World Premiere by Crystal Pite

Angels’ Atlas

with Chroma &
Marguerite and

February 29 – March 7, 2020

World Premiere by Crystal Pite

Angels’ Atlas

with Chroma &
Marguerite and

February 29 – March 7, 2020

About the Ballets

Running time: 2 hours and 10 minutes with two 20-minute intermissions

Read House Programme

Angels’ Atlas Overview

Crystal Pite, the Olivier Award-winning choreographer of Emergence creates a brand new work for The National Ballet of Canada. Angels' Atlas, the highly anticipated world premiere comes as Pite gains international acclaim for riveting work that is both aesthetically inventive and deeply human. Often manipulating large groups of dancers, she is fascinated not only with pattern and space but also with the emotional register of the body and the stories that it holds.

Angels' Atlas: A Note From Cystal Pite

Five Things about Crystal Pite

Angels’ Atlas View Gallery

The Creator

A former dancer with Ballet BC and Ballett Frankfurt under William Forsythe, Crystal Pite is now a leading contemporary choreographer. She is Associate Choreographer of Nederlands Dans Theater, Associate Dance Artist of Canada’s National Arts Centre and Associate Artist at Sadler’s Wells Theatre, London. Her company, Kidd Pivot, performs her original creations around the world.

Read Crystal Pite: More than Movement


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“Human yearning is evoked powerfully onstage… Crystal Pite has a gift for bringing out the very best in dancers.” — Toronto Star

“A glimpse into the infinite... Angels’ Atlas explores the human condition to rapturous choral music and ingenious lighting design.” — The Globe and Mail 

“Pite has created another masterpiece.” — Ludwig van Toronto

Chroma Overview

The National Ballet of Canada first performed Chroma in 2010 to rapturous response, giving Toronto audiences an unforgettable introduction to Wayne McGregor’s visceral choreography. McGregor’s fascination with the body is front and centre in Chroma, where it assumes a level of architectural beauty against the enormous white space of the stage. Fusing John Pawson’s minimalist sets with startling physicality and an electronic score from Joby Talbot, Chroma is a multi-layered adventure in contemporary dance, thought and design.

Five Things about Chroma


The Creator

English choreographer Wayne McGregor has gained international recognition for his kinetic, interdisciplinary approach to dance. He is Artistic Director of Wayne McGregor | Random Dance, Artistic Associate at Sadler's Wells Theatre and since 2006, Resident Choreographer at The Royal Ballet – the first contemporary choreographer ever to hold this position.

Read Chroma – Inside the Ballet

The Composer

English composer Joby Talbot has written widely for opera and dance. His collaborations include Wayne McGregor’s Chroma and Entity, and Christopher Wheeldon’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and The Winter’s Tale, both co-productions between The Royal Ballet and The National Ballet of Canada.


Chroma is a dazzling example of cutting-edge, pushed-to-the-extreme ballet.” —The Toronto Star

Chroma clearly ranks among the greatest classics of contemporary ballet.” —The Globe and Mail

“Muscular poetry that socks you in the gut” —The Hamilton Spectator

Marguerite and Armand Overview

Sir Frederick Ashton’s Marguerite and Armand is as much a story about ballet as it is about Marguerite, the dying courtesan, and her lover Armand. Ashton created it in 1963 to showcase the legendary dance partnership of Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev and it has been associated with them ever since. After 30 years with The National Ballet of Canada, Greta Hodgkinson will mark her retirement as Principal Dancer performing this storied ballet.

The Story

Dying from tuberculosis, Marguerite Gautier, a Parisian courtesan, reminisces on her love affair with the young man Armand. In a series of dreamlike flashbacks, she remembers falling in love with Armand and then abandoning him against her will, at the request of his father, who disapproves of the relationship. When Armand’s father reveals the true cause of their separation, Armand returns to Marguerite’s bedside where she dies in his arms.

Marguerite and Armand

Five Things about Marguerite and Armand

The Creator

Sir Frederick Ashton studied in England with the great dancers Léonide Massine and Marie Rambert. His distinct style has been preserved in his repertoire of cherished ballets, including A Month in the Country and La Fille mal gardée. He was knighted in 1962, made a Companion of Honour in 1970 and received the Order of Merit in 1977.

The Composer

Hungarian composer Franz Liszt was a virtuoso pianist of the Romantic period and he created an extensive repertoire of works for solo piano. He was also an acclaimed conductor, arranger, organist and writer as well as a notable humanitarian and philanthropist.

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“Lush Romanticism” —The New York Times

“The final pas de deux, as Marguerite lies dying in Armand's arms, is among the most moving in Ashton’s ballets.” —What's Onstage


Angels’ Atlas World Premiere

Crystal Pite

Original Music:
Owen Belton

Additional Music:
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and Morten Lauridsen

Reflective Light Backdrop Concept:
Jay Gower Taylor

Reflective Light Backdrop Design:
Jay Gower Taylor and Tom Visser

Lighting Design:
Tom Visser

Costume Design:
Nancy Bryant

Assistant to the Choreographer:
Spencer Dickhaus

Produced and commissioned by The National Ballet of Canada.

A co-production of The National Ballet of Canada and Ballett Zürich.

Philanthropic support for Angels’ Atlas is generously provided by An Anonymous Donor, Rosamond Ivey, Ira Gluskin & Maxine Granovsky Gluskin, The Producers’ Circle, The Volunteer Committee of The National Ballet of Canada and The Gail Hutchison Fund.

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.


Wayne McGregor

Staged by:
Odette Hughes

Joby Talbot and Jack White, The White Stripes

Set Design:
John Pawson

Costume Design:
Moritz Junge

Lighting Design:
Lucy Carter

Chroma is produced in association with The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London.

Marguerite and Armand Company Premiere

Frederick Ashton 

Staged by:
Grant Coyle

Franz Liszt

Orchestrated by:
Dudley Simpson

Set and Costume Design:
Cecil Beaton

Original Lighting Design:
John B. Read

Video Credits: Crystal Pite: Inside the Studio

Featuring: Crystal Pite, Skylar Campbell, Heather Ogden, Jordana Daumec, Hannah Fischer, Chelsy Meiss, Donald Thom, Christopher Gerty, Spencer Hack. Jeannine Haller, Kathryn Hosier, Siphesihle November, Kota Sato, Trygve Cumpston, Brenna Flaherty, Peng-Fei Jiang, Larkin Miller, Noah Parets, Meghan Pugh, Alexander Skinner, Nan Wang, Isaac Wright, Artists of the Ballet

Video Credits: 5 Things About Marguerite and Armand

Featuring: Greta Hodgkinson, Guillaume Côté. Music provided courtesy of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden.


Musicians have been recorded by permission of the Toronto Musicians' Association, Local 149, American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada.

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