World Premiere

Swan Lake

Directed and Staged by Karen Kain

June 5—21, 2020

World Premiere

Swan Lake

Directed and Staged by Karen Kain

June 5—21, 2020
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About the Ballet

To mark her 50th anniversary with The National Ballet of Canada, Artistic Director Karen Kain directs and stages a new production of one of classical ballet’s most seminal and revered works, Swan Lake. Basing her new approach on Erik Bruhn’s landmark version of the ballet, a version she performed to unforgettable acclaim as a dancer, Kain accentuates the romantic core of the ballet and the love story that provides it with its powerful emotional life and which has made the work the enduring classic that it has been for generations of audiences.

With stunning new sets and costumes by renowned designer Gabriela Týlešová, this fresh and vibrant staging of Swan Lake retains all of the mystery, tragic feeling and rich psychological undercurrents that form such an inextricable part of the ballet’s thematic texture. It also brings its symbolic elements to fuller dramatic life through attentive characterization and an unerring evocation of the inner power and radiance of its narrative and choreography. A fitting celebration of a great ballet and a tribute to and from one of Canadian ballet’s greatest artists.

2019/20 Season Announcement


Hannah Fischer and Karen Kain at a Swan Lake photo shoot. Photo by Karolina Kuras.

“At this point in my career, 50 years on, the thing that continues to drive me is my love for the art form and for the National Ballet. Swan Lake has been a huge part of my artistic life and holds a special place in my heart. With this new staging, I want to accentuate the romantic core and the love story that provides the ballet with its powerful, emotional life.” Artistic Director Karen Kain


Directed and Staged by:
Karen Kain, C.C., LL.D., D.Litt., O.Ont. after Erik Bruhn, Lev Ivanov and Marius Petipa

Additional Choreography and Staging by:
Christopher Stowell and Robert Binet

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Set, Property and Costume Designer:
Gabriela Týlešová

Lighting Designer:
Bonnie Beecher

Projection Designer:
Sean Nieuwenhuis

Design Associate, Wardrobe:
Marjory Fielding

Design Associate, Set & Properties:
Joshua Quinlan

Lead philanthropic support for Swan Lake is provided by The Walter Carsen New Creations Fund, with generous underwriting from Richard M. Ivey, C.C., an anonymous friend of the National Ballet, The Catherine and Maxwell Meighen Foundation, Gail Drummond & Bob Dorrance, Nancy Pencer, Sandra Pitblado & Jim Pitblado, C.M., Gretchen Ross & Donald Ross, O.C., Anne-Marie Canning, Anna McCowan-Johnson & Donald K. Johnson, O.C., Tim & Frances Price, Kevin Garland & Roger Garland, C.M. and Aaron & Heather Regent. Additional support 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 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., Lynda & Jonas Prince, Susan Scace & Arthur Scace, C.M., Q.C., The Harry & Lillian Seymour Family Foundation, Gerald Sheff & Shanitha Kachan and The Jack Weinbaum Family Foundation.

The National Ballet also acknowledges support for Swan Lake provided by Judi Conacher, Sherry and Edward Drew and Julie Medland.

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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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