Karen Kain, Artistic Director of The National Ballet of Canada, and Executive Director Barry Hughson today announced that Alexei Ratmansky’s new full-length work, Of Love and Rage, will be a co-production between the National Ballet and American Ballet Theatre (ABT). The world premiere will be performed by ABT at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, California, March 5 – 8, 2020. ABT will reprise the work at New York’s Metropolitan Opera House June 2 – 6, 2020. Of Love and Rage will make its Canadian premiere during the National Ballet’s 2021/22 season in Toronto.
“I am a great admirer of Alexei’s work. His understanding of classical vocabulary is unmatched, and his ballets are always inventive and masterful. One of the highlights of my tenure as Artistic Director has been commissioning him to create a new Romeo and Juliet in 2011 and I could not be more delighted to add Of Love and Rage, a second full-length work by him, to our repertoire,” said Ms. Kain.
“The National Ballet is very pleased to partner with American Ballet Theatre on the creation of this important new work by one of today’s most revered choreographers. New work is the life blood of any ballet company but also a big financial undertaking. In addition to the co-production of Of Love and Rage with ABT, we have been fortunate to partner with some of the world’s leading dance institutions including The Royal Ballet, The Hamburg Ballet, The Bolshoi Ballet and Sadler’s Wells to share the financial investment and artistic success of new productions,” said Mr. Hughson.
Mr. Ratmansky created Romeo and Juliet for the National Ballet in 2011 to celebrate the company’s 60th anniversary. In addition to Of Love and Rage and Romeo and Juliet, the National Ballet has several of Mr. Ratmansky’s works in the repertoire: Russian Seasons, Symphony #9 and Piano Concerto #1. The acclaimed choreographer has created works for companies all over the world including the Mariinsky Ballet, The Royal Danish Ballet, New York City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and The Australian Ballet. Former Artistic Director of The Bolshoi Ballet, Mr. Ratmansky joined ABT as Artist in Residence in 2009.
Set in ancient Greece, Of Love and Rage is based on Callirhoe, one of the earliest novels ever written. The epic tale tells the story of legendary beauty Callirhoe and her lover Chaereus and the daunting obstacles they must navigate.
Of Love and Rage features music by Aram Khachaturian with sets and costumes by Jean-Marc Puissant that evoke a Mediterranean landscape to frame the lovers’ adventures and lighting by Duane Schuler.
Mr. Ratmansky was born in St. Petersburg and trained at the Bolshoi Ballet School in Moscow. He was a Principal Dancer with Ukrainian National Ballet, Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet and The Royal Danish Ballet. Mr. Ratmansky was named Artistic Director of The Bolshoi Ballet in January 2004 and under his direction, The Bolshoi Ballet was named Best Foreign Company in 2005 and 2007 by The Critics’ Circle in London. He joined American Ballet Theatre as Artist in Residence in January 2009.
The National Ballet will next perform Mr. Ratmansky’s Piano Concerto #1 on tour at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. on a programme of contemporary works by William Forsythe and Jiří Kylián, January 28 – 29, 2020. The company will also perform the great classical masterpiece The Sleeping Beauty, January 30 – February 2, 2020. Mr. Ratmansky’s Romeo and Juliet will be performed as part of the National Ballet’s Winter season, onstage March 11 – 22, 2020.