Trase Pa
by Kevin A. Ormsby

Trase Pa
by Kevin A. Ormsby


Kevin A. Ormsby, Artistic Director of KasheDance, makes his choreographic debut with The National Ballet of Canada in this thoughtful and aesthetically inventive work for three dancers. Trase Pa considers the ancestries and histories dancers bring to their work and, through film, invites audiences to share in their experiences. Set to the music of Haitian-born composer David Bontemps, Trase Pa makes its world premiere as part of Spotlight Series, The National Ballet of Canada’s virtual 2020/21 season.

Five Things to Know
  1. 1Ormsby sought to challenge expectations about how ballet dancers move. He started by asking the dancers to move naturally, in ways innate to their bodies. Then he abstracted their movements into contemporary dance and flavoured it with ballet. He says, “As a Jamaican person, I call it a Caribbean stew.”
  2. 2The piece was inspired by the music of Bontemps, Traces, which incorporates musical structures and styles original to Haiti. To reinforce the shared gesture toward ancestry in the music and choreography, the musicians perform Traces live alongside the dancers.
  3. 3Trase Pa is the first work Ormsby created intentionally for film and he was very deliberate in building the viewer into the performance through camera angles, shots and movements. He says: “As a choreographer, I always hover over the audience and think about how I want them to feel.”
  4. 4The creative process was highly collaborative. Ormsby invited the three dancers – First Soloists Tanya Howard and Ben Rudisin and Corps de Ballet member Teagan Richman-Taylor – to think and write about how they intended to enter into the choreography and the music before they began.
  5. 5Ormsby’s philosophy of dance is threefold. He believes dance is everywhere, that it is for everyone and that it should be meaningful for all. He embraces Alvin Ailey’s famous sentiment: “the dance came from the people and it should always be delivered back to the people.”

Trase Pa

The Choreographer

Kevin A. Ormsby is an award-winning dancer, choreographer, art strategies consultant and Artistic Director of KasheDance. He has collaborated with companies and projects in Canada, the Caribbean and the U.S., and he is providing guidance to The National Ballet of Canada on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in his capacity as Program Manager for Cultural Pluralism in the Arts Movement Ontario (CPAMO).

Kevin A. Ormsby's Full Bio

The Composer

Born in Haiti, David Bontemps trained in piano and music theory under renowned pianist-composer Serge Villedrouin. Now based in Montréal, Bontemps founded the Creole jazz quintet MAKAYA, for which he composes and arranges most of his songs. MAKAYA was nominated for the TD Grand Jazz Award at the International Jazz Festival of Montréal in 2010 and won the Vision Diversité in 2016.

The Director

For over 25 years, Paul McNulty has worked as an editor, videographer and producer in television and documentary film as well as having partnered with numerous corporate clients, agencies and arts organizations in branding campaigns and productions. McNulty has worked with The National Ballet of Canada since 2013.


Tanya Howard, Teagan Richman-Taylor, Ben Rudisin



Kevin A. Ormsby

Traces by David Bontemps

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

Lighting Design:
Jeff Logue

Rex Harrington

Lead philanthropic support for Spotlight Series 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