Hope Muir Announces 2023/24 Season

Two World Premieres
Two North American Premieres
Two Canadian Premieres

February 22, 2023… Hope Muir, Joan and Jerry Lozinski Artistic Director of The National Ballet of Canada, today unveiled the 2023/24 season.

“Planning every new season is exhilarating and that is especially true this year, as I balance The National Ballet of Canada’s commitment to storytelling and the classical tradition with exciting new works and collaborations,” said Muir. “For the 2023/24 season, I am thrilled to introduce five new choreographic voices to the company, two of them Canadian, as well as two new creations and four acquisitions. It's an honour to offer this rich artistic experience to our audiences and our dancers, advancing the company’s creative growth and building relationships for the future.” 

In November, the Fall Season opens at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts with the world premiere of Helen Pickett’s Emma Bovary, a fascinating psychological exploration of the title character from Gustave Flaubert’s novel, Madame Bovary, set to an original score by Peter Salem. Emma Bovary, Pickett's first work for the National Ballet, is presented with the Canadian premiere of James Kudelka’s Passion, acquired for Principal Dancer Piotr Stanczyk to mark his retirement from an outstanding 25-year career with the National Ballet, November 11 – 18, 2023. 

The Fall Season continues with John Cranko’s extraordinary Onegin, a ballet which the very best artists of our age aspire to perform. A dance drama beloved for its rich characterization, musicality and passionate vocabulary, Onegin is based on Alexander Pushkin’s 19th century verse novel Eugene Onegin and tells a nuanced story of unrequited love. Onstage November 22 – 26, 2023. 

The National Ballet’s holiday favourite, The Nutcracker by James Kudelka, returns December 8 – 30, 2023. With non-stop dancing and magnificent sets and costumes from Santo Loquasto and lighting by Jennifer Tipton

In the Winter Season, Christopher Wheeldon’s ingenious Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland will delight the entire family for March Break, March 6 – 17, 2024. The spectacular production captures all the fun and oddities of Lewis Carroll’s story. A 2011 co-production with The Royal Ballet in London, Alice incorporates puppetry and video projections in a brilliant design by Bob Crowley, a cinematic original score from Joby Talbot and lighting by Natasha Katz

The Winter Mixed Programme provides an eclectic offering including a world premiere by Toronto-based choreographer William Yong. In his first commission for The National Ballet of Canada, Yong’s voice integrates his muti-disciplinary experience and will showcase the versatility of our artists. Canadian choreographer Emma Portner’s islands makes its North American premiere. A sculptural duet for two women, islands was hailed as a triumph when it premiered with Norwegian National Ballet in 2020 set to original music by Forest Swords. Closing the programme is the Canadian premiere of Serge Lifar’s Suite en Blanc, a full company work of technical purity set to the music excerpts from Namouna, composed by Édouard Lalo. The programme is onstage March 20 – 24, 2024.  

The Summer Season opens June 1 – 9, 2024 with the North American premiere of Don Quixote choreographed by Carlos Acosta after Marius Petipa. Acosta is one of the finest male dancers of the 21st century and his interpretation of Basilio, the young lover from Don Quixote, was a signature role for the Cuban-born dancer. A visual feast for families and ballet-lovers alike, Don Quixote was created in 2013 for The Royal Ballet and remounted for Birmingham Royal Ballet in 2022, where Acosta is now Artistic Director. It features musical arrangements by Hans Vercauteren after Ludwig Minkus, lighting by Peter Mumford, with set and costume designs by Tim Hatley and video design by Nina Dunn

The 2023/24 season concludes with George Balanchine’s glittering ballet triptych, Jewels, June 15 – 22, 2024. With its three parts – Emerald, Rubies and DiamondsJewels evokes the radiance and architecture of precious stones and is presented in its entirety, giving full expression to the celebrated work. Each segment of the ballet is set to the music of a different composer and features a distinct choreographic language – Gabriel Fauré for the lyricism of Emeralds, Igor Stravinsky for the jazzy angularity of Rubies and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky for the grandeur of Diamonds.  

The National Ballet of Canada’s 2023/24 Season 

Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts 

Emma BovaryEmma Bovary
Helen Picket
James Kudelka
November 11 – 18, 2023

John Cranko
November 22 – 26, 2023


The NutcrackerThe Nutcracker
James Kudelka
December 8 – 30, 2023

Alice's Adventures in WonderlandAlice's Adventures in Wonderland
Christopher Wheeldon
March 6 – 17, 2024

New William YongNew Work by William Yong
& Islands
Emma Portner
& Suite en Blanc
Serge Lifar
March 20 – 24, 2024

Don QuixoteDon Quixote
Carlos Acosta
June 1 – 9, 2024


George Balanchine
June 15 – 22, 2024




Watch 2023/24 Trailer & Video With Hope Muir > 

Explore 2023/24 Season >

2023/24 Season Brochure >

Hope Muir Biography > 

Barry Hughson Biography > 

David Briskin Biography >  

Dancer Roster >

Venue: Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen Street West, Toronto 

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iA Financial Group Presents The Nutcracker.

Lead philanthropic support for Emma Bovary is provided by The Anna McCowan-Johnson New Creations Fund and The Producers’ Circle.

Passion is generously supported by The Gail Hutchison Fund.

Onegin is generously supported by an anonymous friend of the National Ballet.

The Nutcracker is made possible by generous financial support from production underwriters Sandra Pitblado, C.M. & Jim Pitblado, C.M., Lawrence & Ann Heisey and an anonymous friend of the National Ballet.

Lead philanthropic support for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is provided by an anonymous friend of the National Ballet with additional support generously provided by The Catherine and Maxwell Meighen Foundation, Richard M. Ivey, C.C., Rosamond Ivey, Robert & Judith Lawrie and Wallace McCain & Margaret McCain, C.C.

Lead philanthropic support for New Work by William Yong is provided by The Producers’ Circle.

Lead philanthropic support for Don Quixote is generously provided by The Producers’ Circle.

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

The Producers’ Circle: Gail & Mark Appel, John & Claudine Bailey, Inger Bartlett & Marshal Stearns, Laura Dinner & Richard Rooney, Gail Drummond & Bob Dorrance, 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 Lozinski, O.C. & Joan Lozinski, O.C., The Honourable Margaret Norrie McCain, C.C., Julie Medland, Sandra Pitblado, C.M. & Jim Pitblado, C.M., The Harry & Lillian Seymour Family Foundation and The Jack Weinbaum Family Foundation.

Tene Ward is sponsored through Dancers First by Michelle & Duncan Sinclair. 

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 Toronto Arts Council; the Government of Canada – Department of Canadian Heritage with the Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage; and the Government of Ontario with the Honourable Neil Lumsden, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport.

Peng-Fei Jiang and Tene Ward. Photo by Karolina Kuras.

 For more information, please contact: 

Catherine Chang
Associate Director, Communications and Content Strategy
416 345 9686 x302
Anastasia Kolotova
Public Relations Specialist
416 345 9686 x359