As an interpretation of the dystopian world created by Margaret Atwood in her MaddAddam trilogy, the ballet MADDADDAM contains similar mature themes. This includes depictions of violence and sexual violence that may be upsetting for some audience members. Not recommended for children under 13.
Wayne McGregor, the multi-award-winning choreographer of Chroma and Genus, has joined forces with one of the world’s greatest living writers, Margaret Atwood, to create a thrilling new ballet triptych for The National Ballet of Canada. MADDADDAM is based on Atwood’s acclaimed novel trilogy, Oryx and Crake, The Year of the Flood, and MaddAddam, and features original music from the ground-breaking contemporary composer Max Richter. Themes of extinction and invention, hubris and humanity are spliced together with aspects of Atwood's activism and her deep connection to the Canadian landscape, past and present.
MADDADDAM is inspired by Atwood’s speculative fictions, in which, famously, nothing is invented that is not already occurring somewhere in our world. In Atwood’s MaddAddam trilogy, humanity has been nearly obliterated apart from a small group who must forge a new way of life in the ruins. Characterized by exuberant imagination, disruptive wit and unflinching moral acuity, Atwood’s writing holds up a mirror to the terrifying consequences of out-of-control technological experimentation, greed, misogyny and colonialism.
English choreographer Wayne McGregor has gained international recognition for his kinetic, interdisciplinary approach to dance. He is Artistic Director of Studio Wayne McGregor, Artistic Associate at Sadler's Wells Theatre and since 2006, Resident Choreographer at The Royal Ballet – the first contemporary choreographer ever to hold this position.
Canada’s most decorated author, Margaret Atwood has written more than 50 books of fiction, poetry, critical essays and graphic novels and she is published in more than 45 countries worldwide. Her bestseller The Handmaid’s Tale became an award-winning television series and The Testaments, the long-awaited sequel, was the co-winner of the 2019 Booker Prize.
Born in Germany, Max Richter is an influential composer and musician renowned for combining classical tradition with electronic and contemporary music. His oeuvre includes a bold reworking of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons and he composes prolifically for screen and dance. Richter collaborates frequently with English choreographer Wayne McGregor, having composed original music for his ballets Infra, Kairos and Woolf Works, among other projects.
“MADDADDAM is just the kind of bold, imaginative assertion of classical ballet’s potential evolution that is most likely to woo new audiences and ensure the art form’s survival.”– Toronto Star
“An impressionistic, emotionally charged theatrical response to the books’ overarching themes” – Toronto Star
“Full of gob-smackingly inventive choreography with large casts of dancers creating an almost kaleidoscopic whirl of movement” – Toronto Star
“[Wayne McGregor is] an adventuresome experimenter with a restless mind, intent on pushing his disparate audience, his collaborators and himself.” – The New York Times
“Art, music, philosophy, science, current events... When McGregor is working at his best, they come together in a magnificently stimulating whole.” – The Telegraph
Inspired by Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam Trilogy
Wayne McGregor, CBE
Max Richter *
We Not I
Assistant to the Choreographer:
Natasha Frid Finlay with Rosslyn King
Tilda Swinton & Josh Davidson
Film Design Creative Team:
Film Design Associate and Lidar:
Assistant Production and Art Direction:
Assistant Producer Toronto/Montreal:
Toronto Location Scout:
Special Thanks to:
Ryerson Urban Farm, Churchill Science Research Centre, Growing Underground, Discover Churchill, CN Tower, Montréal Biosphere and Habitat, Union Station, The Westin Harbourfront & The Fairmont Royal York, Birmingham City University Research, Haliburton Wolf Sanctuary, Wolf Watch Uk.
* © 2022 Decca Publishing, a division of Universal Music Publishing Group
World Premiere: The National Ballet of Canada, Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, Toronto, November 23, 2022
Co-produced and commissioned by The National Ballet of Canada and The Royal Ballet (UK).
Lead philanthropic support for MADDADDAM is provided by The Walter Carsen New Creations Fund, Tony Arrell, C.M. & Anne Arrell, Rosamond Ivey, The Gail Hutchison Fund, Tim & Frances Price, Gretchen Ross & Donald Ross, O.C. and The Producers’ Circle.
The commissioned score for MADDADDAM has been generously underwritten by Noreen Taylor, C.M. & David Staines, C.M., O.Ont.
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 Lozinski, O.C. & Joan Lozinski, O.C., 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.
The National Ballet of Canada gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the following:
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Please note, there will be no live Ballet Talk for MADDADDAM. We will present a behind the scenes video series in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre prior to the show.
Live Ballet Talks will return for the Winter and Summer Seasons.