The National Ballet of Canada performs three contemporary ballets by three ground-breaking choreographers at the NAC October 21 to 23, 2010

Exciting contemporary choreography will be on display when the National Ballet of Canada performs at the NAC October 21 to 23.  Along with work by Russian-born George Balanchine, the performance features choreography by two of the most remarkable Canadian choreographers, "Queen of the Avant-Garde" Marie Chouinard, and Vancouver’s visionary Crystal Pite.   

The strength of Canadian contemporary choreography shines with Chouinard’s exquisite 24 Preludes by Chopin, and the dynamic Emergence, by Pite.

Emergence was created as part of the National Ballet of Canada’s Innovation programme of all-Canadian choreographic talent in 2009, and the new work was immediately embraced and awarded with four Dora Mavor Moore Awards (Outstanding Production, Outstanding New Choreography, Outstanding Performance and Outstanding Sound Design/Composition).  A riveting, dark-hued work that casts a swarming, scurrying group of dancers, insect-like, in an eerily subterranean universe, Emergence explores the instinct for creating social forms through the movement and architecture of the choreography itself.

Chouinard’s 24 Preludes by Chopin is enthralling with its blend of startling physicality, surprising delicacy and oblique humour. Playing the formal demands of balletic structure off against a free-form emotional and imaginative suggestiveness, the work once again shows Chouinard to be without question one of the most exhilaratingly daring choreographers of her time.

The performance also features the pioneering early work Serenade by George Balanchine, considered by many to be his masterpiece. Serenade was Balanchine's first work upon arriving in America, created in 1935 for students at the newly formed School of American Ballet.  This is a powerful, haunting work, filled with images of lyric meditation and will feature the National Arts Centre Orchestra under the baton of David Briskin.

The diverse program offers a sweeping look at the development of contemporary ballet vocabulary. Each ballet is the distinct creation of a brilliant artistic imagination, yet they all express a common contemporary sensibility through intense musicality and stunning physicality.

“Pite's Emergence offers a contemplation of human and insect activities – the swarm as social group; the hive as home – and makes its points well… The piece is wholly successful and speaks with its own voice.” Financial Times (London, UK), 2009

[24 Preludes by Chopin] “It's white-knuckle stuff that unequivocally asserts dance's often evidentially disputable claim to be the most fundamental and relevant of performed arts. In short, go see it. You'll have no regrets.” The National Post, 2008

[Serenade] “One of the masterpieces of 20th century ballet” The Toronto Star, 2001

Choreography:             George Balanchine
Staged By:                   Joysanne Sidimus
Music:                          Pyotr Illyich Tchaikovsky
Serenade in C Major for String Orchestra, Op. 48
Lighting Design:           Ronald Bates

Choreography:               Marie Chouinard
Staged by:                    Martha Carter
Music:                           Frédéric Chopin
Piano Soloist:                Edward Connell
Costume Design:           Vandal
Make-up Design:           Jacques-Lee Pelletier
Lighting Design:            Axel Morgenthaler
Répétiteur:                   Peter Ottmann

Choreography:               Crystal Pite
Staged by:                     Hope Muir
Original Score:                Owen Belton
Set Design:                    Jay Gower Taylor
Costume Design:            Linda Chow
Lighting Design:             Alan Brodie

The National Ballet of Canada performs in Southam Hall of the National Arts Centre on Thursday October 21, Friday October 22, and Saturday October 23, 2010 at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $49.51, $68.87, $79.64 and $87.17 for adults and $26.10, $35.78, $41.17 and $44.93 for students (upon presentation of a valid student ID card).

Duration: 2 hours 24 minutes (2 intermissions)

Groups of 10 or more save 15% to 20% off regular ticket prices; to reserve your seats, call 613-947-7000, ext. 634 or e-mail

Tickets are available for purchase:

  • In person at the NAC Box Office
  • At all Ticketmaster outlets
  • By telephone from Ticketmaster, 613-755-1111
  • Online through the Ticketmaster link on the NAC’s website (
  • A service charge applies on all purchases made through Ticketmaster

This production is eligible for the Live Rush program. Full-time students aged 13-29 with a valid Live Rush membership may buy up to two tickets per performance at the discounted price of only $12 per ticket. Live Rush tickets are available from 10 a.m. on the day before the performance until 6 p.m. on the day of the performance. This includes all available seats, including the best seats in the house. Check out for information on the Live Rush program.

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For more information, please call:
Eleri Evans
Marketing and Communications Officer, Dance
National Arts Centre
613-947-7000 ext. 379; e-mail:
or visit the NAC website at

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