Lemi Ponifasio’s Birds With Skymirrors is a multi-layered, multi-media production, a series of highly stylized, sometimes hauntingly beautiful, images that create a mystical world onstage. Birds With Skymirrors is a radical composition in dance, ceremony, poetry, and chant that is also a stirring call for action against the trashing of our planet. It’s an elegy to nature and our… Continue Reading
The Premiere The premiere performance of The Rite of Spring (Le Sacre du printemps) took place on Thursday, May 29, 1913 at Paris’s newly-opened Théâtre des Champs-Élysées. The program that night also included Les Sylphides, Le Spectre de la Rose and Polovtsian Dances.
A Modernist Affair Théâtre des Champs-Élysées was designed by architect Auguste… Continue Reading
The Igor Stravinsky Connection The virtually unknown Russian composer Igor Stravinsky was commissioned by Diaghilev to create the score for the full-length ballet The Firebird, choreographed by Fokine for the Ballets Russes’s 1910 Paris season. Stravinsky composed three further works for the company — Petrushka, a ballet in four scenes (1911) with choreography by Fokine; the two-part… Continue Reading
To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the premiere of The Rite of Spring, NAC Dance is launching a 5 part weekly blog covering its history. Every Wednesday, leading up to the anniversary on May 29th we will present interesting facts about one of the most enduring and influential works of music and dance to appear on the… Continue Reading
Alonzo King LINES Ballet makes its NAC debut on March 4 —and its forthcoming appearance has been so popular that an extra matinee performance (at 2 p.m. on May 4) has been added. Maybe it's the stunning company photo on the cover of the 2012-13 Dance brochure?
Why is the Company called LINES? Following that line of thought,… Continue Reading
Happy International Dance Day! In celebration of this momentous occasion, NAC Dance brings you a message from the 2013 Message Author, Taiwainese choreographer LIN Hwai-min, Founder/Artistic Director of Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan. Incidentally, Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan is coming to the NAC next year, March 21-22 2014 with their spellbinding performance of Songs of… Continue Reading
By Gerald Morris
Alberta Ballet has become known in recent years for creating 'songbook' contemporary ballets dedicated to the life and career of individual singer-songwriters: The Fiddle and The Drum (Joni Mitchell, 2007), Fumbling Towards Ecstacy (Sarah McLachlan, 2011), and Balletlujah! (k.d. lang, 2013). But the glitziest, most glamorous, most entertaining of all is surely Love Lies Bleeding… Continue Reading
On my walk through the building, down the twisting, turning, magical halls of the NAC this morning I took-in and overheard:
The more one reads about Peggy Baker -- "legend!", "icon!", "exceptional, influential!", "an Olympian of dance", "one of the most outstanding contemporary dancers of her generation!" -- the more superlatives one encounters. But here's the thing: it's all true and none of it is an exaggeration. Peggy Baker is simply a mesmerizing performer/dancemaker. She is famous for the long,… Continue Reading
Renowned worldwide for her unique approach to Flamenco – María Pagés was one of the first to view it as a constantly evolving art form – the famous dancer from Seville, Spain, will present Autorretrato, a flamboyant self-portrait created in New York at the instigation of Mikhaïl Baryshnikov. She will be accompanied onstage by six musicians (two guitarists, a… Continue Reading
They are among Canada’s most beloved and longest running dance companies. Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal has been producing innovative dance by world-renowned choreographers for the past four decades, and the company has no intention of slowing down any time soon. To celebrate its 40th Anniversary, BJM is bringing to the NAC a visually-stunning triple-bill featuring works from three… Continue Reading
As you all know, Dance producer Cathy Levy and the NAC are proud to bring you 'A World of Dance in Ottawa.' We don't often have Scandinavian companies on the season program (although we've had great success with Sweden's Cullberg Ballet and the Iceland Dance Company), but one of the finest will be here in February. Carte Blanche, Norway’s National Company… Continue Reading
Those of you who follow the vicissitudes of life in the world of Canadian dance know that Vancouver-based Ballet BC has had a turbulent time in the last few years. As the company teetered on the brink of bankruptcy in late 2008, former Artistic Director John Alleyne, the dancers, and staff were laid off en masse. Most of the… Continue Reading
The Most Together We’ve Ever Been features a series of entrances and exits by dancers Ame Henderson and Matija Ferlin. Oftentimes the viewer is left to contemplate the relationship between themselves and their environment. Of all the objects that will be displayed in The Most Together We’ve Ever Been there is only one that has appeared in every performance… Continue Reading
Dance Producer Cathy Levy is delighted to welcome you to the NAC's first-ever Face 2 Face mini festival, which explodes on the Ottawa dance scene from February 5-9, 2013. These are provocative, innovative works, a potent mix of exciting duets by seven choreographers -- from five countries -- who are making waves on the international scene. Rousing, irreverent, playful,… Continue Reading
Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet was one of the first works of literature to inspire ballet choreographers because its drama, romance and tragedy are so perfectly suited to dance. Since the 1930s, choreographers have also been fortunate to have Prokofiev’s grand, magisterial score — including the magnificent “Dance of the Knights” — written specifically for the ballet, one of the… Continue Reading
Alberta Artists are taking the National Arts Centre by storm this week and next. Two of our biggest Christmas blockbuster shows are from Alberta companies this year. Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, our co-production with Theatre Calgary, is so popular we have extended the run by three nights until December 12. Adapted for the stage by Janet Munsil, directed by Dennis Garnhum… Continue Reading
Hanukkah is December 8-16, 2012. Christmas is December 25. Kwanzaa is December 26. Whatever your celebration of choice, The Nutcracker can be a dazzling part of it!
A lifelong love of dance begins right here, with this timeless fantasy of enchantment. For many people, seeing The Nutcracker is one of their earliest -- and happiest… Continue Reading
TAO Dance Theater was founded in 2008 by Tao Ye -- choreographer, costume designer, and consummate performer -- and in less than five years has had a remarkable impact. It's no exaggeration to say that TAO Dance Theater has taken contemporary dance by storm -- and revolutionized the world of dance in China. One U.S. reviewer described them as… Continue Reading
The incredible Hofesh Shechter Company last appeared at the NAC with Uprising and In your rooms, which had been commissioned by The Place, Southbank Centre, and Sadler’s Wells Theatre in a unique collaboration between London’s major dance venues. The double bill was presented to rave reviews and sold-out audiences in all three venues. Universal acclaim is something to… Continue Reading
I don't want to shock you, gentle blog-reader, but sometimes (rarely) a publicist has to use a tiny touch of hyperbole to describe a show. You know: steak vs. sizzle. But here's the thing: there is no exaggeration required when it comes to describing the explosive pyrotechnics of Brazil's most successful export. Grupo Corpo was founded in 1975 by… Continue Reading
When Rochelle and David Greenberg went to see the National Arts Centre Orchestra that night they weren’t expecting anything out of the ordinary. Then suddenly a hush fell over the audience.
Canadian politician and patron of the arts, the Hon. Mitchell Sharp was walking across the stage with a baton in his hand. “His health was failing but… Continue Reading
Villain or victim? Haughty free-spending queen or impetuous naive girl? In his full-length ballet Marie -- an ambitious storytelling extravaganza -- Houston Ballet Artistic Director Stanton Welch offers a new perspective on the controversial and always fascinating life of Marie Antoinette. Choreographed specifically for Houston Ballet, Marie makes tremendous use of the company’s acting abilities and dancing… Continue Reading
The story of Shakespeare’s The Tempest was retold last night to a captivated audience attending the season premiere of the NAC Dance season, launched with a Canadian premiere of Crystal Pite-Kidd Pivot’s The Tempest Replica. It is hard to believe that with only seven cast members and a bare minimalist set comprised of a total prop collection of a… Continue Reading
Everyone knows that any good performance hall worth its salt is haunted by ghosts. The NAC is no different. If you roam backstage, (and you're really, really quiet) you might hear an otherwordly voice reciting a line from Shakespeare's King Lear, or Michel Tremblay's Les Belles-soeurs. Or you might glimpse a vision of an ethereal prima ballerina, desperately racing… Continue Reading
NACOcast with Nicholas Atkinson
In this week's episode of the NACOcast host Nicholas Atkinson discusses the extreme responses to opera. Some feel that it is an elitist art form attended by bejeweled woman and 'bejoweld' men. However, as Nicholas points out even the most stoic listener can be moved to tears.
Both Nicholas and Alexander Shelley… Continue Reading
Those of you who follow Dance at the NAC -- and who doesn't?! -- will be thrilled to learn that the very first show of the 2012-2013 Dance season is The Tempest Replica by Crystal Pite/Kidd Pivot. Inspired by Shakespeare's final play -- and one of his most poignant -- multi-award-winning Canadian dance phenom Crystal Pite stages a… Continue Reading
This week's podcasts include both music and dance. Marjolaine Fournier and Jean-Jacques Van Vlasselaer discuss the musical artistry of Elgar and uncover the passionate artist behind the imposing mustache. In dance, choreographer Mourad Merzouki, Artistic Director of Le Centre Chorégraphique National Créteil et Val-de-Marne speaks about his choreographic vocabulary - a unique style of movement that integrates the intense… Continue Reading
Disponible en anglais seulement
My colleague Martin has worked at the NAC for over nine years. Throughout his career here Martin’s dad has taken great joy needling him by mispronouncing the abbreviation NAC. He jokingly refers to Martin's workplace as—the knack.
“What's going on at the knack?” he will ask at family barbeques and birthday dinners. Alternatively he will create groan-inducing puns such… Continue Reading
To me dance is communication without words. However, I don't attend a performance expecting to understand everything. In fact, I rarely read the program notes prior to a dance show. Instead, I prefer to settle into my seat with an open mind enjoying the anticipation of the unknown.
After the performance I like to see… Continue Reading