The John F. Kennedy Center
for the Performing Arts

Washington, D.C.

January 28 – February 2, 2020

The John F. Kennedy Center
for the Performing Arts

Washington, D.C.

January 28 – February 2, 2020

About the Ballets

The National Ballet of Canada returns to the Kennedy Centre for the Performing Arts with two programmes, Rudolf Nureyev’s lavish The Sleeping Beauty and a mixed programme of works by William Forsythe, Jiří Kylián and Alexei Ratmansky.

The Sleeping Beauty Overview

January 30 – February 2

Rudolf Nureyev put The National Ballet of Canada on the map when he staged his own version of The Sleeping Beauty for the company in 1972. Showy and opulent, it set off an unprecedented period of international touring and acclaim for the young company and its dancers and it remains a jewel in the National Ballet repertoire today. Full of dazzling variations and set to Tchaikovsky’s unforgettable score, The Sleeping Beauty is a ballet lover’s dream.

The Story

King Florestan and his Queen attend the christening of their baby daughter, Princess Aurora, when they are interrupted by the evil fairy Carabosse. Angered that she was not invited to the christening, Carabosse tells the court that Princess Aurora will one day prick her finger and die. The gentle Lilac Fairy appears to amend the curse, promising that Aurora will not die but only fall asleep for a hundred years, until she is kissed by her prince.

Read Full Synopsis

Five Things about The Sleeping Beauty
The Choreographer

Rudolf Nureyev trained in Leningrad (now St.Petersburg) before joining the Kirov Ballet, gradually distinguishing himself as one of the great male dancers of his generation. After defecting from the Soviet Union, he formed an historic partnership with Margot Fonteyn. He was Artistic Director of Paris Opéra Ballet from 1983 to 1989 and its Principal Choreographer until 1992.

The Composer

The late 19th century Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky created some of the most popular works in the classical repertoire, particularly his three full-length scores for ballet: Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker. His body of work includes full-length operas, multiple symphonies and concertos.

Reviews

“NBC’s Sleeping Beauty remains among its most fully accomplished productions.” —Pointe Magazine

“ ★★★★/4 With such dancing this Beauty never slumbers.” —Toronto Star

“dazzling… the National Ballet glitters in this gem of a production.” —The Globe and Mail

Works by Forsythe, Kylián and Ratmansky

January 28 – 29

The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude 

William Forsythe’s The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude is a compact, virtuosic short ballet. In just 11 minutes, five dancers in bright, monochrome costumes perform a cascade of brilliant footwork with the speed and accuracy that have made Forsythe’s reputation as an influential contemporary innovator. With no theme apart from performance itself, The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude indulges in the sheer beauty of movement.

Approximate Sonata 2016

A ballet in one act, William Forsythe’s Approximate Sonata 2016 offers a series of pas de deux featuring unique variations on repeating themes. With clarity, joy and intention, Forsythe plays with the language of dance on a stage unmediated by props and sets, exploring the history and potentialities of classical technique. Approximate Sonata 2016 is a captivating example of Forsythe’s off-kilter style, set to a revised piano score from his long-time collaborator, Thom Willems.

Piano Concerto #1

Alexei Ratmansky’s Piano Concerto #1 is the third part of his Shostakovich Trilogy, which pays tribute to the embattled Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich. Each part evokes the drama of Shostakovich’s life under Stalinism as he struggled to reconcile his desire for artistic freedom with the demands of the state. Piano Concerto #1 contains some of the most abstract choreography in the trilogy and it stands alone as a work of great beauty and power.

Petite Mort

Petite Mort is a dynamic short ballet from the acclaimed Czech choreographer Jiří Kylián. Playing on sexual innuendo in the phrase “petite mort” or “little death”, a cast of six male and six female dancers move and spar with another in beautiful and unexpected ways, sometimes using fencing foils in allusion to the sexual dual. This is a ballet of couplings, a witty exploration of sensuality that blends modern and classical sensibilities.

Casting

The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude
Hannah Galway, Chelsy Meiss, Calley Skalnik
Naoya Ebe, Harrison James
(January 28 at 7:30 pm)
 
Tirion Law, Jeannine Haller, Calley Skalnik
Siphesihle November, Donald Thom
(January 29 at 7:30 pm)
 
Approximate Sonata 2016
1st & 5th Sonata
Sonia Rodriguez and Spencer Hack 
 
2nd Sonata
Hannah Fischer and Christopher Gerty 
 
3rd Sonata
Elena Lobsanova and Ben Rudisin
 
4th Sonata
Tanya Howard and Kota Sato 
 
Petite Mort
Miyoko Koyasu*, Joe Chapman
Hannah Galway*, Skylar Campbell 
Jillian Vanstone, Donald Thom 
Tina Pereira, Spencer Hack 
Hannah Fischer, Brendan Saye 
Greta Hodgkinson, Guillaume Côté 
 
Piano Concerto #1
Elena Lobsanova and Harrison James 
Koto Ishihara and Naoya Ebe
 
The Sleeping Beauty
Princess Aurora
Heather Ogden (January 30, February 1 at 7:30 pm)
Jillian Vanstone (January 31 at 7:30 pm/February 2 at 1:30 pm)
Emma Hawes* (February 1 at 1:30 pm)
 
Prince Florimund
Harrison James (January 30, February 1 at 7:30 pm)
Francesco Gabriele Frola (January 31 at 7:30 pm/February 2 at 1:30 pm)
Guillaume Côté  (February 1 at 1:30 pm)
 
King Florestan
Jonathan Renna 
 
Queen
Sophie Letendre
 
Catalabutte, Master of Ceremonies
Tomas Schramek (January 30, February 1 at 7:30 pm)
Hazaros Surmeyan (January 31 at 7:30 pm/February 1, 2 at 1:30 pm)
 
The Lilac Fairy
Tanya Howard 
 
Carabosse, the Wicked Fairy
Rebekah Rimsay (January 30, 31, February 1 at 7:30 pm/February 2 at 1:30 pm)
Alejandra Perez-Gomez (February 1 at 1:30 pm)
 
Principal Fairy
Emma Hawes (January 30 at 7:30 pm/February 2 at 1:30 pm)
Hannah Fischer (January 31, February 1 at 7:30 pm/February 1 at 1:30 pm) 
 
Bluebird
Naoya Ebe (January 30, February 1 at 7:30 pm) 
Siphesihle November (January 31 at 7:30 pm/February 2 at 1:30 pm) 
Skylar Campbell (February 1 at 1:30 pm)
 
Princess Florine
Elena Lobsanova (January 30, February 1 at 7:30 pm)
Miyoko Koyasu (January 31 at 7:30 pm)
Tina Pereira (February 1 at 1:30 pm)
Koto Ishihara* (February 2 at 1:30 pm)
 
Diamond Lady
Chelsy Meiss (January 30, February 1 at 7:30 pm)
Hannah Fischer (January 31 at 7:30 pm/February 2 at 1:30 pm) 
Jordana Daumec (February 1 at 1:30 pm) 
 
Diamond Man
Donald Thom  (January 30, February 1 at 7:30 pm)
Brendan Saye* (January 31 at 7:30 pm/February 2 at 1:30 pm)
Jack Bertinshaw (February 1 at 1:30 pm)
 
*Debut   ^Guest Artist

Casting subject to change.
 

Credits

The Sleeping Beauty

Produced, originally staged and with additional choreography:
Rudolf Nureyev, after Marius Petipa

Staged by:
Karen Kain, C.C.

Music:
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Set and Costume Design:
Nicholas Georgiadis

Lighting Design:
David Hersey

The Sleeping Beauty is made possible by generous contributions from Margaret Fleck & Jim Fleck, C.C., The Catherine and Maxwell Meighen Foundation, Sandra Pitblado & Jim Pitblado, C.M., Gretchen Ross and Nancy Pencer & Michael Benjamin.

The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude

Choreography:
William Forsythe

Music:
Franz Schubert, Allegro Vivace from Symphony No. 9 in C-Major, D944

Set and Lighting Design:
William Forsythe

Costume Design:
Stephen Galloway

Lead philanthropic support for The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude is generously provided by Sandra Simpson, an anonymous friend of the National Ballet and The Estate of Douglas Gardner, with additional support from The Producers’ Circle.

Approximate Sonata 2016

Choreography:
William Forsythe

Music:
Thom Willems

Set and Lighting Design:
William Forsythe

Costume Design:
Stephen Galloway

Piano Concerto #1

Choreography:
Alexei Ratmansky

Staged by:
Felipe Diaz

Music:
Dmitri Shostakovich

Set Design:
George Tsypin

Costume Design:
Keso Dekker

Lighting Design:
Jennifer Tipton

Lead philanthropic support for Piano Concerto #1 is provided by an anonymous friend of the National Ballet and The Producers’ Circle.

Petite Mort

Choreography:
Jiří Kylián

Staged by:
Roslyn Anderson

Music:
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Set Design:
Jiří Kylián

Costume Design:
Joke Visser

Lighting Design:
Jiří Kylián, Joop Caboort (Realisation)

Technical Consultant:
Kees Tjebbes

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, 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., Gerald Sheff & Shanitha Kachan and Noreen Taylor, C.M. & David Staines, C.M., O.Ont.

For more information, and to purchase tickets, please visit The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts website.

kennedy-center.org

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