The Dreamers Ever Leave You

Excerpts from the Immersive Ballet Inspired by the Work of Lawren Harris

The Dreamers Ever Leave You

Excerpts from the Immersive Ballet Inspired by the Work of Lawren Harris


Choreographic Associate Robert Binet created The Dreamers Ever Leave You in 2016 in response to the sublime paintings of Group of Seven artist Lawren Harris. Originally performed at the Art Gallery of Ontario with live piano music by Lubomyr Melnyk, this piece replicates the spiritual energy of Harris’ northern landscapes through the controlled physicality of the human body. This presentation of The Dreamers Ever Leave You is filmed especially for Spotlight Series, The National Ballet of Canada’s virtual 2020/21 season.

Five Things to Know
  1. 1The Dreamers Ever Leave You originally premiered in 2016 as part of The Idea of North, a Lawren Harris exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario, as an immersive experience.
  2. 2This new adaptation for film was shot at Harbourfront Centre. In describing the film version Robert Binet said, “The original intimacy of the performances at the AGO, when the audience could move freely with the dancers, is what makes this ballet well-suited to film. The viewer can now fly around with the dancers and be close enough to see their sweat and hear them breathing. I hope watching this film will give people some of the intimacy and connection we are all missing so much.”
  3. 3The Dreamers Ever Leave You is directed by acclaimed Canadian director Ben Shirinian. National Ballet audiences will be familiar with Mr. Shirinian’s work on the award-winning Expansive Dances series that launched the company’s 2020/21 virtual season in September and Lost in Motion that captivated the dance world in 2012.
  4. 4

    The title of the piece comes from Harris’ 1922 poem, Little Houses:

    The dreamers ever leave you –
    They hear a vague, far cry,
    Perhaps the call of some vacant, high place,
    So often only the wailing of a beckoning pain,
    But the dreamers ever leave you.

  5. 5One of Mr. Binet’s most adaptable ballets, in addition to its run at the Art Gallery of Ontario, The Dreamers Ever Leave You has been performed in a proscenium setting on stage at the Four Seasons Centre, at Printworks, the former printing site of the Evening Standard in East London, England and as a socially-distanced performance in the Brigantine Room at Harbourfront Centre.


The Choreographer

Toronto-born Robert Binet was appointed Choreographic Associate of The National Ballet of Canada in 2013 following his apprenticeship with Wayne McGregor, Resident Choreographer of The Royal Ballet. Binet has created new work for ballet companies worldwide and, in 2018, he launched CreativAction, a collaborative programme for Canadian choreographers.

The Composer

The Ukrainian-born composer and pianist Lubomyr Melnyk is renowned for a rapid technique of piano performance and composition he calls Continuous Music, which produces a meditative effect. He has composed over 120 works and written a treatise on his technique, OPEN TIME: The Art of Continuous Music.

The Director

Ben Shirinian is an award-winning writer, director and producer. In addition to creating the Lost in Motion films with Principal Dancer and Choreographic Associate Guillaume Côté, Shirinian served as Multimedia Director for IMPERMANENCE, a new media ballet installation that premiered in Florence, Italy. Shirinian is currently attached to direct the feature Land of Decoration written by Andrew Lanham, adapted from the book by Grace McCleen.


Noah Parets
Tirion Law
Peng-Fei Jiang
Genevieve Penn Nabity
Christopher Gerty
Alexandra MacDonald
Selene Guerrero-Trujillo
Donald Thom
Tene Ward
Spencer Hack
Daina Zolty
Jason Ferro



Excerpts from the Immersive Ballet Inspired by the Work of Lawren Harris

Concept and Choreography:
Robert Binet

Original Music:
Lubomyr Melnyk

Costume Design:
Robyn Clarke

Lighting Design:
Simon Rossiter, adapted by Jeff Logue

Guest Rehearsal Assistants:
Stephanie Hutchison and Alejandra Perez-Gomez

World Premiere: Signy Eaton Gallery at the Art Gallery of Ontario. August 31, 2016

Originally Co-produced by The National Ballet of Canada and the Art Gallery of Ontario

The original presentation of The Dreamers Ever Leave You was co-produced by the Art Gallery of Ontario and The National Ballet of Canada and generously supported by Sandra Faire & Ivan Fecan, Kevin Garland, Joan & Jerry Lozinski and The Honourable Margaret Norrie McCain, C.C.

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