Anima Animus
& New Work by Rena Butler
& Symphony in C

March 3 – 23, 2023

Anima Animus
& New Work by Rena Butler
& Symphony in C

March 3 – 23, 2023
Buy Tickets

Create Your Own Subscription and Save!
Many options available.
Subscribe now >

Anima Animus

Overview

British choreographer David Dawson created Anima Animus for San Francisco Ballet’s Unbound Festival of new work in 2018. An instant success, it has since toured throughout the US and to the UK. The ballet explores the fluid space between extremes and opposites and particularly Carl Jung’s gendering of the collective unconscious as anima and animus, which it disrupts. Anima Animus is a high-octane work favouring speed and precision that sets the dancers powering across the stage to Ezio Bosso’s Violin Concerto No. 1, music that is also filled with contrasts.

Five Things to Know
  1. 1Dawson is one of the world’s leading choreographers and he collaborates with top companies internationally. In 2005, he became the first British choreographer in history to create a new work for The Mariinsky Ballet, Reverence, which earned him the Golden Mask Award.
     
  2. 2Anima Animus features a cast of ten dancers in three movements that are linked by the idea of contrasts. For instance, technical virtuosity and lyrical poetry, humanity and architecture, the unity of the group and the power of the individual.
     
  3. 3About the ballet, Dawson has said: “I want each person to dance more like themselves than they ever have – we’re energy and carbon and atomic – we embody what life is all about.”
     
  4. 4The spare, black and white costumes were designed by Yumiko Takeshima, who is a former Principal Dancer with Dutch National Ballet. She has collaborated numerous times with Dawson and with William Forsythe and she has developed her own line of athletic wear.
     
  5. 5Award-winning Italian composer, conductor and piano soloist Ezio Bosso wrote music prolifically, including for film and ballet. His commissions for dance included New York City Ballet and the Bolshoi Theatre.
Watch and Learn 

Anima-Animus View Gallery

The Choreographer

David Dawson is Associate Artist at Dutch National Ballet, Associate Choreographer Semperoper Ballett and a prolific international dancemaker. David's work is in the repertories of many companies including Teatro alla Scalla, Mariinsky Ballet, The Royal Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and Royal Swedish Ballet. Among his works are full-length productions of Tristan + Isolde, Swan Lake and Giselle. Other significant works include Voices, The Four Seasons, Citizen Nowhere and A Million Kisses to My Skin. Among his many honours are the Prix Benois de la Danse, a Choo San Goh Award and the prestigious Golden Mask Award.

The Composer

Ezio Bosso was an Italian composer, conductor, pianist and double bass player. He performed with the Vienna Chamber Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and worked extensively in film and theatre, composing numerous operas, symphonies, concertos, quartets, piano trios and sonatas.

Reviews

Anima is [David Dawson’s] most hauntingly lovely work” – The New York Times 

Anima Animus is very impressive to watch – it’s amazing what dancers can do with their bodies at that speed” – San Francisco Chronicle 

“The result is a kinetic work with costumes in black and white mirror imaged for the two genders. The women have a romp with animus, roaring onto the stage throughout with arms stretched upwards and dominating the virtuoso lifts and spins.” – Critical Dance

New Work by Rena Butler

Overview

Chicago’s Rena Butler will create her first work for The National Ballet of Canada this season, a dynamic contemporary piece to celebrate the music of Grammy Award-winning composer John Adams for his 75th birthday. Butler is the first artist to be named Choreographic Associate of the Gibney Company in New York City, where she also works as a dancer. Formerly with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Butler is in demand for her insightful contemporary language and her ability to tell stories that have not yet been shared. Her work is aesthetically and ideologically powerful, modelling artistry as a form of activism.

Five Things to Know
  1. 1John Adams is an American composer and conductor who combines elements of minimalism and Romanticism within a range of musical genres and he often addresses current social issues, particularly in his popular operas and works for the stage.
     
  2. 2Butler uses her choreography to engage with the world today. She has said, “The question I’m always asking myself as an artist is, ‘Am I contributing’? I want to contribute to a progressive world and I’m asking myself this question as I keep defining who I am choreographically and as a dancer.”
     
  3. 3Community engagement is important for Butler. She has worked with the youth group My Block, My Hood, My City, served on a panel for Black Girls Dance and she supports young artists through the Pointe People Mentorship Program.
     
  4. 4Butler is a former dancer with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, as is Artistic Director Hope Muir. Prior to joining The National Ballet of Canada, Muir commissioned a new work from Butler for Charlotte Ballet in North Carolina.
     
  5. 5Butler has recent and upcoming commissions from Dance Theatre of Harlem, GroundWorks DanceTheater in Cleveland, Ohio and Whim W’Him in Seattle, Washington, among others.
Watch and Explore

Rena Butler View Gallery

The Choreographer

Dancer and choreographer Rena Butler is the first Choreographic Associate at Gibney Company in New York City. She has created new work for such companies as Ballet X, Boston Dance Theater and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and in 2019, she won the prestigious Princess Grace Award for Choreography.

The Composer

Composer, conductor, and creative thinker - John Adams occupies a unique position in the world of American music.  His works stand out for their depth of expression, brilliance of sound and the humanist nature of their themes. Among his best known works are several of the most performed classical pieces today, including Harmonielehre, Shaker Loops and Short Ride in a Fast Machine as well as his stage works Nixon in China, The Death of Klinghoffer, El Niño, and Doctor Atomic.

Reviews

“Taps into the potential of movement, creativity, and performance to effect social change and personal transformation.” – Broadway World 

“Inspires dancing that the performers seem to relish, dancing that makes you want to move.” – The New York Times 

“Hugely successful.” – Chicago Sun Times 

Symphony in C

Overview

George Balanchine created Symphony in C for Paris Opéra Ballet in 1947 as a virtuosic display of musicality and classical technique. In true Balanchine fashion, the choreography embodies the music with wonderful sensitivity and flair, paying homage to Georges Bizet’s Symphony in C Major with four brilliantly constructed movements. Each movement has a principal couple, two secondary couples and a Corps de Ballet in pristine white tutus, with the entire cast of over 50 dancers uniting for a fast-paced finale.

Five Things to Know
  1. 1Originally the ballet was called Le palais de cristal and it referenced a different colour of gemstone in each movement, much like Jewels. Balanchine wanted to showcase the enormous roster of Paris Opéra Ballet in a single work.
     
  2. 2The ballet was so successful in Paris that Balanchine had to change the American premiere from a subscription only show to a public performance just to meet demand. He also simplified the sets and costumes and changed the title to Symphony in C.
     
  3. 3Bizet composed the score in two weeks at the age of 17 but it was never performed in his lifetime. The symphony was rediscovered in 1933 and came to Balanchine’s attention through the composer Igor Stravinsky.
     
  4. 4Matching the speed of Bizet’s composition, Balanchine took just two weeks to choreograph Symphony in C. Three of the ballet’s four movements are crisp and lively and one – the second movement – is slower, with a famous pas de deux.
     
  5. 5Jerome Robbins was in the audience for the American premiere and immediately decided to join Balanchine’s fledgling company, New York City Ballet, setting one of dance’s great partnerships in motion.
Watch and Learn

Symphony in C View Gallery

The Choreographer

Born in St. Petersburg, George Balanchine, co-founder and director of New York City Ballet, was one of the most renowned and prolific choreographers of the 20th century. He is credited with revolutionizing the look of classical ballet for a new era in works of unprecedented musicality and aesthetic brilliance.

The Composer

A child prodigy, Georges Bizet became one of the great French composers of the Romantic Era. He studied at the Paris Conservatory of Music and, at 17, composed his famous Symphony in C Major. He works include the operetta Le Docteur Miracle and the operas La Jolie Fille de Perth and Carmen, his best-known work.

Reviews

“This is Balanchine at his icy best, as he fills the stage with layer after layer of classical movement and geometric form until it finally creates a critical mass that is nothing short of breathtaking.” – Toronto Sun 

“Don’t walk, run to see Balanchine’s magic.” – The Globe and Mail 

 “The fire and ice of Balanchine is something no serious dance lover should miss.” – The Hamilton Spectator 

Credits

Anima Animus

Choreography:
David Dawson

Staged by:
Rebecca Gladstone and Christiane Marchant

Music:
Ezio Bosso, Violin Concerto No. 1, Eso Concerto (2017)

Set Design:
John Otto

Costume Design:
Yumiko Takeshima

Lighting Design:
James F. Ingalls

World Premiere: San Francisco Ballet, San Francisco, California, April 21, 2018

The National Ballet of Canada Premiere: Four Seasons Centre for Performing Arts, Toronto, March 3, 2023

New Work by Rena Butler

Choreography:
Rena Butler

Music:
John Adams, John's Book of Alleged Dances (1994)

Costume Design:
The National Ballet of Canada Wardrobe Department, Stacy Dimitropoulos, Wardrobe Supervisor

Lighting Design:
Jeff Logue

World Premiere: The National Ballet of Canada, Four Seasons Centre for Performing Arts, Toronto, March 3, 2023

Produced and commissioned by The National Ballet of Canada.

Lead philanthropic support for New Work by Rena Butler 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, 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, C.M & Jim Pitblado, C.M., The Harry & Lillian Seymour Family Foundation and The Jack Weinbaum Family Foundation.

Symphony in C

Choreographer:
George Balanchine© The School of American Ballet

Staged by:
Joysanne Sidimus and Colleen Neary

Music:
Georges Bizet

Costume Design:
Karinska

Lighting Design:
Ronald Bates

Premiere: Paris Opéra Ballet, Théâtre National de l'Opéra, Paris, France, July 28, 1947

The National Ballet of Canada Premiere: O’Keefe Centre (now Meridian Hall), Toronto, November 14, 1984

Symphony in C is a gift from The Volunteer Committee, The National Ballet of Canada.

The National Ballet of Canada gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the following:

Email Newsletter

Be the first to know when casting is announced by signing up for Ballet News.

Sign Up Today

Delve Deeper

Visit our news section, Ballet News + for a more in-depth look at all of our productions.

Visit Ballet News+

Ballet Talks

The National Ballet invites you to attend the Ballet Talk 45 minutes before every performance in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.