Wednesday, March 19, 2014

News: (Ottawa) NAC announces 2014-15 dance season


March 18, 2014 – OTTAWA (Canada) – The National Arts Centre today unveiled details of its spectacular2014-15 Dance season that celebrates artistic excellence with a dynamic lineup of innovative voices, featuring some of the biggest names from across Canada and around the world. From traditionally sumptuous classical ballet to the most expressive frontiers of contemporary dance, the 2014-15 season includes 30 choreographic voices that represent a vast range of ideas, styles, contexts and cultural influences.

Crafted by Cathy Levy, the highly esteemed Executive Producer of Dance at the NAC, the
2014-15 season features 20 dance events, two world premieres, six Canadian premieres and six exclusive Canadian engagements. The season also features four NAC co-productions, including three works by NAC Associate Dance Artists, highlighting NAC Dance’s commitment to the creation of new Canadian work.


Highlights include a return visit by the legendary Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch with the Canadian premiere of Vollmond; the triumphant return of Miami City Ballet (under the Artistic Directorship of former prima ballerina Lourdes López); Ballet de l’Opéra de Lyon and Ottawa favourite Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui. The season also includes the third edition of NAC Dance’s Face 2 Face contemporary dance series, which showcases innovative dancers and choreographers who are making waves on the international scene. Also returning to the NAC stages are Vincent Sekwati Koko Mantsoe, the Kodo Drummers—as well as Canadian dancer and choreographer Tedd Robinson. Alberta Ballet returns with its bejewelled The Nutcracker, andThe National Ballet of Canada makes its annual visit an extraordinary six performances of Alice’sAdventures in Wonderland. This visually stunning pop extravaganza is wildly inventive and outrageously entertaining, sure to be one of the don’t-miss highlights of the season. Choreographed by master dancemaker Christopher Wheeldon, this co-production with The Royal Ballet has been a smash hit in London, Toronto, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C.


NAC Dance strives to showcase the best in dance from around the world, and is delighted to feature the NAC debuts of Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, L.A. Dance Project, Israel’s L-E-V, Sweden’s Pontus Lidberg Dance,and Vancouver’s Josh Martin and Amber Funk Barton. Four Face 2 Face artists are also making their NAC debuts: Qudus Onikeku, Faustin Linyekula, Jennifer Dallas and Bienvenue Bazié.


Dynamic work – never before seen in Ottawa – will be presented by renowned international choreographersRichard Alston, Pina Bausch, Alejandro Cerrudo, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, William Forsythe, Emanuel Gat, Benjamin Millepied, Alexei Ratmansky, Christopher Wheeldon, and Lila York, as well as by Canada’sLouise Lecavalier, Marie Chouinard, Tedd Robinson, Amber Funk Barton, and Josh Martin. New choreographic voices include Sharon Eyal, Pontus Lidberg, and Faustin Linyekula.

“With our ongoing commitment to highlight choreographic originality, we celebrate a vast range of innovative voices that form the chorus of this beautiful art form.”
– Cathy Levy, Executive Producer, Dance


NAC Dance’s steadfast dedication to supporting new creation is reflected in four NAC
co-productions, and in the continued growth of the national Associate Dance Artists program which now  supports 11 Canadian choreographers, three of whom (Marie Chouinard, Louise Lecavalier and Tedd Robinson) are featured in the 2014-15 season.


The 2014-15 season showcases the best dancers, choreographers, and designers from around the world, the line-up includes artists from 12 countries: Belgium, Burkina Faso, Canada, Democratic Republic of the Congo,France, Germany, Israel, Japan, Nigeria, South Africa, Sweden and the United States.


BALLET SERIES (Three productions in Southam Hall – All performances feature the National Arts Centre Orchestra)

Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet: The Handmaid’s Tale
January 22-24, 2015
Margaret Atwood’s harrowing, award-winning novel is boldly interpreted as contemporary ballet by New York-based choreographer Lila York. The Handmaid’s Tale is the gripping story of the desperate Offred, concubine (“handmaid”) to the Commander. York’s theatrical dance drama – full of dark romanticism, emotional truth, and forbidden desires – was specially commissioned by the RWB. Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet was last at the NAC in 2013, performing The Nutcracker.

Miami City Ballet: CarmenSymphonic Dances
March 5-7, 2015
Only Canadian performances of this repertoire. Miami City Ballet showcases talent, versatility, and superb classical technique. Carmen, by British choreographer Richard Alston, is graceful and fluid yet lightning fast, performed on pointe, set to a fresh adaptation of the iconic Bizet score. Symphonic Dances – created for MCB by ballet superstar Alexei Ratmansky – is dramatic and fast-paced, set to Sergei Rachmaninoff’s fiery score. Miami City Ballet was last at the NAC in 2003, performing A Balanchine Celebration.

The National Ballet of Canada: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
April 9-12, 2015 – six performances, including two matinees
Only Canadian performances outside Toronto! Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is wildly inventive and outrageously entertaining. Maclean’s wrote, “While wholly embracing classical ballet, this pop extravaganza uses cinematic projection, puppetry, tap dancing and a kaleidoscope of optical tricks to conjure the story’s psychedelic contortions.” British choreographer Christopher Wheeldon brings a fresh, subversive touch to Lewis Carroll’s iconic 1865 novel. Witty choreography, extraordinary design, and a shimmering score create dazzling over-the-top theatrical magic. The National Ballet of Canada was last at the NAC in January 2014, performing Swan Lake. (This presentation of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by The National Ballet of Canada at the National Arts Centre is made possible with support from Jerry and Joan Lozinski and The Honourable Margaret McCain, C.C.)

SERIES A (Four productions in Southam Hall)

Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina BauschVollmond
November 7-8, 2014
Legendary dance creator Pina Bausch’s company returns! The dazzling Vollmond (Full Moon) is one of the late Pina Bausch’s most celebrated works, full of wit, humour, and lush, engaging songs. The high tides of the lunar cycle dramatically transform the stage with crescendos of water – pouring from above, thrown in wide arcs, flowing across the scene – saturating the dancers in sensual and breathless performances. Vollmond is spectacular, accessible dance-theatre at its best. Germany’s Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch was last at the NAC in 2011, performing Danzon.

Sidi Larbi Cherkaouim¡longa
A Sadler’s Wells Production
February 13-14, 2015
In m¡longa, internationally revered wunderkind Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui collaborates with an incredibly talented cast of Argentinean dancers and live musicians to create a show that brings his own unique style to tango. Cherkaoui captures the drama of a traditional milonga and infuses it with modernist staging and exquisite, contemporary vocabulary. Work by Belgium’s Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui was last at the NAC in 2011, with Babel (words).

Ballet de L’Opéra de Lyon
April 22, 2015
Lyon Opera Ballet is one of the national treasures of France, one of the world's foremost contemporary dance companies. This evening of mixed repertoire features the exuberant neo-classical Sarabande by Benjamin Millepied (Black Swan). Set to the music of J. S. Bach, Millepied creates high-energy pyrotechnics and thrilling competitiveness among four male dancers. This program also includes William Forsythe’s breathtaking Steptext. Lyon Opera Ballet was last at the NAC in 2004, performing Tricodex.

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet: Last and Square None
May 23, 2015
Aspen Santa Fe Ballet's bold company vision – top choreographers, groundbreaking works, and virtuoso dancers – embodies the expansive spirit of the American West. In this evening of mixed repertoire, ASFB performs company commissions, including Last by Alejandro Cerrudo. Last is a breathtakingly romantic work of poetic, sculptural stillness, set to dramatic music by Henryk Górecki. Square None, by prize-winning young dancemaker Norbert De La Cruz III, is a work of smooth and sensual fluidity, with neo-Baroque costumes and quick, intricate choreography set to both contemporary electronica and glorious arias by Handel. Aspen Santa Fe Ballet makes its NAC debut.

SERIES B (Five productions in the NAC Theatre)

Louise Lecavalier | Fou GlorieuxSo Blue
October 8-9, 2014
Louise Lecavalier is a goddess of dance – and So Blue is her first self-choreographed work in an illustrious history as mesmerizing Muse and virtuoso performer. Singular, intense, and personal, Lecavalier and partner Frédéric Tavernini risk all in this radical, obsessive two-part maelstrom of movement set to a visceral score by Turkish composer Mercan Dede. Louise Lecavalier reveals the depths of her atomic blue soul. Louise Lecavalier | Fou Glorieux was last at the NAC in 2010, performingChildren and A Few Minutes of Lock.

L-E-V: House
November 11, 2014
Headed by Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar, L-E-V is an audacious new Israeli company fusing movement, music, lighting, fashion, art, and technology. House is an extreme close-up, a fragmented, cinematic collage of images of human relationships that flicker and vanish. The movement of the nine forcefully talented dancers is precise and fiercely controlled – all nerve, bone, and sinew. The vibrant, hypnotic music is by composer Ori Lichtik. L-E-V makes their NAC debut.

January 17, 2015
Two new works – inspired by the visual arts and music – display the unbridled imagination of Marie Chouinard. HENRI MICHAUX: MOUVEMENTS features ten dancers forming stunning silhouettes to mirror projections of drawings by Belgian surrealist Michaux. Chouinard then enters the heart of French master of modernism Érik Satie in GYMNOPÉDIES. While taking turns playing the piano, ten dancers perform loving, sensual, erotic duets to the composer’s haunting work. Compagnie Marie Chouinard was last at the NAC in 2011, performing THE GOLDEN MEAN (LIVE).

L.A. Dance Project: Moving Parts, Morgan’s Last Chug
March 11, 2015
Co-founded in 2012 by Benjamin Millepied (the next Director of the Paris Opera Ballet), L.A. Dance Project commissions and produces new contemporary dance. A highlight of the evening is Millepied’sMoving Parts, a series of sharp, cleverly staged scenes, performed among stunning calligraphic panels. The program also includes the playful Morgan’s Last Chug –  a flurry of rapid, dislocated gestures set to the music of Purcell and Bach – by Israeli choreographer Emanuel Gat. L.A. Dance Project makes its NAC debut.

Pontus Lidberg Dance: Snow and Written on Water
April 14, 2015
Sweden’s Pontus Lidberg brings a new creation, Written on Water, as well as his 2013 masterwork,Snow. Celebrating the centenary of Igor Stravinsky’s iconic The Rite of SpringSnow is more intimate, yet equally powerful, performed to the original score. The propulsive choreography contrasts the fragile human reality of existence with the relentless power of nature. Pontus Lidberg Dance makes its NAC debut.

SERIES C (Three productions in the NAC Studio + Face 2 Face)

Amber Funk Barton (the response.) /Josh Martin (605 Collective): Leftovers, Hero & Heroine and a new solo
October 23-25, 2014
Sparks fly as two of Vancouver’s hottest young dance talents construct an evening of high-energy dance especially for the NAC. Josh Martin fuses street dance, capoeira, and modern moves in Leftovers, his jaw-dropping solo. Amber Funk Barton’s new solo will showcase her fiercely physical hybrid movement. And their dreamy duet, Hero & Heroine, balances precise physicality with sensitivity of touch. Amber Funk Barton and Josh Martin make their NAC Dance series debuts.

Vincent Sekwati Koko Mantsoe | Compagnie Nao: NTU and Skwatta
February 5-7, 2015
This production is also part of the Face 2 Face series. NTU is an NAC CO-PRODUCTION
South Africa's spellbinding Vincent Mantsoe weaves together African and Western dance styles. NTU andSkwatta comment on life in South Africa’s squatter camps, and the triumph of the human spirit. Vincent Sekwati Koko Mantsoe was last at the NAC in 2002, performing Barena, Phokwane, and Motswa Hole.

Tedd Robinson |10 Gates Dancing: FACETS
May 7-9, 2015
Tedd Robinson creates work of witty originality and unique visual style. Now Robinson directs and performs with seven young creative voices (Ame Henderson, Benjamin Kamino, Simon Renaud, Angie Cheng, Thierry Huard, Riley Sims, and Charles Quevillon) who shatter a mirror reflecting his work, reassemble the shards, and create a new mosaic of fresh, idiosyncratic, images. Performed to live music.Tedd Robinson was last at the NAC in 2010, performing R3.

Face 2 Face  a week-long thought-provoking, bold and adventurous series – returns for a third edition, featuring distinctive contemporary works about experiences of Africa.

·         February 4-7, 2015: Jennifer Dallas (Canada) and Bienvenue Bazié (Burkina Faso) share a unique artistic sensibility. Bazié performs a solo entitled Sous un projecteur and together they perform Idiom, a cross-cultural mashup which explores like and unlike cultures in musical, verbal, and movement-based idioms. Jennifer Dallas and Bienvenue Bazié make their NAC debut.

·         February 4-5,7, 2015: Democratic Republic of Congo’s Faustin Linyekula examines his personal history amid the violent upheaval in his native Congo. Faustin moves and sings beautifully in the brutally honest, bare-bones Le Cargo. Faustin Linyekula makes his NAC debut.

·         February 5-7, 2015: South Africa's spellbinding Vincent Sekwati Koko Mantsoe (see above).

·         February 6-7, 2015: In My Exile Is In My Head, Nigeria's Qudus Onikeku fuses dance and acrobatics to explore cultural identity and the human condition. This award-winning solo is penetrating and high-energy, filled with beauty, angst, and deep spirituality. Qudus Onikeku makes his NAC debut. CANADIAN PREMIERE. EXCLUSIVE CANADIAN ENGAGEMENT

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS (Two productions in Southam Hall)

Alberta Ballet: The Nutcracker
December 3-7, 2014
This sumptuous production casts a bewitching 19th century Russian spell with charming original choreography by Edmund Stripe. Extravagant bejewelled sets and one-of-a-kind costumes give the ballet the look of a gorgeously illustrated children’s book. All five evening and both matinee performances feature the NAC Orchestra. Alberta Ballet was last at the NAC in 2013, performing Love Lies Bleeding.

Kodo Drummers: Kodo One Earth Tour: Mystery
March 9, 2015
Percussion is the heartbeat of life. Japan’s Kodo Drummers return with their most ambitious production yet. Kodo One Earth Tour: Mystery creates the mood of mystery and wonder common to all sacred places. Mystery is a breathtaking combination of athletic and electrifying drumming, exquisite musicianship, stunning visuals, and pure theatre. These percussionist kamikazes leave audiences breathless. Kodo Drummers were last at the NAC in 2011.


NAC Dance and the NAC Foundation would like to thank the donors and partners who have made the season possible. Thank you to Jerry and Joan Lozinski, and The Honourable Margaret McCain, C.C. for supporting the presentation of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by The National Ballet of Canada at the National Arts Centre.  Thanks to the Lord Elgin Hotel, the Hotel Partner for the presentations by The National Ballet of Canada and Miami City Ballet.


Subscription packages to the 2014-2015 Dance season are on sale now. Dance subscribers save up to 15% on regular ticket prices and save an additional 5% if they subscribe online before May 2nd. Subscribers also save up to 15% off regular ticket prices when purchasing additional NAC subscription performances of Music, Theatre and Dance. Subscription information is available online or at the NAC Box Office, Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Visit the Box Office located in the Main Foyer, call 613-947-7000, x 620 or online: For additional information, visit the NAC website at

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