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2016-17 season

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March 29-April 2

McGregor/Talbot, Deru: Genus

Robbins/Chopin: The Concert

This....seems like a short program. Especially after reading how expensive tickets are to NBoC. The Concert is about 30-35 minutes max. I haven't seen Genus, but this program needs a 3rd ballet. Maybe insert a short Balanchine? Something B&W leatard to go with them spare theme of the evening? Momentum Pro Gusualdo (8 minutes)? Duo Concertant (17m)? Symphony in 3 Movements (22m)?

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Very curious to hear about ABT's golden age, as I was not so into ballet then (I was too small), I did first seem them in 1994 in Japan but first time seeing them in the States was 2003 as I live in Tokyo. Thank you!

Regarding short programs, I was surprised they did La Sylphide on its own, it is a short ballet and other companies usually do this with another one.

One reason might be that they cram too many programs in a short period in March. (and no ballet at all in April and May) I think this has to do with the opera company but I wish the schedules were not like this.

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This....seems like a short program. Especially after reading how expensive tickets are to NBoC. The Concert is about 30-35 minutes max. I haven't seen Genus, but this program needs a 3rd ballet. Maybe insert a short Balanchine? Something B&W leatard to go with them spare theme of the evening? Momentum Pro Gusualdo (8 minutes)? Duo Concertant (17m)? Symphony in 3 Movements (22m)?

I was curious, and so rummaged around a little. The work was presented by the POB on a program with just one other ballet (Prelocaj' version of Medea) -- the score seems to run just under 45 minutes.

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One reason might be that they cram too many programs in a short period in March. (and no ballet at all in April and May) I think this has to do with the opera company but I wish the schedules were not like this.

NBOC has had to do this for years, and yet their mixed programs have traditionally always been the 3-parters. It's only in the last couple of years that they've reduced the number of ballets and the length of the program so that you're in and out of the theatre in under 2 hours. 20 minutes of intermission, so indeed you are not getting much ballet for your very big bucks.

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After a very long and hot summer I don't think I could be more excited for the ballet season to once again start here!

I saw on the website last season something about an "immersive" project at the Art Gallery of Ontario and was able to secure tickets as we luckily have a friend who works for the gallery. Score! Did anyone else go to see The Dreamers Ever Leave You? Maybe I need to hear some additional opinions from people who are more familiar with the goings on here because I just didn't get it. I'm not sure I made the connection between the paintings and the dancing and found the "immersive" part of it to be very odd and even a little awkward for the audience.

To be clear I love going to see paintings. I love going to see the ballet obviously. But bringing ballet dancers into the painting hall didn't work. It was like trying to force two amazing mediums together thinking it would produce some super-medium . . but really we just lost both. 

After about fifteen minutes of awkward walking around I became aware of how grateful I was that the music was so beautiful. I'd like to hear more from this composer. There were shades of Glass in there for sure but somehow it was still quite thrilling. 

The dancing itself I read was supposed to be inspired by the rugged landscapes depicted in the paintings. 


I acknowledge that this is definitely meant to be abstract with a capital A but as we walked around and took our time observing the dancers there was no sense of direction or idea behind the movement. There was no beginning, middle or end . . . and certainly no climax. It didn't take us anywhere. It didn't move or thrill like the music did. The program recommends you go again as the experiences will change. Perhaps I'll give it a try maybe but I'm just not sure. 

One treat was the fact that the costuming allowed the dancers to be seen so clearly. Their bodies, the athleticism and grace is quite extraordinary on a stage but even more so up close. The flesh color leotards and bodysuits show every muscle fiber and the dancers all looked quite amazing. You just wonder what they could be capable of if they got to be in better work.

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I didn't see this, but my daughter did.  I don't know that I would have come in from the burbs to pay $50 for this event.    I should also mention that I have been an NBOC season ticket holder for a long time and received very little information about this event.  Oh- am also an AGO member.  At any rate, my daughter liked parts of it (the obvious talent of the dancers, as you mentioned) - but wasn't overly keen on all aspects of the choreography.


One thing she mentioned was that she felt they shouldn't have taken a bow at the end - that this ruined the aspect of "dance as art" for her.  She attended the dress rehearsal - did they do a bow (with expectance of applause) for other shows?  It was the bow/applause part that she felt was awkward.


She did really like the interactive aspect of the event, and hoped that it would make dance more relevant to people.  I will have to talk to her about your review JumpFrog.


Beyond that I would say that personally I think Binet's talent as a choreographer is a bit over-rated.  He is an exceptionally lucky young man, and I do wish him well, however I do wish that NBOC/KK were a bit more open to those beyond the NBS/NBOC circle.  



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Hello Mom2. Interesting that your daughter was similarly unimpressed. I felt the general feeling from most present was confused more than anything. It just didn't have anything special about it but at the same time was a wonderful opportunity to show dance to new audiences I agree. To be bluntly honest I don't believe we stayed long enough to know if there was a bow or not. Our friend who is a member also become a bit bored and we were able to scuttle away to a delicious dinner lol. Funnyily enough she is also very in the know with events at the ago and mentioned the same as you.! That there was very little mention of the project or this young man. Anywhere. Bizarre. But there has to be more to this I imagine. It just seems fishy. If its generally felt that the work is mediocre at best why continue doing it? It doesn't make sense. I'm sure there are probably sounds reasons for continuing to commission this person but you would assume the national company would only do the best work. Or at least better work but maybe I'm just old ha.

In other news I cannot wait until Onegin. I am actually giddy with excitement as when I last saw this ballet it was magical. I'm told the sets here are new and or refurbished so I'm sure it will be a sight to behold!

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I quite enjoyed Binet's ballet for NYCB a couple of seasons back (The Blue of Distance)--which I saw twice and which used the dancers in rather interesting and unexpected ways. I don't recall it making a huge splash but it was well-received and well reviewed by at least some portion of the audience.


Opportunities given to young choreographers -- or even established ones -- are never a sure thing.

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I didn't go to this performance (as I don't live there) so I can't really judge but 2 of my friends had seen it on separate occasions. One is a regular goer (subscriber) who lives in Toronto, and another also sees ballet quite a lot but lives in Tokyo and first time seeing National Ballet (they also practice ballet as a hobby). And they both seemed to enjoy the performance very much and liked the performance and choreography very much. (one who lives there hated Le Petit Prince, by the way...)


Many performances don't have a unanimous response and at least some of the audience received it positively. I do hear from professionals that Robert Binet is very young but a talent to watch out for.  


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I really enjoyed the Binet piece at the Art Gallery and so did everyone else I talked to. I certainly didn't get the impression that the audience was "confused".

I am puzzled by comments about applause at the end being a negative thing. Applause is a standard reaction to a performance, no? The performance was in a kind of continuous loop of 45-minute segments that were repeated. You could arrive at 6 pm and see it three times or over, or come later and see as much or as little of it as you liked. I stayed for almost three full iterations. After over 2 hours of non-stop dancing I think the dancers deserved their bow.

I really don't think that Binet's work is "generally considered mediocre at best". And he's young (only 25). If choreographers aren't given a chance when they're young how will they ever become masters (or mistresses) of their craft?

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On April 20, 2016 at 2:33 PM, JumpFrog said:

I suppose it just goes to show that everyone has their opinion! As I said earlier in the thread I remember hearing in Seattle how fantastic the Nutcracker here is. So, I'm excited to see it. I remember now it was called Cruel World the one I saw in New York of his. Totally sublime. I remember the entire audience leapt to their feet.

And looks like I'll be making a trip to Boston as Artifact is one of the best ballets I have ever seen. If you haven't seen it could not recommend it more.

Regarding NYC I recall seeing the Forsythe works Herman Scherman at NYcB and workwithinwork at ABT. I also saw Petit Mort (mind blowing) and Overgrown Path of Kylian with ABT. But yes perhaps you're right that (for the east coast at least) it is Boston Ballet who mainly shows this type of work most regularly these days.

Maybe Canadian audiences simply aren't interested in seeing these types works. Surely the leaders here do their research when planning seasons and maybe it was shown that audiences want more Disney type or big name story ballets and less contemporary or new work in which case who can blame them for programming this way.

Anyway, who is down for a Boston road trip ?

Just came upon this thread.  Boston is performing Forsythe's Artifact in Feb/March and Kylian's Wings of Wax, along with Balanchine's Donizetti Variations and Ekman's Cacti in March/April.  I realize NBoC fans have seen Cacti.  Wings of Wax is probably one of my favorite Kylian pieces and is beautifully danced by Boston.  

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Casting for Kudelka's Cinderella:


Jillian Vanstone (November 12 at 2:00 pm/November 17 at 7:30 pm)
Sonia Rodriguez (November 12, 16, 18 at 7:30 pm/November 20 at 2:00 pm)
Emma Hawes*(November 13 at 2:00 pm/November 19 at 7:30 pm)
Jurgita Dronina(November 17, 19 at 2:00 pm)

Her Prince Charming
Naoya Ebe (November 12 at 2:00 pm/November 17 at 7:30 pm)
Guillaume Côté (November 12, 16, 18 at 7:30 pm/November 20 at 2:00 pm)
McGee Maddox (November 13 at 2:00 pm/November 19 at 7:30 pm)
Harrison James(November 17, 19 at 2:00 pm)

Her Stepmother
Rebekah Rimsay (November 12, 17, 19 at 2:00 pm/November 17 at 7:30)
Lise-Marie Jourdain(November 12, 16, 18, 19 at 7:30 pm/November 13, 20 at 2:00 pm)

Her Stepsister
Stephanie Hutchison (November 12 at 2:00 pm/November 17 at 7:30)
Tanya Howard (November 12, 16, 18 at 7:30 pm/November 20 at 2:00 pm)
Hannah Fischer(November 13 at 2:00 pm/November 19 at 7:30 pm)
Kathryn Hosier(November 17, 19 at 2:00 pm)

Her Other Stepsister
Lise-Marie Jourdain (November 12 at 2:00 pm/November 17 at 7:30)
Rebekah Rimsay (November 12, 16, 18 at 7:30 pm/November 20 at 2:00 pm)
Tiffany Mosher (November 13 at 2:00 pm/November 19 at 7:30 pm)
Shaila D’Onofrio (November 17, 19 at 2:00 pm)

Fairy Godmother
Lorna Geddes (November 12, 20 at 2:00 pm/November 12, 16, 17, 18 at 7:30)
Stephanie Hutchison (November 13, 17, 19 at 2:00 pm/November 19 at 7:30)


Edited by volcanohunter
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Onegin casting


Eugene Onegin
McGee Maddox (November 23 at 7:30 pm/November 26 at 2:00 pm)
Guillaume Côté (November 24, 26 at 7:30 pm)
Piotr Stanczyk* (November 25 at 7:30 pm)

Evan McKie (November 27 at 2:00 pm)

Xiao Nan Yu (November 23 at 7:30 pm/November 26 at 2:00 pm)
Greta Hodgkinson 
(November 24, 26 at 7:30 pm)
Sonia Rodriguez (November 25 at 7:30 pm)
Svetlana Lunkina
 (November 27 at 2:00 pm)

Jurgita Dronina (November 23 at 7:30 pm/November 26 at 2:00 pm)
Jillian Vanstone (November 24, 26 at 7:30 pm)
TBA Miyoko Koyasu
* (November 25 at 7:30 pm)
TBA Elena Lobsanova (November 27 at 2:00 pm)

Harrison James(November 23 at 7:30 pm/November 26 at 2:00 pm)
Naoya Ebe (November 24, 26 at 7:30 pm)
Francesco Gabriele Frola
(November 25 at 7:30 pm/November 27 at 2:00 pm)


Prince Germin
Ben Rudisin(November 23 at 7:30 pm/November 26 at 2:00 pm)
Etienne Lavigne (November 24, 26 at 7:30 pm)
Jonathan Renna (November 25 at 7:30 pm)
Nan Wang(November 27 at 2:00 pm)

Madame Larina
Stephanie Hutchison (November 23 at 7:30 pm/November 26, 27 at 2:00 pm)
Lise-Marie Jourdain (November 24, 25, 26 at 7:30 pm)


Lorna Geddes (November 23 at 7:30 pm/November 26, 27 at 2:00 pm)
Rebekah Rimsay (November 24, 25, 26 at 7:30 pm)


* Debut
†  Company Debut

Edited by volcanohunter
casting updated
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I just cannot accept this casting. Why do they put 2 anniversaries in a run of 6 performances, and only one performance for Svetlana Lunkina and Evan McKie, for a matinee performance at the end of the run. McKie is from the Cranko company Stuttgart Ballet and has danced Onegin all over, including Paris Opera Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, Tokyo Ballet, Universal Ballet and also at the YAGP gala in NYC, and has won critical acclaim for his portrayal. Tatiana must be a special role for Lunkina who is Russian and has loved the novel, and their chemistry is proved to be magical at Romeo and Juliet by Ratmansky. (and also Jurgita Dronina deserves Tatiana, with her amazing performance in The Winter's Tale) 


The company's casting policy is so weird. They really think their homegrown dancers are better than the newly joined dancers with international careers? 

Edited by naomikage
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I agree, but just to point out that there is nothing dishonourable about a "matinee performance at the end of the run" at the NBOC. Sunday matinees have long been the best sold performances in Toronto, and we often get first cast on Sunday mat.

The problem is giving McKie and Lunkina only one performance, and furthermore that it conflicts with Lunkina in Bright Stream at the cinema (which is on Nov 27 in Canada)

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Sunday matinee might not be humiliating but that performance is the end of the run (meaning they are 4th cast) and usually dancers prefer performing at nights. And also as Katherine has pointed out, conflicting with Lunkina's The Bright Stream cinema screening in Toronto is not nice for her and her fans. 


I am totally opposed to idea of giving opening nights & multiple performances to long-serving anniversary performances, putting artistic quality behind. Ballet companies are not caring homes for aging ballerinas. And Lunkina and McKie are not even dancing in Cinderella.


The management of this company are nuts and such a shame so few appreciate having the great Svetlana Lunkina in their roster.

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The Onegin casting is a perversion. Among all the company's dancers, Evan McKie is by far the most acclaimed interpreter of this ballet. But the company chose to ignore this by scheduling the shortest run of any program this season. By the time they covered the anniversaries of Greta Hodgkinson--25, actually 26, years with the company, 20 as a principal dancer--and Xiao Nan Yu--20 years with the company--McKie and his equally illustrious partner were left with only one performance. In what universe does that make sense? The company couldn't have anticipated that many dancers would want to perform the ballet and that there would be a crush for performances? Was it really a good idea under the circumstances not to schedule the more-or-less traditional Thursday matinee? Neither Lunkina nor McKie is appearing in Cinderella, so this will be their only appearance during the autumn season. That's a terrible under-utilization of talent. And why was Lunkina's only autumn appearance scheduled to run at the same time as the re-transmission of The Bright Stream? I realize that the National Ballet of Canada doesn't give a damn about the Bolshoi, but for her fans in Toronto, already starved for her performances, it's incredibly frustrating.


I saw Lunkina dance Swan Lake in Odessa last month, and I'm now doubly glad I did. For her sake I'm also glad she had an opportunity to stretch her ballet legs a little bit more, because she's seriously under-worked in Toronto.

Edited by volcanohunter
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I definitely agree with the objections stated above. As a pretty avid ballet go-er I don't think I have ever seen a company give one show only to the degree that they give them to dancers here. First of all, think of the work involved in preparing a role like this!! And then to have it be over like that? Also, it's not like they could look forward to other shows or stay busy with something else because there is nothing else!!! Next month November will be the premier of this season! The only way to stay busy would be to guest because honestly what else are you going to do? 

Another that springed to mind when reading this casting was how the Olga's are "to be announced". What? Seriously? Are you for real? What have you been doing all these months? How do you not even know the casting? Honestly mind boggling.

The issue of booking Lunkina on the same day as her cinema screening is just lazy planning and they'll disappoint many because of it. 

Across the board I have to agree with you all as said above, this is just bad artistic management. 

Also is it normal to "celebrate" so many "anniversaries" here? Is this a thing? Or do they think it makes people buy tickets? 

There seem to be so many who have been here for a century decade lol. 

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Frola's original Olga may have become injured very recently, and the company is deciding which of the available understudies is best suited to the job.


While I realize that Cinderella is more suitable for children, the Cinderella to Onegin ratio just strikes me as off, particularly in light of the company's roster.

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16 hours ago, JumpFrog said:

Also is it normal to "celebrate" so many "anniversaries" here? Is this a thing? Or do they think it makes people buy tickets? 


No, it is not normal to do 2 in a short run. ABT does have an anniversary for Marcelo Gomes next MET season, but that is a rare opportunity.


And also Sonia Rodriguez had an anniversary recently. It shows that this company's female principals are consisted of many aging ballerinas. (Rodriigeuz is of course a wonderful ballerina)  It is not rational that 2 anniversary performances are done in the only 6 performances of Onegin. 

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