March 16, 2019 – OTTAWA (Canada) – NAC Dance is thrilled to announce the details of an extraordinary 2019-20 season, programmed by Executive Producer Cathy Levy. NAC Dance consistently celebrates a vast range of innovative voices by creators and dancers who brilliantly push the boundaries of physical excellence and virtuosity. This season includes some of the biggest names in dance from across Canada and around the world as well as many new names to discover. From traditionally lavish classical ballet to the most expressive frontiers of contemporary dance, the full spectrum of this brilliant art form is on offer.

Highlights include the impressive new ballet The Wizard of Oz from Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet exclusively touring to the NAC in the 19/20 season, and the return of the remarkable Nederlands Dans Theater after a 33-year absence. The season also features two works that have received National Arts Centre Creation Fund Support, including Dana Gingras’s ambitious FRONTERA, and the world premiere of Mînowin by Dancers of Damelahamid, which opens the season.

“Creators in this innovative field are bold pioneers, and discovering new work and new voices—from luscious ballets, to contemporary takes on traditional forms, to abstract work that celebrates the beauty of pure movement—is an enlightening adventure.,” says Cathy Levy.  “Dance offers such a rich world of emotion, passion and curiosity, woven throughout with sensuous musical choices, gorgeous design elements, digital explorations, not to mention stories of love, loss, identity, politics, and so much more.”

In 17 dance events throughout the season, over 27 choreographic voices will be represented from countries around the world including: Argentina, Australia, Cuba, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the United States, and Canada.

Everyone is invited to experience Life in Motion when the 2019-2020 season officially begins on September 26.


16 companies from 8 different countries, 17 dance events, 27 choreographic voices, 1 world premiere, dozens of Ottawa premieres, 2 productions with NAC Creation Fund support, 4 productions accompanied by the NAC Orchestra and 4 companies making their NAC Dance debuts

2019-20 SEASON

Dancers of Damelahamid (Sep 26-28) - The New Zealand Dance Company (Oct 8-9) - LUCY GUERIN INC. (Oct 24-26) - TEAĊ DAṀSA | Michael Keegan-Dolan (Oct 30) - Boston Ballet (Nov 7-9) - Bangarra Dance Theatre (Nov 15-16) - Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet (Dec 4-8) - Fou glorieux | Louise Lecavalier (Jan 15-16) - Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet (Jan 23-25) - Che Malambo (Feb 8) - Animals of Distinction | Dana Gingras (Feb 19-20) - Dorrance Dance (Feb 29) -  Nederlands Dans Theater (Mar 17-18) - The National Ballet of Canada (Apr 2-4) - A.I.M (Apr 7-8) - Compagnie Flak | José Navas  (Apr 30 – May 2) - Danza Contemporánea de Cuba (May 9)


Dancers of Damelahamid - Mînowin
SEP 26-28, 2019
Azrieli Studio, 8 p.m.
World Premiere

The Dancers of Damelahamid, led by Margaret Grenier, are an Indigenous dance company from the Northwest Coast of British Columbia. Its rich history of masked dance celebrates the diversity of the many Indigenous cultures of Canada. Weaving together narrative, song, movement, and new multimedia, Mînowin unites the foundational values of reciprocity of Northwest Coastal cultures with contemporary dance to illuminate the process of finding direction. Inspired by the organic moments that arise when we connect with one another, Mînowin links Northwest Coastal landscapes with contemporary views of Indigenous dance, shining a light on the moments of connection and understanding that lead us ultimately to renewal.

Proudly presented in partnership with NAC Indigenous Theatre.
Developed with support from the National Arts Centre’s National Creation Fund.

The New Zealand Dance Company - The Geography of an Archipelago, Sigan, In Transit
OCT 8-9, 2019
Babs Asper Theatre, 7:30 p.m.

For its inaugural North American tour, this remarkable young company directed by Arts Laureate Shona McCullagh offers up a program as rich and diverse as its South Pacific homeland. The Geography of an Archipelago by Stephen Shropshire is a striking trio set to a powerful, percussive score that includes the haunting sounds of the taonga pourou (Māori traditional instruments); In Transit by Māori multidisciplinary artist Louise Potiki Bryant is a striking reflection on the role of ritual; and, Sigan by Korean choreographer KIM Jae Duk, is a riveting quartet that draws from dual themes of attack and meditation.

Lucy Guerin Inc. - Split
OCT 24-26, 2019
Azrieli Studio, 8 p.m.

Lucy Guerin heads one of Australia’s most fearless dance companies, and her award-winning duet Split is one of her most celebrated; a sharp and elegant work that is at once abstract and dramatic. Dancers Melanie Lane and Lilian Steiner, one clothed and one naked, masterfully perform a dance that grows in intensity as the dimensions of space and time diminish. With a percussive score by UK composer Scanner, Split will transport you while offering a poignant reflection on the dilemmas of negotiating with oneself and others in an increasingly complex world.

TEAĊ DAṀSA | Michael Keegan-Dolan - Swan Lake/Loch na hEala
OCT 30, 2019
Babs Asper Theatre, 7:30 p.m.

Swan Lake/Loch na hEala by Irish choreographer, writer and director Michael Keegan-Dolan, is a unique and transcending interpretation of one of the most famous classical ballets. The familiar fairy tale is startlingly reimagined and set in present day Ireland, full of clamour and drama. This contemporary collision of dance, theatre and live music (by Dublin-based band Slow Moving Clouds) is known to infuse its viewers with a raw, majestic and empowering energy, rooted in the meeting of ancient folklore and the modern world.  An absolute must-see.

Boston Ballet - Blake Works I, ELA, Rhapsody in Blue, Fancy Free
NOV 7-9, 2019
Southam Hall, 8 p.m.
Featuring the National Arts Centre Orchestra

One of North America’s top ballet companies, Boston Ballet mesmerizes audiences with its sweeping repertoire that showcases the highest caliber of international talent. The evening i William Forsythe’s Blake Works I, a light and joyous “love letter to the art of ballet” (The New York Times) set to the poetic ballads of English musician James Blake. George Gershwin’s sultry Rhapsody in Blue accompanies a new work by Boston Ballet Principal Dancer Paulo Arrais. And, the 1940s Broadway vibe of Jerome Robbins’s showstopper Fancy Free to Leonard Bernstein’s witty score will leave audiences enraptured.

Bangarra Dance Theatre - Spirit, Nyapanyapa
NOV 15-16, 2019
Southam Hall, 8 p.m.

Bangarra Dance Theatre is one of Australia’s leading Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dance companies, admired worldwide for their moving performances, distinctive voice, visually arresting productions, and authentic story-telling. Led by Artistic Director Stephen Page, Bangarra’s unique dance technique is forged from over 65,000 years of culture, embodied with contemporary movement. Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2019, the company presents a program showcasing the best of its internationally acclaimed repertoire with Spirit, and Page’s Nyapanyapa, inspired by the life story of Yirrkala artist Nyapanyapa Yunupingu and her beautifully textured paintings.


Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet - Nutcracker
DEC 4-8, 2019
Featuring the National Arts Centre Orchestra
Southam Hall
Wednesday to Sunday 7:30 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday 1:30 p.m.
Featuring the National Arts Centre Orchestra

Frolicking polar bears, majestic Mounties, and a snowy pond hockey game! This Nutcracker is a jubilant, shimmering, Canadian holiday treasure that honours tradition while adding a playful, delightful homegrown touch. Join young Clara in her fairytale reverie through glittering winter landscapes where an enchanted nutcracker becomes a valiant soldier, the mischievous Mouse King wreaks havoc, and the dazzling Sugar Plum Fairy holds court in an exotic land. Set to Tchaikovsky’s beloved music, and with stunning sets and costumes, this Canadian Nutcracker fills the heart with joy and wonder!

Fou glorieux | Louise Lecavalier - Battleground
JAN 15-16, 2020
Babs Asper Theatre, 7:30 p.m.

Louise Lecavalier—Canada’s daring heroine of dance—explores the antihero in Battleground, a breathlessly physical duet that is part marathon and part surrealist quest. The stage is the battleground between two eccentric characters who confront the real and the imagined with fast-paced, ferocious movements delivered with epic precision. With her co-conspirator, dancer Robert Abubo, Lecavalier dives deep into a new body language, accompanied by the trancy, textured soundscore of Antoine Berthiaume.

Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet - The Wizard of Oz
JAN 23-25, 2020
Southam Hall
Thursday to Saturday 8 p.m.
Saturday 2 p.m.
Featuring the National Arts Centre Orchestra

L. Frank Baum’s cherished tale The Wizard of Oz, is vividly brought to life by choreographer Septime Webre in this new story ballet. Audiences can expect the classic plotline they know and love, from an on-stage twister in Kansas to the explosion of colour and fantastical costumes in Oz. With visual projections creating a cinematic feel, brilliant dancing and flying monkeys, this is where Ballet meets Broadway. Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet shines in this impressive production—a joint commission with Kansas City Ballet and Colorado Ballet—that is sure to please ballet aficionados and newcomers alike.

Story lines and visual elements from the classic motion picture provided by Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures.

Che Malambo - FEB 8, 2020
Southam Hall, 8 p.m.

Fresh from Argentina and making its NAC debut, Che Malambo has been exciting audiences worldwide with its spectacular take on the traditional South American dance that grew out of the vast lands of the Pampas. The malambo is defined by precise and vigorous footwork and rhythmic stomping, accompanied by bombos drumming, singing, and whirling boleadoras (lassos with stones on the ends). A rare occasion to witness unparalleled athletic prowess, agility and speed. This powerhouse all-male company is unforgettable.

Animals of Distinction | Dana Gingras - FRONTERA
FEB 19-20, 2020
Executive Producer Centre de Création O Vertigo (CCOV)
Babs Asper Theatre, 7:30 p.m.

Dana Gingras’s choreography is a highly visceral, sensually-charged physical language fueled by a sense of urgency. For her ambitious new work FRONTERA, her legendary spirit of collaboration brings together famed Montreal band Fly Pan Am to create an original score—and play live—and the UK-based United Visual Artists (UVA) whose light-based scenography articulates the dialogue between choreography, architecture and music. Performed by nine of Canada’s foremost dancers, the work investigates the universal themes and questions around borders and boundaries. Buckle up and prepare to be consumed by an immersive work of pure energy!

Developed with support from the National Arts Centre’s National Creation Fund.

Dorrance Dance - Jungle Blues, Three to One, Myelination
FEB 29, 2020
Southam Hall, 8 p.m.

Michelle Dorrance is one of the tap world’s luminaries. With her award-winning New York-based company she at once honours tap dance’s history while also pushing the art form rhythmically, technically and conceptually.  In her ensemble piece Myelination, 11 dancers layer on and build up the rhythm with rapid-fire footwork to a live original jazz score by Prawn til Dante.  The Bessie-Award winning Three to One shows her smart and sassy side, while the whimsical Jungle Blues slides and shimmies to the soulful sounds of Brandford Marsalis.

Nederlands Dans Theater - The Statement, VLADIMIR, Singulière Odyssée
MAR 17-18, 2020
Southam Hall, 8 p.m.

Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT) is one of the world’s preeminent dance companies, and its long-awaited return to Ottawa is a highlight of the NAC Dance season. The company’s dancers are renowned for their technical brilliance and versatility who exquisitely embody a wide range of styles. By fostering a unique environment of creation, NDT attracts a guest choreographer list that reads like a who’s who of the international dance scene. This phenomenal triple bill performed by NDT 1 includes The Statement by NDT’s associate choreographer Crystal Pite, VLADIMIR by the inimitable Hofesh Shechter and Singulière Odyssée, by NDT’s award-winning house choreographers Sol León and Paul Lightfoot.

This performance is part of the NAC’s week-long focus on the arts and artists of the Netherlands, in recognition of the 75th anniversary of VE Day and the deep and abiding friendship between Canada and the Netherlands.

The National Ballet of Canada - Romeo and Juliet
APR 2-4, 2020
Southam Hall
Thursday to Saturday 8 p.m.
Saturday 2 p.m.
Featuring the National Arts Centre Orchestra

Few of Shakespeare’s works have translated so well to the beautiful language of ballet as Romeo and Juliet. Choreographed by celebrated Russian choreographer Alexei Ratmansky, this particular version was commissioned by The National Ballet of Canada’s Artistic Director Karen Kain in 2011 to celebrate the company’s 60th anniversary. Deftly attuned to highlighting the narrative’s dramatic moments and the intimacy of the star-crossed romance, Ratmansky creates a dance drama with electrifying fight sequences and an unforgettable balcony pas-de-deux. This larger than life, sublimely danced production manifests the simplicity of Renaissance art through its geometric sets and period costumes.

A.I.M - state, INDY, The Quiet Dance, Drive
APR 7-8, 2020
Babs Asper Theatre, 7:30 p.m.

Kyle Abraham has been wowing the New York and international dance scene for years with his highly physical, sensual movement style that blends hip-hop, classical technique and urban dance. His diverse artistic background (classical cello, visual arts, dance) inspires the creation of interdisciplinary work that delves deep into personal identity. This special program includes three works by Abraham, including INDY—his first full-length solo for himself in over a decade—and a specially-commissioned trio by the wondrously daring Andrea Miller. Be prepared to surrender to the pleasure of movement.

Compagnie Flak | José Navas - Winterreise
APR 30 - MAY 2, 2020
Azrieli Studio, 8 p.m.

To see a solo performance by José Navas is to experience just how far dance can go to stir your spirit and soothe your soul. For his new creation, he was captivated by the desire to translate Schubert’s beloved song cycle into movement. Winterreise (Winter Journey), the composer’s final work before his death in 1829, is infused with operatic themes of tragedy that beautifully serve Navas’s own creative process as a maturing artist. This evocative performance elegantly intertwines the solo dancer with live piano and voice.

Danza Contemporánea de Cuba - Coil, La Ecuación, Cénit, Mambo 3XXI
MAY 9, 2020
Southam Hall, 8 p.m.

Danza Contemporánea de Cuba has become internationally recognized for their electrifying style that blends Afro-Caribbean rhythms with contemporary dance influences. This all-Cuban program features two large group works: Julio Cesar Iglesias’s Coil, and the company’s flagship work Mambo 3XXI by George Céspedes; with mile-high extensions, twists, turns, jumps and moves reminiscent of capoeira and lindy hop, it’s a genuine crowd-pleaser that garners rave reviews wherever it tours.   Laura Domingo Agüero’s Cénit, and La Ecuación by George Céspedes complete this highly entertaining evening. A distinct expression of the Cuban national spirit.


NAC Dance and the NAC Foundation would like to thank the donors and partners who have made the season possible. Thank you to Hotel Partner the Lord Elgin Hotel and Official Rail Partner VIA Rail. The Nutcracker is generously sponsored by Sun Life Financial and is part of the NAC’s Share the Spirit program.


Subscribers can renew their Fixed Series subscriptions as of March 16th and their Create Your Own subscriptions as of April 25th. New subscriptions can be purchased as of May 24th. Single tickets for the majority of programming will go on sale June 20th

For additional information, visit the NAC website at

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