by Vanesa G. R. Montoya

by Vanesa G. R. Montoya


Nighttime is alive with meaning in Crepuscular, a brand new work by Vanesa G. R. Montoya, her first for The National Ballet of Canada. Set to some of Frédéric Chopin’s most beautiful music for piano and orchestra, this piece assigns a mystical side to life, one filled with visions, fears, possibilities and, above all, romance. Montoya's unique blend of classical and contemporary aesthetics and her affinity for classical music are on full display in this gorgeous and lyrical new work.

Five Things to Know
  1. 1Montoya's choreographic style is fluid and moves between contemporary and classical. She incorporates the strength and grounding of contemporary dance with the elegance and lyricism of classical ballet and has even used acrobatic floor work inspired by martial arts.
  2. 2The concept is rooted in Montoya's perceptions of night, specifically moonlight, which she correlates with spirituality, solitude and reflection and also with fear, anxiety and loneliness.
  3. 3Garcia-Ribala Montoya's theme is tied to the pandemic and subsequent lockdown, when she joined many others in spending long nights trying to make sense of what was happening in the world.
  4. 4This piece marks Montoya's choreographic debut with The National Ballet of Canada. However, she collaborated previously with Principal Dancers Sonia Rodriguez and Piotr Stanczyk, and First Soloist Spencer Hack on a piece for Fall for Dance North 2020, Poema Ibérico.
  5. 5Montoya comes to Canada from Spain. She trained at the Real Conservatorio Profesional de Danza Mariemma and joined Compañia Nacional de Danza 2 shortly after. She then danced briefly with Ballet de l’Opéra national du Rhin in France, where she met her Canadian husband. They now live in Montréal.

Vanesa Garcia-Ribala Montoya

Vanesa Garcia-Ribala Montoya. Photo by Michael Slobodian.

The Choreographer

Born in Spain, Vanesa G. R. Montoya joined Les Grand Ballets Canadiens de Montréal in 2006 and became the company’s first Black Principal Dancer in 2018. Vanesa is also an emerging choreographer and has created such works as Departed and Fuego for Les Grands Ballets’ mainstage season.

The Composer

Romantic composer Frédéric Chopin wrote some of the greatest piano music of the 19th century. Born in Poland in 1810, he later moved to Paris where he composed almost exclusively for piano. His nocturnes for solo piano are among his most famous works.


Vanesa G. R. Montoya

Frédéric Chopin

The National Ballet of Canada Wardrobe Department

Lighting Designer:
The National Ballet of Canada Production Department, Jeff Logue

World Premiere: The National Ballet of Canada, Toronto, ON

Lead philanthropic support for Spotlight Series is is provided by The Walter Carsen New Creations Fund, with additional support from 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., The Harry & Lillian Seymour Family Foundation, Gerald Sheff & Shanitha Kachan and The Jack Weinbaum Family Foundation.

Donate to Moving Forward Together

Delve Deeper

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

Visit Ballet News+

Email Newsletter

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

Sign Up Today