A Ballet by John Neumeier

November 22—26, 2017


A Ballet by John Neumeier

November 22—26, 2017

About the Ballet

In addition to being one of contemporary choreography’s most important voices, John Neumeier is a world authority on the life and work of Vaslav Nijinsky. Who better, then, to create a work that delves into the mind and spirit of one of ballet’s—and, indeed, modern culture’s—most legendarily complex figures? Renowned for his unforgettable stage presence, his astonishing technique and his groundbreaking approach to choreographic expression, Nijinsky shattered for all time not just the prevailing notions and expectations of the male dancer, but the limitations that convention had imposed on the range of dramatic possibilities in dance itself.

Neumeier’s Nijinsky is partly a biographical narrative, focusing on the key events and relationships of his life, but also a form of memory-ballet, in which we enter Nijinsky’s own fevered reflections on his art, his identity as a man and artist, and the perilous, tumultuous times in which he lived. Designing the sets, costumes and lighting as well as choreographing the work, Neumeier has shaped an act of personal homage, but also charts the delicate line between genius and madness with incredible immersive power and empathy. Nijinsky leaves the audience emotionally bruised but awakened to the sensibility and vision of an extraordinary artist.

“Sublime…. truly breath-taking.” On Sort Ou Pas

Nijinsky View Gallery


“The National Ballet of Canada is finally in Paris after a long absence have surpassed themselves with an outstanding performance. All the dancers were excellent, exceptional interpretation.” — Danser Magazine

“Sublime…. truly breath-taking. The performance by Guillaume Côté is worthy of the greatest dancers. He would have surely impressed the great dancer he embodies on stage.” — On Sort Ou Pas

“The beauty of this work stems from the emotional interpretation by the dancers of The National Ballet of Canada who share with us the story of a tormented genius” — Chroniques De Danse

“A fantastic performance… Nijinsky is a great success for the company” — Kulturkompasset

“The National Ballet of Canada’s production of John Neumeier’s Nijinsky is a triumph on all fronts… the ballet is so complex that it will take many repeated performances to reveal its riches.” — The Globe and Mail

“A triumph of dramatic intensity… the National Ballet rises to the challenge of presenting John Neumeier’s Nijinsky, a spectacular, sprawling, surreal and often mind-bending homage to ballet’s most legendary male dancer.” — Toronto Star

Nijinsky soars to intense heights… a richly detailed production” — National Post

Running Time

  • Act I 65m
  • Intermission 20m
  • Act II 60m
  • Total 2h 25m


Vaslav Nijinsky
Guillaume Côté (Nov. 22, 24 eve, 26 mat)
Francesco Gabriele Frola (Nov. 23 mat, 25 eve)
Skylar Campbell (Nov. 23 eve, 25 mat)

Evan McKie (Nov. 22, 23, 26 mat, 24, 25 eve)
Ben Rudisin* (Nov. 23 eve, 25 mat)

Heather Ogden (Nov. 22, 24 eve)
Svetlana Lunkina (Nov. 23 mat, 25 eve)
Sonia Rodriguez (Nov. 23 eve, 25 mat)
Xiao Nan Yu (Nov. 26)



Choreography, Sets*, Costumes* and Lighting Concept:
John Neumeier
*based partly on original sketches by Léon Bakst and Alexander Benois

Frédéric Chopin, Prélude in C minor
Robert Schumann, Faschingsschwank aus Wien, I. Allegro
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsokov, Schéhérazade, Op. 35 (Movements I, III and IV)
Dmitri Shostakovich*, Sonata for Viola and Piano, Op. 147, III. Adagio
Dmitri Shostakovich*, Symphony No. 11, Op. 103 (The Year 1905)
*By arrangement with G. Schirmer Inc. publisher and copyright owner

Lighting Reconstructed by:
Ralf Merkel

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.

The Producers’ Circle: John & Claudine Bailey, David W. Binet, Susanne Boyce & Brendan Mullen, Gail Drummond & Bob Dorrance, Sandra Faire & Ivan Fecan, Rosamond Ivey, Judy Korthals & Peter Irwin, Mona & Harvey Levenstein, The Honourable Margaret Norrie McCain, C.C., Julie Medland, Sandra Pitblado & Jim Pitblado, C.M., Sandra Simpson and Noreen Taylor, C.M. & David Staines, C.M., O.Ont.

Running Time

  • Act I 65m
  • Intermission 20m
  • Act II 60m
  • Total 2h 25m

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.

Enhance your experience and learn more about Nijinsky from Peter Ottmann, Senior Ballet Master.

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