Canadian ballet makes debut

National dance company comes to SPAC in July

Thursday, January 24, 2013
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The National Ballet of Canada performs choreographer Crystal Pite's “Emergence.” (photo: Bruce Zinger)
The National Ballet of Canada performs choreographer Crystal Pite's “Emergence.” (photo: Bruce Zinger)

— The National Ballet of Canada will present works by award-winning Canadian choreographers James Kudelka and Crystal Pite during its debut engagement at Saratoga Performing Arts Center from July 16 to 18.

The mixed repertory program, featuring Kudelka’s “The Four Seasons” and Pite’s “Emergence” will be performed on the company’s opening night in Saratoga. On July 17 and 18, the company will perform a full-length romantic classic, “Giselle.”

Kudelka’s “The Four Seasons” is set to Vivaldi’s popular composition. Intended to be a portrayal of the journey of life, the work integrates solos and pas de deux through the youthful seasons of Spring and Summer to the more melancholic transition to Fall and Winter. The New York Times praised the work as “a masterpiece of our time. . . . Only Mr. Kudelka can infuse passion into virtuosity in this way.” Kudelka has created more than 70 ballets for dance companies throughout the world.

“Emergence” won four Dora Awards, including “Outstanding Production,” when it premiered in 2009. The piece delivers an eerie theatrical impact through striking hivelike sets, black costumes, a driving electronic score by Owen Belton, and expertly synchronized choreography.

Pite, the founder and artistic director of Kidd Pivot Dance Company in Vancouver, British Columbia, is regarded as one of the top choreographers of her generation.

The story ballet “Giselle,” to the original 1841 score by Adolphe Adam, is one of the company’s signature works.

Founded by British dance Celia Franca in 1951, The National Ballet of Canada has been a major force in the world of ballet since Rudolf Nureyev performed with it in the mid-1960s and brought the company to New York.

With nearly 70 dancers and its own orchestra, the company makes its home at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto and is led by Artistic Director Karen Kain.

Tickets to The National Ballet of Canada’s SPAC performances will be available online at beginning in February for SPAC members and in March for the general public.

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