The National Ballet of Canada has ended their dance season on a high note with a mix program which included Pur ti Miro, Guillaume Coté’s No. 24, Kudelka’s Man in Black and Balanchine’s Theme & Variations. A wonderful performance by the entire dance company, this program brought more of a virtuosic feel to the company, presenting dancers at their best. Another flawless performance, this 61st season has brought about many extraordinary milestones under the guidance of Artistic Director Karen Kain and Executive Director Kevin Garland.
The performances were spectacular this year and the line up was stellar. Every piece brought out the best in the dancers. The season started with Wheeldon’s Alice in Wonderland, back for a second consecutive season by popular demand. The performance was completely sold-out and I sure hope it will return soon! I have yet to attend a performance and can’t wait to see this popular classic tale on stage. Then there was Giselle, the dance that inspired Karen Kain to pursue ballet. Evan McKie of the Stuttgart Ballet returned for a second season as a guest artist and did not disappoint with his impeccable performance as Albrecht. During the Christmas season, The Nutcracker, a family favourite and holiday tradition, returned to the stage. The spring season brought a number of dynamic performances including the Canadian première of Neumeier’s Nijinsky, my absolute favourite of all the performances, and Ratmansky’s Romeo & Juliet, commissioned specifically for NBoC. Then two more amazing pieces: Four Seasons & Emergence and the full-length Carmen; with their mix program ending the season.
What made this season more extraordinary was that Karen Kain took her dancers abroad on a worldwide tour to showcase the talent of The National Ballet. For the first time since 1987, NBoC traveled across the pond, performing Romeo & Juliet at the home of The Royal Ballet- “London’s Dance House.” Quite well received, this was a big step for Ms. Kain and the company. With more tours across the United States, performing outside Toronto is important for the reputation of the company, as well as a way to recruit more dancers into the company.
In my two short years of attending almost all the performances of the ballet, I am already much in love with the company and cannot fathom not cheering on the dancers and company. There is much more growth for the company, but I can only see positives heading forward. It was announced that several dancers were promoted, but the most exciting announcement was NBoC’s new position of Choreographic Associate, given to principal dancer Guillaume Coté and choreographer Robert Binet. All very exciting news and outlook for the National Ballet, I cannot wait to see what’s in store for the 2013 – 2014 season.
The line-up for the 2013-2014 season is as follows: Swan Lake (November 9-17; March 8-16); Innovation (November 22-28); Watch her & A Month in the Country (February 26-March 2); Onegin (March 19-23); Spectre de la Rose & Opus 19/The Dreamer & the second detail (May 28-June 1); Cinderella (June 4-15)