Anna Karenina

A Ballet by John Neumeier
Inspired by Leo Tolstoy
North American Premiere

November 10—18, 2018

Anna Karenina

A Ballet by John Neumeier
Inspired by Leo Tolstoy
North American Premiere

November 10—18, 2018

About the Ballet

Tolstoy's great prose masterwork towers over the western literary canon as one of the most fully imagined and riveting works of fiction ever written. It is no wonder that John Neumeier, one of the most frequent and fearless adapters of literary works into modern choreographic form, should have eventually taken on the challenge of the great Russian novel.

Using the book more as an inspiration than as a strict narrative template, Neumeier chooses to adapt the work freely. He sets the story, for instance, in the present day, rather than the 19th century, and structures his ballet in two acts with numerous scene changes, condensing the material and focusing on its key themes, which he allows to merge through an intuitive and poetic rather than a literal process.

Music by Tchaikovsky provides a link with the Tolstoyan world of the novel, but Neumeier also incorporates modern work by Alfred Schnittke and Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam to further underscore the central characters' conflicts and emotional lives. The work of a great literary artist meeting the imagination of a great interpretive choreographer, Anna Karenina is an unforgettable ballet experience.

 

“A visceral experience: superb dancing transports the emotions of the principal characters to the viewer in a remarkably similar way to Tolstoy’s novel”Dance Europe

Anna Karenina Trailer

John Neumeier: Ballet's Storyteller

Anna Karenina: Inside the Studio

Svetlana Lunkina on Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina View Gallery

 

Reviews

“John Neumeier showed that his craft for storytelling is among the best… an emotional whirlwind as powerful and varying as Tolstoy’s prose.” — Pointe Magazine

“Contains the depth of emotion, multi-faceted character exploration and play between reality and imagination that [John Neumeier’s] story ballets are famous for...  A visceral experience: superb dancing transports the emotions of the principal characters to the viewer in a remarkably similar way to Tolstoy’s novel… a work to be experienced multiple times” — Dance Europe

“Through choreographic detail, Neumeier makes you feel the characters’ inner turmoil.” — Dance International 

Running Time

  • Act I 1h 35m
  • Intermission 15m
  • Act II 1h 10m
  • Total (approx) 3h

Casting

Anna Karenina  
Svetlana Lunkina (November 10, 14, 16 at 7:30 pm/November 18 at 2:00 pm) 
Heather Ogden (November 11 at 2:00 pm/November 15, 17 at 7:30 pm) 
Sonia Rodriguez (November 13 at 7:30 pm/November 15, 17 at 2:00 pm) 

Alexei Vronsky
Harrison James (November 10, 14, 16 at 7:30 pm/November 18 at 2:00 pm) 
Guillaume Côté (November 11 at 2:00 pm/November 15, 17 at 7:30 pm) 
Naoya Ebe (November 13 at 7:30 pm/November 15, 17 at 2:00 pm) 

Alexei Karenin
Piotr Stanczyk (November 10) 
Evan McKie (November 11 at 2:00 pm/November 15, 17 at 7:30 pm) 
Brendan Saye (November 13, 14, 16 at 7:30 pm/November 15, 17, 18 at 2:00 pm) 

Levin
Félix Paquet (Nov 10, 14, 16, 18) 
Kota Sato (Nov 11, 15 at 7:30 pm, 17 at 7:30 pm) 
Skylar Campbell (Nov 13, 15 at 2:00 pm, 17 at 2:00 pm) 

Kitty
Antonella Martinelli (Nov 10, 14, 16, 18) 
Calley Skalnik (Nov 11, 15 at 7:30 pm, 17 at 7:30 pm) 
Meghan Pugh (Nov 13, 15 at 2:00 pm, 17 at 2:00 pm) 

Dolly
Xiao Nan Yu (November 10) 
Chelsy Meiss (November 11 at 2:00 pm/November 15, 17 at 7:30 pm) 
Jenna Savella (November 13, 14, 16 at 7:30 pm/November 15, 17, 18 at 2:00 pm) 

Stiva
Naoya Ebe (November 10, 14, 16 at 7:30 pm/November 18 at 2:00 pm) 
Ethan Watts (November 11 at 2:00 pm/November 15, 17 at 7:30 pm) 
Christopher Gerty (November 13 at 7:30 pm/November 15, 17 at 2:00 pm) 

All casting is subject to change.

 

Further Reading

Primer
by Karen Kain

Synopsis

Anna Karenina’s Enduring Power

Credits

Music: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Alfred Schnittke, Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam

Choreography, Sets, Costumes and Lighting Concept: John Neumeier

Staged by: Lindsay Fischer, Mandy-Jayne Richardson and Peter Ottmann

Anna Karenina wears A-K-RI-S, Albert Kriemler

Scenic Design Collaborator: Heinrich Tröger

Video and Graphics: Kiran West

Lighting reconstructed by Ralf Merkel

Assistants to the Choreographer: Vladimir Kocić and Ivan Urban

Répetiteurs: Lindsay Fischer, Mandy-Jayne Richardson and Peter Ottmann

World Premiere: The Hamburg Ballet, Hamburg State Opera, Hamburg, Germany, July 2, 2017 The National Ballet of Canada Premiere: Toronto, November 10, 2018

Anna Karenina is a cooperation between The National Ballet of Canada, The Hamburg Ballet and The Bolshoi Ballet.

Lead philanthropic support for Anna Karenina is generously provided by The Walter Carsen New Creations Fund, Richard M. Ivey, C.C., Rosamond Ivey, Margaret Anne Fountain, C.M. and David Glenn Fountain, C.M., and Tim & Frances Price, with additional support from The Volunteer Committee of The National Ballet of Canada, The Producers’ Circle and Warren Sorensen in memory of Gregory Williams.

The Producers’ Circle: Gail & Mark Appel, John & Claudine Bailey, Inger Bartlett & Marshal Stearns, Gail Drummond & Bob Dorrance, The Thor E. and Nicole Eaton Family Charitable Foundation, Sandra Faire & Ivan Fecan, Kevin & Roger Garland, Ira Gluskin & Maxine Granovsky Gluskin, The William & Nona Heaslip Foundation, 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. and Gerald Sheff & Shanitha Kachan. 

Running Time

  • Act I 1h 35m
  • Intermission 15m
  • Act II 1h 10m
  • Total (approx) 3h

Anna Karenina Trailer

Anna Karenina: Inside the Studio

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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