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National Ballet of Canada 2018-19 season

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18 hours ago, McJagger said:

My daughter attended a dress rehearsal of Paz de la Jolla the other night. Dylan Tedaldi spoke to the group in the intermission and said he was leaving the company to go to a contemporary company in Israel. 

That is a great loss I think to the Canadian company.  I found them more decidedly mixed than I had remembered (not having seen them since the Ratmansky R&J when it was performed in London).  After seeing them dance Nijinsky in several performances in Paris there was no question but that Tedaldi was a definite standout.  None.  Frola was definitely another.  I'm sure Kain will have some new very exciting additions to her roster to announce soon.  

Edited by meunier fan
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From a 19 June email from the National Ballet to Celia Franca Society members:

"Robert Stephen will be leaving the company to join Gauthier Dance in Stuttgart, and Dylan Tedaldi will be leaving to join the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company, one of the leading dance companies in the world of contemporary dance."


Edited by Blackcurrant
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I wish both these dancers well, and will miss seeing them onstage in Toronto.

I don't know why the company didn't announce these moves along with the promotions, as they normally do.

It's been my great pleasure to watch Robert Stephen perform since he was a student at the National Ballet School, and I'm so glad that I got to see his cast in "Men in Black" this past Sunday.  I am incredibly sad that to learn that he is leaving the company.  

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Cast for Anna Karenina released:


Anna Karenina  
Svetlana Lunkina (November 10, 14, 16 at 7:30 pm/November 18 at 2:00 pm) 
Heather Ogden (November 11 at 2:00 pm/November 15, 17 at 7:30 pm) 
Sonia Rodriguez (November 13 at 7:30 pm/November 15, 17 at 2:00 pm) 

Alexei Vronsky
Harrison James (November 10, 14, 16 at 7:30 pm/November 18 at 2:00 pm) 
Guillaume Côté (November 11 at 2:00 pm/November 15, 17 at 7:30 pm) 
Naoya Ebe (November 13 at 7:30 pm/November 15, 17 at 2:00 pm) 

Alexei Karenin
Piotr Stanczyk (November 10, 14, 16 at 7:30 pm/November 18 at 2:00 pm) 
Evan McKie (November 11 at 2:00 pm/November 15, 17 at 7:30 pm) 
Brendan Saye (November 13 at 7:30 pm/November 15, 17 at 2:00 pm) 

Skylar Campbell (November 10, 14, 16 at 7:30 pm/November 18 at 2:00 pm) 
Félix Paquet (November 11 at 2:00 pm/November 15, 17 at 7:30 pm) 
Kota Sato (November 13 at 7:30 pm/November 15, 17 at 2:00 pm) 

Meghan Pugh (November 10, 14, 16 at 7:30 pm/November 18 at 2:00 pm) 
Antonella Martinelli (November 11 at 2:00 pm/November 15, 17 at 7:30 pm) 
Calley Skalnik (November 13 at 7:30 pm/November 15, 17 at 2:00 pm) 

Xiao Nan Yu (November 10, 14, 16 at 7:30 pm/November 18 at 2:00 pm) 
Chelsy Meiss (November 11 at 2:00 pm/November 15, 17 at 7:30 pm) 
Jenna Savella (November 13 at 7:30 pm/November 15, 17 at 2:00 pm) 

Naoya Ebe (November 10, 14, 16 at 7:30 pm/November 18 at 2:00 pm) 
Ethan Watts (November 11 at 2:00 pm/November 15, 17 at 7:30 pm) 
Christopher Gerty (November 13 at 7:30 pm/November 15, 17 at 2:00 pm) 

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Cast for The Dream & Being and Nothingness released:


The Dream

Jillian Vanstone (November 21, 23, 24 at 7:30 pm/November 25 at 2:00 pm)
Elena Lobsanova (November 22 at 2:00 pm)
Aya Okumura (November 22 at 7:30 pm)
Alexandra MacDonald (November 24 at 2:00 pm)

Harrison James (November 21, 24 at 7:30 pm)
Evan McKie (November 22 at 2:00 pm)
Naoya Ebe (November 22 at 7:30 pm)
Guillaume Côté (November 23 at 7:30 pm/November 25 at 2:00 pm)
Brendan Saye (November 24 at 2:00 pm)

Skylar Campbell (November 21, 23, 24 at 7:30 pm)
Donald Thom (November 22 at 2:00 pm)
Siphesihle November (November 22 at 7:30 pm/November 25 at 2:00 pm)
Naoya Ebe (November 24 at 2:00 pm)

Being and Nothingness

Part 1 – The Light
Greta Hodgkinson (November 21, 22, 23 at 7:30 pm)
Tanya Howard (November 22 at 2:00 pm/November 24 at 7:30 pm)
Jenna Savella (November 24, 25 at 2:00 pm)

Part 2 – The Bedroom
Kathryn Hosier and Félix Paquet (November 21, 22, 24 at 7:30 pm/November 24 at 2:00 pm)
Miyoko Koyasu and Nan Wang (November 22, 25 at 2:00 pm/November 23 at 7:30 pm)

Part 3 – The Door
Chelsy Meiss and Jack Bertinshaw (November 21, 23, 24 at 7:30 pm)
Meghan Pugh and Skylar Campbell (November 22 at 2:00 pm/November 22 at 7:30 pm)
Aya Okumura and Jack Bertinshaw (November 24, 25 at 2:00 pm)

Part 4 – The Sink
Siphesihle November (November 21, 23, 24 at 7:30 pm)
Kota Sato (November 22 at 2:00 pm/November 22 at 7:30 pm)
Spencer Hack (November 24, 25 at 2:00 pm)

Part 5 – The Living Room
Svetlana Lunkina and Brendan Saye (November 21, 23, 24 at 7:30 pm)
Hannah Fischer and Christopher Gerty (November 22, 24 at 2:00 pm)
Heather Ogden and Brendan Saye (November 22 at 7:30 pm/ November 25 at 2:00 pm)

Part 6 – The Street
Joe Chapman, Jimmy Coleman, Trygve Cumpston, Giorgio Galli, Christopher Gertyor Peng-Fei Jiang, Spencer Hack or Alexander Skinner, Teagan Richman-Taylor, Kota Sato or Larkin Miller, Donald Thom, Nan Wang or Nicholas Rose, Ethan Watts

Part 7 – The Call
Greta Hodgkinson and Ben Rudisin (November 21, 22, 23 at 7:30 pm)
Tanya Howard and Guillaume Côté (November 22 at 2:00 pm/November 24 at 7:30 pm)
Jenna Savella and Piotr Stanczyk (November 24, 25 at 2:00 pm)

All casting is subject to change.

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I saw Anna Karenina at the Thursday matinee. In brief, the experience was a mixed one.

I do think Neumeier's choreography is often over-packed, and his work busily unballetic with all its props (and now needless projection too)...and this has been my response to the four other of his works I've seen in Toronto or Hamburg. The story had less of a logic for being told than Njinsky's or even Streetcar, which I see as a kind of musing on social change. But this is a story that amounts to: unless she moves to the countryside and learns to love a tractor, a woman's love life is sure to disappoint in the most masochistic way imaginable. And I was really puzzled by Naoya Ebe's flat performance as Vronsky; I really had hopes for it, but he and Sonia Rodriguez did not leave me feeling that their characters especially liked one another.

On the plus side, the opening scene did an excellent job of making Karenin's position central to understanding why Anna might seek love elsewhere...something I did not grasp reading the book years ago. The costumes were ravishing. And many performances were outstanding. Skylar Campbell was gripping in the role of Levin: every move mattered, there was commitment through and through. Megan Pugh was a lovely Kitty, bringing a natural, easy manner to her acting. Hannah Fischer had a small part as Karenin's assistant, but really owned it. Christopher Gerty was a hilarious and thoroughly convincing "just can't help myself" Stiva, and with Jenna Savella (who is reliably great), made an excellent, believable couple. Alexander Skinner acquitted himself well in the role of Anna's son, Kota Sato (as the Mushik who dies at the train station) continues to impress in his interpretations and bearing, and one of the waiters tasked with picking up every dropped cigarette etc brought a dry and welcome humour to his small part.

Edited by Blackcurrant
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Thanks for your post Blackcurrent.  I'll add my thoughts below.  The cast I saw was different than yours - Cote as Vronsky, McKie as Karenin; Ogden as Anna.  There were some changes announced in other roles - I think it was the third cast I saw as Levin and Kitty, whereas other roles were 2nd cast.  

First of all I have to say that these are talented dancers, who as far as I can tell were doing the best they could with the work they were given.

As a whole, I did not like this work at all and hope I never have to sit through it again.  That said, there were pieces here and there that I did like (such as the opening act).  I felt that it did not hold together as a story, that the attempt to set it in the present day was inconsistent, and the jumps in musical genre were just too much for me.  It was jarring to say the least to transition from Tchaikovsky/Schnittke in the Lacrosse scene to Cat Stevens and hay bales.  Say what?

Perhaps Neumeier just doesn't know much about modern farming, but one would think that he's at least driven past a farm somewhere.  If he had, he would know that harvesting is not typically done with scythes these days.  I did like the "farmer" scene, however it just doesn't fit in with a ballet which also uses a cell phone as a prop.  I thought the use of an older model (yet moving) tractor was unnecessary.  The farm costumes were way too stereotypical for me.  Just overalls would have been fine.

Casting an adult male as Anna's son I found somewhat disturbing.  Not sure why this bothered me the way it did, but there you go.

I saw Felix Paquette dance the role of "A Mushik" (essentially this is the worker who dies at the train station).  I thought he did quite well, not sure how I feel about the way Neumeier created the role itself, but Paquette certainly gave it his all.  Ditto the scene of Kitty in the mental hospital, and Cat Stevens again.  It almost felt like Neumeier was looking for a reason to include some Cat Stevens music.  Don't get me wrong - I really like Cat Stevens, the music just didn't fit for me in this ballet.

McKie was for me the perfect choice as Karenin.  I enjoyed the opportunity of seeing Ogden and Cote dance together - I don't know that this happens very often, at least not in the shows I've been to.

I saw Kota Sato as Levin - he did well but I have a bit of a soft spot for Campbell so was disappointed I didn't get to see him.  Calley Skalnik danced Kitty and did a wonderful job.

So, in sum, some interesting bits but I would not buy tickets for this one again.  If KK spent millions acquiring this work, not a good choice in my view.

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Casting for The Nutcracker released:


The Sugar Plum Fairy
Heather Ogden (December 8 at 2:00 pm/December 19, 28 at 7:00 pm/December 23 at 5:00 pm/ December 30 at 1:00 pm)
Jillian Vanstone (December 8, 22 at 7:00 pm/December 15, 29 at 2:00 pm/ December 30 at 5:30 pm)
Greta Hodgkinson (December 9 at 1:00 pm/December 18, 21 at 7:00 pm)
Sonia Rodriguez (December 9, 16 at 5:30 pm/December 13 at 7:00 pm)
Jurgita Dronina (December 12, 14, 15 at 7:00 pm)
Calley Skalnik (December 16, 27 at 1:00 pm/December 20 at 7:00 pm)
Elena Lobsanova (December 22 at 2:00 pm/December 23 at 1:00 pm/December 27 at 5:30 pm/ December 29 at 7:00 pm)

Peter/The Nutcracker
Guillaume Côté (December 8 at 2:00 pm/December 19 at 7:00 pm)
Skylar Campbell (December 8, 22 at 7:00 pm/December 15, 29 at 2:00 pm/December 30 at 5:30 pm)
Harrison James (December 9 at 1:00 pm/December 12, 14, 15, 18, 21 at 7:00 pm)
Piotr Stanczyk (December 9, 16 at 5:30 pm/December 13 at 7:00 pm)
Jack Bertinshaw* (December 16, 27 at 1:00 pm/December 20 at 7:00 pm)
Naoya Ebe (December 22 at 2:00 pm/December 23 at 1:00 pm/December 27 at 5:30 pm/December 29 at 7:00 pm)
Christopher Gerty (December 23 at 5:00 pm/December 28 at 7:00 pm/December 30 at 1:00 pm)

All casting subject to change.

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Has anyone else seen The Dream & Being and Nothingness yet? I saw the Thursday matinee as well as the dress rehearsal.

Somehow Being and Nothingness is growing on me. It seems that the dancers are finding little moments in it to make the work more narrative in spirit, especially in the scene called "The Door", danced by Skylar Campbell and Meghan Pugh.  I am getting to be quite a fan of this couple!

The pairing with The Dream also seemed inspired. Both works present such distinctive worlds, and though The Dream is comic, the figure of Oberon, as danced by Brendan Saye mixed angst and yearning in with authority and hauteur. He and Alexandra MacDonald has beautiful lines and a convincing partnership together. Among the fairies, this season's guest/exchange dancer, Aya Okumura, had astonishingly quick footwork and was springy in her leaps; I am curious about how she fared as Titania.  Giorgio Galli was fantastic in the role of Bottom, and Joe Chapman, whom I saw in the dress rehearsal, also was promising. (I think a bit of a tricky part in dancing that character is in how to present the donkey's head, rather than one's own head, as gazing...it is essentially like doing puppetry while blind.) Donald Thom, in the matinee, and Skylar Campbell, in the dress rehearsal, were both wonderful Pucks. I am still looking for words to describe the difference in their characterizations. 

I hope the wait to see The Dream again will not be so long. I remember Chan Hon Goh as Titania...

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2 hours ago, mom2 said:

Anyone see the mixed program yet?  I attended the matinee yesterday...

I did. I appreciated Apollo but the rest of the program left me wanting. I don't know how many times the company can put on a Binet piece (It's a cliché at this point - he puts up a long dramatic title and it's over-dramatic choreography) The dancers do their best with it, but I sometimes wish I could get into their mind and know what they genuinely feel about this work) It was nice to have Adam's piece on the bill because there was a lot of hype around it, but when you put this work up against something like Apollo, it only illustrates the gap between the narratives in terms of quality. What did you think of it? 

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Well, I have to admit that Apollo isn't my favourite - never has been - but that's just me.  I am glad that Felix Paquet is getting some nice casting opportunities, however he had a lot to do on Sunday afternoon and seemed a bit tired after "Night."

I completely agree with you about Binet's piece - the best I could say is that it seemed that the female costume was really nice, and the dancers did the best they could with what they were given.  Thankfully it was a short piece and I did like the choice of the Mahler piece.

I enjoyed "Night," and I can't say that putting it in the same program with Apollo bothered me, but then again as I'm not a huge Apollo fan... I've never seen NYCB perform Apollo - perhaps I'd see it differently from a company more known for Balanchine works.

Paquita - well, on the one hand I do enjoy a nice classical performance from time to time, and it certainly was that.  The leads were H. James and H. Ogden, who danced very well.  I felt that the corps work could have been more synchronized (under-rehearsed, perhaps?), but generally it was danced well.  I had to look up historical reference for the costumes however as I thought there must be a reason why the women were all in some hideous shade of orange.  Haven't managed to find a reason... 

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"Apollo" did not make the impression on me that it sometimes has, e.g., with Antonjevic dancing it. I felt detached from what I was seeing.

However, I liked "Night" very much and am glad it will be performed again during the Bruhn competition night. Though the choreography did not seem to build in any particular direction, the work was beautifully atmospheric, like an underwater dream, with a melange of faun-like/feathery costumes, humour coming from the women's steps especially, and clarity coming from Skylar Campbell and Ben Rudisin's strongly-intentioned performances.

The Binet work had such a cruelly glaring light on the stage that I was trying to watch while not watching it. If it was supposed to be a work about eye pain and Heather Ogden's lyricism, then it was a success.

Finally, Paquita had some stand-out performances. Jack Bertinshaw was wonderfully buoyant and had great attack, and Tina Pereira had a simply brilliant solo.


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Casting for Physical Thinking (William Forsythe Programme)


The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude

Jillian Vanstone, Chelsy Meiss, Calley Skalnik
Naoya Ebe, Harrison James
(June 1, 5 at 7:30 pm)

Hannah Galway, Jeannine Haller, Hannah Fischer
Skylar Campbell, Brendan Saye
(June 2 at 2:00 pm/June 7 at 7:30 pm)

Hannah Galway, Tina Pereira, Jordana Daumec
Siphesihle November, Félix Paquet
(June 6 at 7:30 pm)

Jillian Vanstone, Chelsy Meiss, Calley Skalnik
Siphesihle November, Donald Thom
(June 8 at 2:00 pm)

Approximate Sonata 2016

1st & 5th Sonata
Sonia Rodriguez and Spencer Hack (June 1, 5 at 7:30 pm/June 8 at 2:00 pm)
Jenna Savella and Donald Thom (June 2 at 2:00 pm)
Jillian Vanstone and Donald Thom (June 6 at 7:30 pm)
Jenna Savella and Spencer Hack (June 7 at 7:30 pm)

2nd Sonata
Hannah Fischer and Christopher Gerty (June 1, 5 at 7:30 pm)
Xiao Nan Yu and Christopher Gerty (June 2 at 2:00 pm)
Xiao Nan Yu and Brendan Saye (June 6 at 7:30 pm/June 8 at 2:00 pm)
Antonella Martinelli and Brent Parolin (June 7 at 7:30 pm)

3rd Sonata
Svetlana Lunkina and Félix Paquet (June 1, 5 at 7:30 pm/June 8 at 2:00 pm)
Greta Hodgkinson and Kota Sato (June 2 at 2:00 pm/ June 6 at 7:30 pm)
Elena Lobsanova and Ben Rudisin (June 7 at 7:30 pm)

4th Sonata
Tanya Howard and Kota Sato (June 1, 5 at 7:30 pm/June 8 at 2:00 pm)
Chelsy Meiss and Guillaume Côté (June 2 at 2:00 pm/June 7 at 7:30 pm)
Jenna Savella and Trygve Cumpston (June 6 at 7:30 pm)

The Second Detail

Jordana Daumec or Sonia Rodriguez or Hannah Fischer, Tanya Howard or Stephanie Hutchison or Andreea Olteanu, Rui Huang or Calley Skalnik or Jeannine Haller, Antonella Martinelli or Selene Guerrero-Trujillo or Hannah Galway, Chelsy Meiss or Mallory Mehaffey, Heather Ogden or Kathryn Hosier or Tirion Law, Jenna Savella or Greta Hodgkinson or Jillian Vanstone

Jack Bertinshaw or Brent Parolin, Skylar Campbell or Donald Thom or Spencer Hack, Siphesihle November or Naoya Ebe or Joe Chapman, Ben Rudisin or Harrison James or Guillaume Côté, Kota Sato or Jimmy Coleman or Alexander Skinner, Brendan Saye or Giorgio Galli or Christopher Gerty, Nan Wang or Félix Paquet or Nicholas Rose

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I am a big fan of Svetlana Lunkina (definitely a jewel in the crown).

For Mixed Programme in March, I liked Brendan Saye’s Apollo and Campbell’s Night the most. So I will definitely try to go to their performances.

Frola was lovely in Alice in Wonderland. It is a pity he will stay with ENB for Cinderella in June.

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Casting for The Merry Widow:


Hanna Glawari              
Xiao Nan Yu (June 19, 22 at 7:30 pm)
Heather Ogden (June 20, 22 at 2:00 pm)
Sonia Rodriguez* (June 20 at 7:30 pm)
Greta Hodgkinson (June 21 at 7:30 pm/June 23 at 2:00 pm)

Count Danilo Danilowitch            
Guillaume Côté (June 19, 22 at 7:30 pm)
Harrison James* (June 20, 22 at 2:00 pm)
Piotr Stanczyk* (June 20 at 7:30 pm)
Evan McKie* (June 21 at 7:30 pm/June 23 at 2:00 pm)

Jillian Vanstone (June 19, 22 at 7:30 pm)
Miyoko Koyasu* (June 20, 22 at 2:00 pm)
Tina Pereira* (June 20 at 7:30 pm)
Chelsy Meiss* (June 21 at 7:30 pm/June 23 at 2:00 pm)

Camille de Rosillon
Naoya Ebe* (June 19, 22 at 7:30 pm)
Jack Bertinshaw* (June 20, 22 at 2:00 pm)
Skylar Campbell* (June 20 at 7:30 pm)
Félix Paquet* (June 21 at 7:30 pm/June 23 at 2:00 pm)

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