Spotlight Series

Short Programmes

Guillaume Côté and Elena Lobsanova in Romeo and Juliet

Dancing Shakespeare

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The richness of Shakespeare’s language, themes and stories has made his work endlessly appealing for stage, television and film. Dancing Shakespeare presents excerpts from three balletic adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays, a comedy, a tragedy and a late romance. The programme opens with Sir Frederick Ashton’s The Dream, followed by Alexei Ratmansky’s Romeo and Juliet and finally Christopher Wheeldon’s The Winter’s Tale, a co-production with The Royal Ballet in London, England.

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Harrison James and Heather Ogden in Frame by Frame

Trailblazers

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Canadian innovators own the stage in Trailblazers, a programme of three works by award-winning Canadian creators. Experience the interdisciplinary brilliance of Frame by Frame by Guillaume Côté and Robert Lepage, the sinister beauty of Watch her by Aszure Barton, and the playfulness of Marie Chouinard’s 24 Preludes by Chopin in beautiful excerpts from The National Ballet of Canada’s live performance seasons. Filmed at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts before the pandemic.

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Paz de la Jolla

Joy of Dance

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The two ballets in Joy of Dance are brimming with energy, colour and life – the perfect prelude to spring. Captured live at the Four Seasons Centre before the pandemic, this programme includes the exhilarating and virtuosic The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude by William Forsythe and an excerpt of Justin Peck’s sundrenched, dreamy Paz de la Jolla. Join us in this radiant celebration of dance.

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Guillaume Côté and Heather Ogden in Nijinsky.

Ballet's Storyteller: John Neumeier

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John Neumeier is the longest serving Director and Chief Choreographer of The Hamburg Ballet, a company made famous through his leadership. As a choreographer, Neumeier sets classical ballet within a modern dramatic framework, often pulling from history and literature for his themes and stories. Thanks to his close relationship with Artistic Director Karen Kain, several of Neumeier’s ballets are now accessible to North American audiences through The National Ballet of Canada. With a special introduction from John Neumeier himself, this film shares excerpts from three important works acquired under Ms. Kain’s tenure: A Streetcar Named Desire, The Seagull and Nijinsky.

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Svetlana Lunkina and Evan McKie in Onegin

Power and Passion: Great Drama

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The three excerpts in this programme combine beautiful choreography with stories of power and passion inspired by great works of literature. The first is a legacy ballet, John Cranko’s Onegin, a moving dance drama based on the 19th century novel by Alexander Pushkin, Eugene Onegin. The second is Christopher Wheeldon’s The Winter’s Tale, a 2015 co-production with The Royal Ballet based on William Shakespeare’s complex play about jealousy and the bonds of family. Finally, John Neumeier’s Anna Karenina, a 2018 co-production with The Hamburg Ballet and The Bolshoi Ballet, a response to Leo Tolstoy’s social novel of the same name.

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Heather Ogden and Harrison James in Etudes

Classical Gems

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Classical Gems is a celebration of ballet technique, offering gorgeous ensemble work and pas de deux in excerpts from three ballets in the grand classical tradition. The famous peasant variations from Act I of Sir Peter Wright’s Giselle are filled with soaring jumps, turns and intricate partnering set to the lively music of Adolphe Adam. From Marius Petipa’s Le Corsaire comes one of the most thrilling and frequently performed pas de deux in classical ballet and is set to music by Riccardo Drigo. Finally, the virtuoso finale from Harald Lander’s Etudes, with its brilliant displays of athleticism and style set to orchestrations of piano studies by Carl Czerny.

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Modern Masterpieces

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Modern Masterpieces is a showcase of three exciting works from our recent repertoire: Alexei Ratmansky’s Piano Concerto #1, Jiří Kylián’s Petite Mort and Wayne McGregor’s Chroma. All are the work of brilliant, influential choreographers of today. Presented in excerpts, Modern Masterpieces underscores the musicality of Ratmansky’s homage to composer Dmitri Shostakovich, the nuances of the duet in Kylián’s meditation on sexuality and the physicality of McGregor’s thrilling ode to the body in movement.

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