The National Ballet of Canada’s 2023/24 Season features these exciting choreographers and premieres

The National Ballet of Canada is presenting an electrifying 2023/24 season, featuring five innovative new choreographers and a collection of captivating performances and premieres.

Hope Muir, Artistic Director of The National Ballet of Canada said:

“Planning every new season is exhilarating and that is especially true this year, as I balance The National Ballet of Canada’s commitment to storytelling and the classical tradition with exciting new works and collaborations.”

“For the 2023/24 season, I am thrilled to introduce five new choreographic voices to the company, two of them Canadian, as well as two new creations and four acquisitions. It’s an honour to offer this rich artistic experience to our audiences and our dancers, advancing the company’s creative growth and building relationships for the future.” 

In November, the Fall Season opens at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts with the world premiere of Helen Pickett’s Emma Bovary – a fascinating psychological exploration of the title character from Gustave Flaubert’s novel, Madame Bovary, set to an original score by Peter SalemEmma Bovary, Pickett’s first work for the company, is presented with the Canadian premiere of James Kudelka’s Passion, acquired for Principal Dancer Piotr Stanczyk to mark his retirement from an outstanding 25-year career with the National Ballet. 

The Fall Season continues with John Cranko’s extraordinary Onegin, a ballet which the very best artists of our age aspire to perform. A dance drama beloved for its rich characterisation, musicality and passionate vocabulary, Onegin is based on Alexander Pushkin’s 19th century verse novel Eugene Onegin and tells a nuanced story of unrequited love.  

The classic holiday favourite, The Nutcracker by James Kudelka, returns in December, showcasing non-stop dancing and magnificent sets and costumes from Santo Loquasto and lighting by Jennifer Tipton

In the Winter Season, Christopher Wheeldon’s ingenious Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland will delight the entire family in March 2024. The spectacular production captures all the fun and oddities of Lewis Carroll’s story. A 2011 co-production with The Royal Ballet in London, Alice incorporates puppetry and video projections in a brilliant design by Bob Crowley, a cinematic original score from Joby Talbot and lighting by Natasha Katz

The Winter Mixed Programme provides an eclectic offering including a world premiere by Toronto-based choreographer William Yong. In his first commission for the company, Yong’s voice integrates his muti-disciplinary experience and will showcase the versatility of our artists.

Canadian choreographer Emma Portner’s islands makes its North American premiere. A sculptural duet for two women, islands was hailed as a triumph when it premiered with Norwegian National Ballet in 2020 set to original music by Forest Swords.

Closing the programme is the Canadian premiere of Serge Lifar’s Suite en Blanc, a full company work of technical purity set to the music excerpts from Namouna, composed by Édouard Lalo.   

The Summer Season opens in June 2024 with the North American premiere of Don Quixote choreographed by Carlos Acosta after Marius Petipa. Acosta is one of the finest male dancers of the 21st century and his interpretation of Basilio, the young lover from Don Quixote, was a signature role for the Cuban-born dancer. A visual feast for families and ballet-lovers alike, Don Quixote was created in 2013 for The Royal Ballet and remounted for Birmingham Royal Ballet in 2022, where Acosta is now Artistic Director. It features musical arrangements by Hans Vercauteren after Ludwig Minkus, lighting by Peter Mumford, with set and costume designs by Tim Hatley and video design by Nina Dunn

The 2023/24 season concludes with George Balanchine’s glittering ballet triptych, Jewels. With its three parts – Emerald, Rubies and Diamonds –Jewels evokes the radiance and architecture of precious stones and is presented in its entirety, giving full expression to the celebrated work. Each segment of the ballet is set to the music of a different composer and features a distinct choreographic language – Gabriel Fauré for the lyricism of EmeraldsIgor Stravinsky for the jazzy angularity of Rubies and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky for the grandeur of Diamonds.  

For dates and tickets visit: The National Ballet of Canada