World Premiere

Orpheus Alive

with Chaconne

November 15—21, 2019

World Premiere

Orpheus Alive

with Chaconne

November 15—21, 2019
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About the Ballets

The myth of Orpheus and Eurydice has long fascinated artists of all disciplines. It is the story of a gifted musician who uses his music to gain entry into the underworld to bring his beloved back to life, only to lose her again because of a moment of doubt. National Ballet Choreographic Associate Robert Binet has created a rich body of work characterized by an instinctive elegance, poetic phrasing and bold concepts. In his latest work, Orpheus Alive, the acclaimed choreographer gives us a fresh re-telling of this tragic tale by casting Orpheus as a woman, Eurydice as a man and the audience as the gods of the underworld who hold Orpheus’ fate in their hands. We are enveloped in a narrative at once familiar and unsettling, but which is at its heart a story of love, loss and an extraordinary artist who comes up against the limits of mortality.

Chaconne is pure dance. Based on the choreography George Balanchine created for a 1963 Hamburg State Opera production of Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice. Chaconne contains some of Balanchine’s most beautiful passages for both pas de deux and ensemble and is an absolute statement of his neo-classical aesthetic, beginning with a dreamy prologue and ending with an opulent series of classical dances.    

“Electrifying Toronto choreographer Robert Binet has been turning heads with his bold and risky works” Post City Toronto

Orpheus Alive View Gallery


Orpheus Alive

“Binet’s vision was presented in a completely original concept with refreshing authenticity.” —Calgary Herald

“[Missy Mazzoli is] one of the more consistently inventive surprising composers.” —The New York Times

“Brooklyn’s post-millennial Mozart” —Time Out New York on Missy Mazzoli


“George Balanchine's Chaconne moves from heaven to earth.” —The New York Times

Chaconne is spun sugar… So engrossing, so full of surprises, that your heart sank when the curtain fell.” —The Washington Post


Orpheus Alive World Premiere

Robert Binet

Missy Mazzoli

Writer, Dramaturge and Text Direction:
Rosamund Small

Set and Costume Design:
Hyemi Shin

Lighting Design:
Tom Visser

Projection Design:
Karolina Kuras

Lead philanthropic support for Orpheus Alive is provided by The Producers’ Circle.

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 & Roger Garland, 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., Lynda & Jonas Prince, Susan Scace & Arthur Scace, C.M., Q.C., The Harry and Lillian Seymour Family Foundation, Gerald Sheff & Shanitha Kachan and The Jack Weinbaum Family Foundation.

Chaconne Company Premiere

George Balanchine ©The George Balanchine Trust

Staged by:
Lindsay Fischer and Christopher Stowell

Christoph Willibald Gluck, Orfeo ed Euridice

Costume Design:

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Karen Kain – 50 Glorious Years

2019/20 marks Artistic Director Karen Kain’s 50th anniversary with The National Ballet of Canada.

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