For over 60 years, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens has been a creation, production and international performance company devoted to the development of dance in all its forms, while always staying faithful to the spirit of classical ballet. The dancers of Les Grands Ballets, under the artistic direction of Ivan Cavallari, perform choreographies by both long-established and trendsetting creators. Situated at the heart of Montreal’s Quartier des spectacles, Les Grands Ballets offers leisure services in its STUDIOS and supports its National Centre for Dance Therapy, which promotes all the benefits that dance can bring. The company’s mission is also to ensure accessibility to art for everyone; in that spirit its achievements include the founding of The Nutcracker Fund, which every year enables thousands of children to enjoy a first ballet experience. Les Grands Ballets, recognized for its excellence, creativity and daring, is fully committed to the local community, and is acclaimed on stages around the world.
Born in Bolzano, Italy, in 1964, Ivan Cavallari received his initial training at the Teatro alla Scala Ballet School in Milan. His teachers recognized his talent by awarding him a scholarship to the Bolchoi Ballet School in Moscow in 1981, where he continued his training until 1983. From 1984 to 1985, he danced with the Scala Ballet School before joining the Stuttgart Ballet in 1986, where he became a soloist and then principal dancer under the successive directorships of Marcia Haydée and Reid Anderson. He danced all the leading roles of John Cranko’s ballets and regularly staged the latter’s works with the Royal Ballet Covent Garden in London, La Scala in Milan, the Czech National Ballet, among many other companies. He also staged numerous works by Uwe Scholz, and choreographed ballets for the Stuttgart Ballet, the State Opera Ballet in Hanover, the Lodz State Opera Ballet in Poland, the Mannheim Ballet, the Vienna State Opera Ballet, the Staatsgallerie Stuttgart and the Liaoning Ballet of China.
From 2007 to 2012, he was the Artistic Director of the West Australian Ballet, the oldest dance company in Australia. In 2013, he was named the Artistic Director of the Ballet de l’Opéra national du Rhin, where he staged such works as Dolly in April 2013, and his own choreographies of Pinocchio in 2014 and The Nutcracker in 2016.
He took over the helm of Les Grands Ballets as Artistic Director as of the 2017-2018 season. As choreographer, he created new works such as Presto-Detto and Giselle, taking the company's repertoire in a resolutely classical direction while remaining rooted in modernity. He will present his version of Romeo & Juliet in its grand premiere in March 2022 at Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier.
Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1937, Marcia Haydée left her homeland at the age of fifteen for what would be a long stay in Europe. She completed her studies with great masters of dance at the Royal Ballet School in London, and then joined the ranks of the Grand Ballet du Marquis de Cuevas in 1957.
After four years she continued her career with Germany’s Stuttgart Ballet, an institution that would prove decisive for the artist. John Cranko, at the time the Ballet’s artistic director, made her his prima ballerina and his muse, conceiving his next creations (Romeo and Juliet, Onegin, The Taming of the Shrew and Carmen) with her in mind. Following Cranko’s tragic death, Marcia Haydée took over leadership of the Stuttgart Ballet for 20 years, from 1976 to 1996. During the same period she directed the Santiago Ballet in Chile, from 1992 to 1996.
Invited to dance on the most prestigious stages, the inspiration for numerous choreographers and authors, performing duets with the finest dancers – Marcia Haydée distinguished herself as a major figure in the world of ballet. Internationally acclaimed, she was pronounced one of the greatest ballerinas of our time. Spectators and critics saw an icon in her, an immense talent, a stage presence on a grand scale.
In 1987 her talent as a choreographer came to light through her amplified version of Sleeping Beauty. Other productions were mounted, notably ENAS and Giselle and the Willis.
Ballerina, choreographer and director, the multitalented artist also gave evidence of her skills as an actor in the play Mother Teresa and the Children of the World, where she brilliantly met the challenge of reciting a text of peace in the official language of each country visited. She also appeared on the big screen, in Die Kameliendame (The Lady of the Camellias), Golgotha, Poem: I Set My Foot Upon the Air and It Carried Me, and as the subject of the documentary M for Marcia, A Portrait of a “Mistress of Dance”.
Marcia Haydée’s extraordinary career has been recognized with such distinctions as the German Dance Prize, the Nijinsky Award, the Brazilian government’s Ordem do Mérito Cultural, Germany’s Staufer Medal and Great Cross of Merit with Star, and the Prix de Lausanne Lifetime Achievement Award. She is additionally an honorary professor at the University of Stuttgart and the University of Mannheim.
Since 2004 Marcia Haydée has been back at the Santiago Ballet as director, besides delighting audiences with a return to the stage in 2007 and 2012. At present she devotes herself to her passion only behind the scenes, where she continues dazzling spectators and leaving an indelible impression on the world of dance.
Canadian conductor Jean-Claude Picard is widely regarded as a communicative and engaging musician by fellow artists, critics and audiences alike. 2021-22 marks his third season as chief conductor positions as Chief Conductor of the Scottish Ballet. He is also principal guest conductor of the Orchestre symphonique de Trois-Rivières in Québec, where he held the position of Artistic Director from 2019 to 2021.
Jean-Claude started his conducting career through his first position as Assistant Conductor of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, followed by a promotion to associate conductor. Recent and upcoming highlights include return visits to the Toronto Symphony, Orchestre symphonique de Québec, Victoria Symphony, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Symphony Nova Scotia, as well as debuts with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, City of Birmingham Symphony, Montréal Bach Festival Orchestra, the Luxemburg and Geneva Chamber Orchestras, I Musici, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens and a highly acclaimed debut at the Edinburgh International Festival with Scottish Ballet.
Yosuke Kawasaki (concertmaster)**
Jessica Linnebach (associate concertmaster)
Noémi Racine Gaudreault (assistant concertmaster)
Andréa Armijo Fortin*
Mintje van Lier (principal)
Winston Webber (assistant principal)**
Jethro Marks (principal)
David Marks (associate principal)
David Goldblatt (assistant principal)
Rachel Mercer (principal)
Julia MacLaine (assistant principal)
Michael Chiarello (guest principal)*
Hilda Cowie (acting assistant principal)
Joanna G’froerer (principal)
Charles Hamann (principal)
Kimball Sykes (principal)
Christopher Millard (principal)
Lawrence Vine (principal)**
Julie Fauteux (associate principal)
Karen Donnelly (principal)**
Curtis Dietz (guest principal)*
Benjamin Raymond (guest principal)*
Steven van Gulik
Donald Renshaw (principal)
Chris Lee (principal)
Feza Zweifel (principal)
ASSISTANT PERSONNEL MANAGER
Non-titled members of the Orchestra are listed alphabetically
Cathy Levy, Executive Producer
Tina Legari, Associate Producer
Mireille Nicholas, Special Projects Coordinator and Assistant to the Executive Producer
Sophie Anka, Company Manager
Siôned Watkins, Education Associate and Teaching Artist
Brian Britton, Technical Director
Julie Gunville, Communications Strategist
Chatelaine Rindorindo, Marketing Strategist