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. The Dreamers Ever Leave You was recently scheduled to perform at Harbourfront Centre’s Site Alive as part of a five-week National Ballet residency. Unfortunately, due to the ongoing pandemic, the majority of the performances were cancelled.
  2. The Dreamers premiered in 2016 as part of the Lawren Harris exhibition, The Idea of North, at the Art Gallery of Ontario, which opened a window into the austere beauty of Harris’ paintings of the Canadian north.
  3. 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.
  4. In explaining his piece, Binet has said: “The connection I see between Lawren Harris’ paintings and dance rests with their inherent spirituality. Harris abstracts natural forms to show their transcendent power, and that is what we do with the human body in ballet.”
  5. In partnership with The Royal Ballet, The Dreamers toured to London, England in 2017 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Canada. The cast featured dancers from both companies performing at the Printworks in East London, the former printing site of the Evening Standard and Metro newspapers.

Dreamers View Gallery

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 Every 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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