Helgi Tomasson’s world-renowned San Francisco Ballet makes its Toronto debut this fall when it opens The National Ballet of Canada’s 2020/21 season. With this historic guest appearance, Toronto audiences will experience three acclaimed works from San Francisco Ballet’s recent repertoire, all from influential choreographers of today.
Justin Peck’s Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes offers a fresh interpretation of the famous score that Aaron Copland composed for Agnes de Mille’s ballet Rodeo in 1942, dropping the western influences of the earlier work in favour of pure, contemporary movement. Created in 2015 for New York City Ballet, where Peck is Resident Choreographer and Artistic Advisor, Rodeo sends 15 men and one leading woman through four distinct expressions of athleticism, all with a sense of joy and vitality.
Justin Peck is a Tony Award-winning choreographer, director and dancer. In 2014, he was the second person in history to be appointed Resident Choreographer of New York City Ballet. He has created new work for diverse and prestigious organizations around the world, including Paris Opéra Ballet, the Guggenheim Museum and the L.A. Dance Project.
Aaron Copland was a popular and influential 20th century composer, known for integrating jazz and folk into classical music for a distinctly American symphonic style. He composed widely for ballet, orchestra and film, earning a Pulitzer Prize for his composition Appalachian Spring.
“The contemporary choreography celebrates old-fashioned hoe-down glee – high kicks, frolicsome energy and a dance-off straight off the ranch. You can almost see the wagons circling a campfire.” — DanceTabs
“Peck has a marvelous ear, an all-seeing eye, and whether he saw it live or not, an ability to capture the original Rodeo’s innovative touches within Copland’s bright rhythms.” — San Francisco Classical Voice
Christopher Wheeldon, the celebrated choreographer of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and The Winter’s Tale, created Bound To for San Francisco Ballet’s Unbound festival of new work in 2018. The first ballet Wheeldon has created for dancers in flat shoes, Bound To is a grounded and poetic work that explores one of the great paradoxes of contemporary life – that technology and cell phones do more to isolate and distract us than they do to foster community and social interaction.
Christopher Wheeldon is Artistic Associate of The Royal Ballet, former Resident Choreographer of New York City Ballet and a former dancer with both companies. He is now a multi-award-winning choreographer creating work internationally for ballet, theatre and film. He was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2016.
Keaton Henson is an English musician, illustrator and poet. In addition to several full-length albums, he has composed music for the London based dance company BalletBoyz as well as Christopher Wheeldon and BBC television.
“One of Christopher Wheeldon’s most personal dances.” — San Francisco Chronicle
“In Bound To, Christopher Wheeldon excels, as ever, in meaningful pas de deux.” — The Guardian
Alexei Ratmansky’s The Seasons is a 2019 co-commission between San Francisco Ballet and American Ballet Theatre, where Ratmansky has been Artist in Residence for more than a decade. Set to Alexander Glazunov’s eponymous score, this colourful work recreates a lost ballet from the great 19th century choreographer Marius Petipa – one of the last of Petipa’s career. With new choreography by Ratmansky, The Seasons pays homage to the rhythms of the natural world, offering spirited dancing, gorgeous costumes and whimsical, symbolic characters.
Born in St. Petersburg, Alexei Ratmansky is a choreographer and former ballet dancer. He is Artist in Residence at American Ballet Theatre and former Artistic Director of The Bolshoi Ballet. He has created new work for the world’s top ballet companies, including Mariinsky Ballet, The Royal Danish Ballet, Royal Swedish Ballet, Het Nationale Ballet and New York City Ballet.
Alexander Glazunov was a Russian composer and conductor of the late Romantic style. His oeuvre includes symphonies, concertos for multiple instruments and ballets, including Marius Petipa’s Raymonda. Glazunov was also a notable music professor and conductor.
“The complexity of Ratmansky’s choreography is a feast for the eyes and Alexander Glazunov’s eponymous score is a feast for the ears.” — Bachtrack
“The Seasons was a demonstration of Ratmansky’s inexhaustible capacity for dance invention… So much is taking place that sometimes you don’t know where to look, and yet everything seems relaxed, easy. There’s so much to absorb that a second viewing is almost a new experience.” —Observer
Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes
Reid Bartelme, Harriet Jung and Justin Peck
Brandon Stirling Baker
Scenic and Costume Design:
Jean-Marc Puissant and Alexander V. Nichols
James F. Ingalls
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