Attending open rehearsals is one of the many perks donors receive when they support performance, creation and learning across Canada through the National Arts Centre Foundation.
During the first snowfall of the season on November 7, NAC Foundation supporters spent a wonderful afternoon watching Boston Ballet rehearse. On the program was William Forsythe’s Blake Works I, Paulo Arrais’s ELA, Rhapsody in Blue and Fancy Free choreographed by Jerome Robbins.
Before the rehearsal, Elizabeth Olds, Boston Ballet’s Artistic Administrator, and Paulo Arrais, Principal Dancer and the choreographer of ELA, Rhapsody in Blue, spoke to donors in the Canal Lobby.
Elizabeth is no stranger to the NAC and performed in Southam Hall many times during her 17 years with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. She told us about the Boston Ballet, a company of 69 professional dancers from 11 countries. Dedicated to classical, neo-classical and contemporary ballet, Boston Ballet regularly commissions new work. Boston Ballet School, which is the official school of Boston Ballet, is the largest training facility in North America.
Paulo took us through the pieces that we were about to see, with particular insight into his new creation, ELA, Rhapsody in Blue. Strongly influenced by women, Paulo explained that he wanted to pay tribute to the feminine through this piece. He envisioned empowering the sole female on stage, who leads twelve men throughout the performance. Each ballerina cast in the role has contributed something different based on her experience as a woman. So, shared Paulo, the piece was unique each time a new lead dancer was cast.
After we heard from Elizabeth and Paulo, Boston Ballet opened the rehearsal doors and welcomed us into Southam Hall to watch their preparations for an eclectic and mesmerizing triple bill.
A special thank you to our Open Rehearsal and Preview Sponsor, Royal LePage Performance Marland Realty, who makes these sessions possible for NAC Foundation donors.