One of the top international ballet companies, The National Ballet of Canada was founded in 1951 by Celia Franca. A company of 70 dancers with its own orchestra, the National Ballet has been led by Artistic Director Karen Kain, one of the greatest ballerinas of her generation, since 2005. Renowned for its diverse repertoire, the company performs traditional full-length classics, embraces contemporary work and encourages the creation of new ballets as well as the development of Canadian choreographers. The company’s repertoire includes works by Frederick Ashton, George Balanchine, Aszure Barton, Marie Chouinard, John Cranko, William Forsythe, James Kudelka, Wayne McGregor, Kenneth McMillan, John Neumeier, Rudolf Nureyev, Crystal Pite, Alexei Ratmansky, Christopher Wheeldon, and the company's Choreographic Associates Robert Binet, Guillaume Côté and Alysa Pires.
The National Ballet tours in Canada, the USA and internationally with appearances in Paris, London, Moscow and St.Petersburg, Hamburg, New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and San Francisco.