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The National Ballet of Canada

Paz de la Jolla, Apollo, The Dream

It’s such an honour to bring to Ottawa a vast world of dance, shaped by some of the most gifted and innovative artists working across a broad spectrum of styles and influences. As we continue to search out the best and brightest dance companies to present to you, our wonderfully receptive and enthusiastic audience, we invite you to explore the new and the familiar on this extraordinary journey of life in motion!

The National Ballet of Canada has been gracing our stages since our opening night on June 2, 1969, so it’s fitting to launch our 50th anniversary year with this brilliant triple bill showcasing the company’s heritage and future. And, introducing the innovative Justin Peck alongside the masterworks of Balanchine and Ashton underscores the artistic range and versatility of this spectacular company. With an equally fascinating repertory of musical works performed gorgeously by our own NAC Orchestra, Artistic Director Karen Kain has crafted an evening of pure emotion and beauty. Enjoy!

A Brief History: The National Ballet of Canada

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, John Cranko, Rudolf Nureyev, John Neumeier, William Forsythe, James Kudelka, Wayne McGregor, Alexei Ratmansky, Crystal Pite, Christopher Wheeldon, Aszure Barton, Guillaume Côté and Robert Binet.

The National Ballet tours in Canada, the US and internationally with appearances in Paris, London, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Hamburg, New York City, Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Paz de la Jolla

In his 2013 work Paz de la Jolla, New York City Ballet dancer and Resident Choreographer Justin Peck has created a heartfelt and sun-washed homage to his southern California upbringing. Set to Martinu's Sintonietta la Jolla, the ballet is a sweet-natured billet-doux to beach life and young love, the choreography both brisk and languid, salty and sensual, rich in emotional undercurrents and evocative of the pleasures and fears of youth and coming of age.

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Choreography: Justin Peck

Music: Bohuslav Martinů, Sinfonietta la Jolla op. H.328
By arrangement with Boosey & Hawkes, Inc. publisher and copyright owner

Piano Soloist: Andrei Streliaev

Costume Design: Reid Bartelme & Harriet Jung 

Lighting Design: Mark Stanley

- - - -
Répétiteurs: Lindsay Fischer & Mandy-Jayne Richardson

Premiere: New York City Ballet, David H. Koch Theater, January 31, 2013.

The National Ballet of Canada Premiere: Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, Toronto, June 16, 2018.

Lead philanthropic support for Paz de la Jolla is provided by The Volunteer Committee of The National Ballet of Canada, Julie Medland in memory of her husband Ted, and The Producers’ Circle.

The company's Canadian tours are made possible with the generous support of The John and Margaret Bahen Fund of The National Ballet of Canada, Endowment Foundation.


Apollo was first performed by Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes on June 12, 1928. It was the first ballet choreographed by George Balanchine to receive international recognition and is the earliest work that illustrates Mr. Balanchine's flair for revitalizing 19th-century classicism with a modern dance vocabulary distinctly his own. Apollo was his second ballet set to the music of Stravinsky and marked the beginning of his lifelong partnership with the composer.

The ballet depicts Apollo, the young god of music, who is visited and instructed by three Muses, who were also the children of Zeus and therefore his half-sisters: Calliope, Muse of poetry, whose symbol is a tablet; Polyhymnia, Muse of mime, whose symbol is the mask and Terpsichore, Muse of dance and song, whose symbol is a lyre.

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Choreography: George Balanchine
© The George Balanchine Trust

Music: Igor Stravinsky
By arrangement with Boosey & Hawkes, Inc. publisher and copyright owner

Lighting Design: Robert Thomson

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Premiere: Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, Theatre Sarah-Bernhardt, Paris, June 12, 1928.

The National Ballet of Canada Premiere: Hummingbird Centre (now Sony Centre for the Performing Arts), Toronto, February 18, 1999.

All performances of Apollo, a Balanchine® Ballets, are presented by arrangement with The George Balanchine Trust and have been produced in accordance with the Balanchine Style® and Balanchine Technique® Service standards established and provided by the Trust.

Apollo is a gift from The Volunteer Committee, The National Ballet of Canada.

The company’s Canadian tours are made possible with the generous support of The John and Margaret Bahen Fund of The National Ballet of Canada, Endowment Foundation.

The Dream

Adapted from A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare

Created in 1964, Frederick Ashton's The Dream, based on A Midsummer Night's Dream, is one of the most universally admired and artistically satisfying of all ballet adaptations of the playwright's work. Using Felix Mendelssohn's beloved music, arranged by John Lanchbery, Ashton's version of the play is a miracle of dramatic concision, giving us the familiar characters of Titania and Oberon, the four confused lovers, Puck and the rude mechanicals in a taut but lyrical one-act reimagining of the story set in Victorian times. Ashton's vibrant, moonlit choreography is seamlessly integrated with every magical shift in the narrative's mood.


The King and Queen of Fairyland, Oberon and Titania, are quarrelling over the changeling boy. Oberon sends his sprite Puck through the forest to fetch a strange flower, the juice of which when dropped into the eyes during sleep brings love for the first thing seen on waking. Oberon plans to use this to spite Titania. Into the forest have strayed a happy pair of lovers, Lysander and Hermia, and their two unhappy friends, Helena and Demetrius. Helena’s love for Demetrius is at present unrequited, for he desires Hermia. Oberon observes these mortals and when Puck returns with the magic flower he sends him to charm Demetrius into falling in love with Helena.

Oberon, meanwhile, drops some of the charm into his Queen’s eyes and causes her to be awakened by a rustic called Bottom on whom the returning Puck, to heighten his master’s revenge, has fixed the ass’s head. On waking, Titania falls in love but Puck, for all his cleverness, has complicated the affairs of the mortal lovers by charming the wrong man, Lysander, into falling in love with Helena. Oberon commands Puck to create a fog, under cover of which all is put right. Titania, released from her spell, is reconciled to her King, and the mortal lovers are happily paired off. Bottom, restored to human form but with dream-like memories of what lately happened, goes on his puzzled way. 

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Choreography: Frederick Ashton

Staged by: Christopher Carr

Music: Felix Mendelssohn
By arrangement with Theodore Presser Company, agents for Editions Mario Bois, publisher and copyright

Set and Costume Design: David Walker

Lighting Design: Thomas Saunders (after Royal Ballet designer)

Répétiteurs: Karen Kain, Christopher Stowell, Rex Harrington and Mandy-Jayne Richardson

Choeur de l'École Secondaire Publique De La Salle  (Robert Filion, Director)
Chœur Calixa-Lavallée Choir, University of Ottawa (Laurence Ewashko, Director)

Lynlee Wolstencroft (soprano) and Carmen Harris (soprano)

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: The Royal Ballet, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, April 2, 1964.

The National Ballet of Canada Premiere: O'Keefe Centre (now Sony Centre for the Performing Arts), Toronto, February 15, 1978.

The Company's Canadian tours are made possible with the generous support of The John and Margaret Bahen Fund of The National Ballet of Canada, Endowment Foundation. 

Cast (Subject to change)

Paz de la Jolla

Chelsy Meiss (31, 2)
Jenna Savella (1)

Antonella Martinelli* & Harrison James (31, 2)
Chelsy Meiss & Brendan Saye (1)

Skylar Campbell or Ethan Watts
Jordana Daumec or Jeannine Haller
Brenna Flaherty
Giorgio Galli or Siphesihle November
Hannah Galway
Kathryn Hosier or Rui Huang
Soo Ah Kang
Alexandra MacDonald or Jaclyn Oakley
Jaclyn Oakley or Tirion Law
Brent Parolin or Trygve Cumpston
Félix Paquet or Spencer Hack
Clare Peterson
Meghan Pugh or Miyoko Koyasu Ben Rudisin
Calley Skalnik or Mallory Mehaffey



Brendan Saye* (31, 2)
Harrison James* (1)

Heather Ogden (31, 2)
Svetlana Lunkina* (1)

Alexandra MacDonald* (31)
Jillian Vanstone* (1)
Jeannine Haller* (2)

Miyoko Koyasu* (31, 2)
Calley Skalnik* (1)

Leto, Mother of Apollo
Tanya Howard or Antonella Martinelli

Mallory Mehaffey or Clare Peterson
Jaclyn Oakley or Meghan Pugh


The Dream

Jillian Vanstone (31, 2)
Alexandra MacDonald (1)

Harrison James (31)
Brendan Saye (1)
Naoya Ebe (2)

Changeling Boy
Rowan Mee or Tyler Fletcher

Siphesihle November (31)
Donald Thom (1)
Skylar Campbell (2)

Joe Chapman (31)
Giorgio Galli (1)
Spencer Hack (2)

Tanya Howard (31, 2)
Jenna Savella (1)

Chelsy Meiss

Giorgio Galli (31, 2)
Nan Wang (1)

Ben Rudisin

Miyoko Koyasu or Calley Skalnik

Meghan Pugh

Jordana Daumec or Antonella Martinelli

Rui Huang or Jeannine Haller

Fairies and Rustics
Artists of the Ballet

Students of The School of Dance appear by kind permission of Artistic Director, Merrilee Hodgins. 


  •  ©
    Artistic Director Karen Kain, C.C., LL.D., D.LITT., O.ONT.
  •  ©
    Executive Director Barry Hughson
  •  ©Rosalie O'Connor
    Guest Conductor Ormsby Wilkins
  •  ©
    Choreographer, Apollo George Balanchine
  •  ©Ryan Pfluger
    Choreographer, Paz de la Jolla Justin Peck
  •  ©
    Choreographer, The Dream Sir Frederick Ashton
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