Virtual Season Features Digital Premieres and New Works

Dance Films Choreographed by Robert Binet, Guillaume Côté and Alysa Pires
Kevin A. Ormsby and Jera Wolfe Create New Ballets

Karen Kain, Artistic Director of The National Ballet of Canada, and Executive Director Barry Hughson today announced the launch of the company’s virtual season in September with Expansive Dances, three digital premieres created in isolation by Choreographic Associates Robert BinetGuillaume Côté and Alysa Pires.

Expansive Dances

The Expansive Dances films, created in partnership with Evergreen, will be released weekly beginning September 10. Each film, shot on location in Toronto, will feature a solo performer. The works present dancers moving boldly through space in direct contrast to our present confined existence due to the pandemic, heralding hope for a brighter future. The three Expansive Dances films are directed by the acclaimed director Ben Shirinian and produced by Mr. Shirinian and Jared Cook of Lookout.

For Expansive Dances, Mr.  Binet  revisited a work he created for Company Wayne McGregor in 2012, this time in the vast outdoor setting of Evergreen Brick  Works.  Lake Maligne was inspired by the work of Canadian painter Lawren Harris and is deeply connected to nature and the symbolism of the natural world. Performed by First Soloist Spencer HackLake Maligne is set to Arve Henriksen’s Loved One and Smog’s Palimpsest.

Mr. Côté has created a new work titled Lulu on fellow Principal Dancer and wife Heather Ogden, set to Max Richter’s November. The film  follows a woman as she lets go of her tainted past  to  start  anew. This is Mr. Côté’s third collaboration with Mr. Shirinian, with whom he created  the acclaimed dance films Lost in Motion and  Lost in Motion  II.

Ms. Pires has adapted excerpts of her existing work, In Between, performed by Second Soloist Christopher Gerty with original music by Adam Sakiyama. In this version, filmed onsite at Evergreen Brick Works, Ms. Pires condensed her original work to a solo that expresses a sense of restlessness and a yearning for comfort that feel especially relevant during these uncertain times.

Spotlight Series

The National Ballet has commissioned new works by Kevin A. Ormsby and Jera Wolfe who will both make their choreographic debuts with the company.

Artistic Director of KasheDance,  Mr. Ormsby  also works as an Arts Strategies Consultant. With a career that spans over 30 years, he has performed with various companies and projects in Canada, the Caribbean and the U.S. Rehearsals for Mr. Ormsby’s new work begin in mid-September.

Choreographer and performer Mr. Wolfe is an Associate Artist with Red Sky Performance. His choreographic works have been presented by Jacob’s Pillow, Canadian Stage, Fall For Dance North and the Venice Biennale (all with Red Sky Performance), Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity, Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet School and Canada’s National Ballet School. Mr. Wolfe’s work is currently in rehearsal.

Both new works will be presented in the Spotlight Series which features curated digital presentations of new and existing work as part of the National Ballet’s virtual season. More details about the Spotlight Series to be announced shortly.

Dancer, Choreographer, Artistic Director of KasheDance, Kevin A. Ormsby on Sing! Dance! Act! Thrive! podcast