World Premiere

Frame by Frame

June 1—10, 2018

World Premiere

Frame by Frame

June 1—10, 2018

A ballet based on the life and work of Canadian filmmaker Norman McLaren
By Robert Lepage and Guillaume Côté

Frame by Frame is a collaboration between The National Ballet of Canada, Ex Machina and The National Film Board of Canada.

About the Ballet

The legendary Canadian filmmaker and animator Norman McLaren set
new standards for his art form throughout his long and illustrious career.
Best-known for his ACADEMY AWARD® winning film Neighbours (1952), McLaren’s experiments in various forms of animation and his innovative use of sound, music and drawn-on-film techniques saw him create works of unparalleled richness, visual brilliance and beauty, influencing subsequent generations of filmmakers the world over.

Now, the renowned playwright, director, actor and filmmaker Robert Lepage comes to The National Ballet of Canada for the first time to collaborate with the company’s Choreographic Associate Guillaume Côté in a multidisciplinary production that explores Norman McLaren’s life and work. Incorporating and interweaving several different media, the ballet is both an evocation of and inquiry into the world and imagination of one of Canada’s most uncategorizable and accomplished, yet elusive, artists.  

“Robert Lepage makes his company debut in an homage to the filmmaker and animator Norman McLaren. The choreographer Guillaume Côté draws on a range of vocabularies, from ballet to jazz to contemporary, in a production that interweaves digital media with the analogue world.” New York Times Pick for Spring 2018

Frame by Frame Production View Gallery

Frame Mclaren leapfrog View Gallery

Audience Response

See what the audience and media are staying about Frame by Frame

Learn About Norman McLaren from the National Film Board

Who was Norman McLaren?

Watch McLaren’s groundbreaking films
Films by McLaren referenced in Frame by Frame:
A Chairy Tale, Ballet Adagio, Begone Dull Care, BlurrTest, Canon, Christmas Cracker, Five for Four, Lines Horizontal, Lines Vertical, Le merle, Narcissus, Neighbours, Pas de deux, Picnic, Spheres, Stars and Stripes, Synchromy

Running Time

  • Total Running Time 2h 9m
  • With no intermission


Jack Bertinshaw as Norman McLaren

Felix Paquet as Guy Glover

Dylan Tedaldi as Grant Munro

Thomas Schramek as John Grierson

Wellesley Robertson as Oscar Peterson

Greta Hodgkinson as Evelyn Lambart

Harrison James as Maurice Blackburn

Skylar Campbell as Jean-Paul Ladouceur

Skylar Campbell as Rene Jodoin

Alexandra McDonald as Ludmilla Chiriaeff

Heather Ogden as Margaret Mercier

Harrison James as Vincent Warren

Jack Bertinshaw, Félix Paquet, Skylar Campbell, Harrison James, Dylan Tedaldi, Greta Hodgkinson, Alexandra MacDonald, Heather Ogden, Jillian Vanstone, Tanya Howard, Kathryn Hosier, Jenna Savella, Tomas Schramek and Wellesley Robertson

Additional Ensemble 
Spencer Hack, Trygve Cumpston, Ben Rudisin, Kota Sato, Jeannine Haller, Meghan Pugh, Calley Skalnik and Miyoko Koyasu



Robert Lepage

Guillaume Côté

Creative Direction and Design:
Steve Blanchet

Music and Sound Design:
Antoine Bédard

Set Designer:
Christian Fontaine

Costume Design:
Michael Gianfrancesco

Lighting Design:
Étienne Boucher

Image Projection Concept Design:
Laurie-Shawn Borzovoy

Video Design:
Thomas Payette / HUB Studio

Props Designer:
Claudia Gendreau

Assistant Director:
Adèle Saint-Amand

Assistant to the Choreographer:
Anne Mueller

Production Ex Machina

Technical Consultants:
Catherine Guay, Tobie Hoswill

Technical Director:
Paul Bourque

Production Director:
Vanessa Landry-Claverie

Assistant Technical Director:
Jean-François Piché

Michel Bernatchez

Lead philanthropic support for Frame by Frame is generously provided by The Walter Carsen New Creations Fund, with additional support from First Plazas Inc. in memory of Avie Bennett, The Catherine and Maxwell Meighen Foundation, Rosamond Ivey, The Hal Jackman Foundation and The Producers’ Circle.

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. and 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.

Running Time

  • Total Running Time 2h 9m
  • With no intermission

Ballet Talks

The National Ballet invites you to attend the Ballet Talk 45 minutes before every show in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.

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