced by Lookout, this mesmerizing film captures the intimacy and immersive quality of the ballet. Created in 2016, the work premiered at the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Watch The Dreamers Ever Leave You > 

Other repertoire reimagined for film includes George Balanchine’s Apollo and Tarantella, variations from The Sleeping Beauty and In Time We Trust by Juliano Nunes.

Excerpts from the Stage
Spotlight Series also features curated programmes of excerpts from performances shot at the Four Seasons Centre before the pandemic. Curated by Ms. Kain, these 30-minute ‘mini mixed programmes’ celebrate the company’s rich and varied repertoire.

Spotlight Series Full Programming > 

Spotlight Series will be available on the company’s website and social platforms free of charge.

Support the National Ballet’s artists, the commissioning of new works, enriched learning for students and connecting with audiences through the digital stage by donating to the Together for Ballet campaign. About Together for Ballet > 

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BMO Financial Group presents the 2020/21 Season.

Lead philanthropic support for Spotlight Series is provided by The Walter Carsen New Creations Fund with additional support from The Producers’ Circle.

The Producers’ Circle: Gail & Mark Appel, John & Claudine Bailey, Inger Bartlett & Marshal Stearns, Laura Dinner & Richard Rooney, Gail Drummond & Bob Dorrance, The Thor E. and Nicole Eaton Family Charitable Foundation, Sandra Faire & Ivan Fecan, Kevin Garland & Roger Garland, C.M., Ira Gluskin & Maxine Granovsky Gluskin, The William & Nona Heaslip Foundation, Anna McCowan Johnson & Donald K. Johnson, O.C., Judy Korthals & Peter Irwin, Mona & Harvey Levenstein, Jerry & Joan Lozinski, The Honourable Margaret Norrie McCain, C.C., Julie Medland, Sandra Pitblado & Jim Pitblado, C.M., The Harry & Lillian Seymour Family Foundation, Gerald Sheff & Shanitha Kachan and The Jack Weinbaum Family Foundation.

The original presentation of The Dreamers Ever Leave You was co-produced by the Art Gallery of Ontario and The National Ballet of Canada and generously supported by Sandra Faire & Ivan Fecan, Kevin Garland, Joan & Jerry Lozinski and The Honourable Margaret Norrie McCain, C.C.

Apollo is a gift from The Volunteer Committee, The National Ballet of Canada.

Apollo and Tarantella, Balanchine® Ballets, are presented by arrangement with The George Balanchine Trust℠ and have been produced by arrangement with the Balanchine Style® and Balanchine Technique® Service standards established and provided by the Trust.

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.

Guillaume Côté is sponsored through Dancers First by Emmanuelle Gattuso, C.M. and Allan Slaight, C.M. 

Brendan Saye is sponsored through Dancers First by Robin Vaile Robinson.

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 Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism; and the Government of Ontario through The Honourable Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport.

Kevin A. Ormsby, Jera Wolfe, Jennifer Archibald and Vanesa Garcia-Ribala Montoya. Photos by Karolina Kuras, Anders J. Larsson and Michael Slobodian. 

For more information, please contact:

Belinda Bale
Director, Marketing and Communications
416 345 9686 x314
Catherine Chang
Senior Communications Manager
416 345 9686 x302

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