The National Arts Centre unveils spectacular 2013-2014 Dance programming

Reviewed by Capital Critics Circle

Categories: Arts News, Dance


Karina Champoux et Éric Robidoux dans Foudres, chorégraphie : Dave St-Pierre .

Photo : Wolfgang Kirchner

Highlights include the much-anticipated return of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Akram Khan Company and Face 2 Face

OTTAWA, March 28, 2013 — Cathy Levy, Dance Producer at the National Arts Centre, today released details of a sensational new season of NAC Dance. Highlights of the 2013-2014 season include the first appearance since 2001 in the Ballet Series of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal; the welcome return of a reinvigorated Dance Theatre of Harlem, in their first NAC appearance since 1998; Akram Khan’s spectacular solo DESH; and the second iteration of the Face 2 Face series, featuring four artists making their NAC debuts.

The season also includes first visits to the NAC by Kyle Abraham | Abraham.In.Motion, Israel Galván and Compagnie Virginie Brunelle, and return visits from Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Tango Pasión and Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan. Dynamic new work will be presented from the United Kingdom (Aakash Odedra and Wayne McGregor | Random Dance), France (Compagnie Maguy Marin), Germany (Public in private | Clément Layes and Helena Waldmann) and Australia (Lucy Guerin Inc.), as well as by Canada’s Dave St-Pierre, and newcomer Anne Plamondon (an NAC co-production). Other prominent companies appearing in 2013-2014 are The National Ballet of Canada, Pennsylvania Ballet and Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet.

The 2013-2014 Dance season features some of the biggest names in dance from across Canada and around the world. From traditionally luxurious classical ballet to the most expressive frontiers of contemporary dance, this season presents it all.

There are 51 performances from 20 different companies (presented in four distinct Dance series and Special Presentations). The season includes:

Company in The Radio Show, Kyle Abraham | Abraham.In.Motion, choreography: Kyle Abraham • Photo: Steven Schreiber


· 19 Ottawa premieres;

· 7 Canadian premieres (Pennsylvania Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan, Kyle Abraham | Abraham.In.Motion, Israel Galván, Public in private | Clément Layes, Helena Waldmann);

· 3 exclusive Canadian engagements (Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Pennsylvania Ballet, Public in private/Clément Layes);

· 6 NAC debuts (Kyle Abraham | Abraham.In.Motion, Israel Galván, Compagnie Virginie Brunelle, Aakash Odedra, Public in private | Clément Layes, Helena Waldmann); and

· 1 NAC co-production* (Les mêmes yeux que toi by Anne Plamondon). *The NAC is also co-producing with a number of Canadian artists for the Canada Dance Festival for June 2014.

The 2013-2014 season showcases a world of dance in Ottawa. Featuring dancers, choreographers and designers from around the world, the line-up includes artists from nine countries:

1. Argentina (Tango Pasión)

2. Australia (Lucy Guerin Inc.)

3. Canada (Compagnie Virginie Brunelle , Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal, The National Ballet of Canada, Anne Plamondon, Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Dave St-Pierre)

4. France (Compagnie Maguy Marin)

5. Germany (Public in private | Clément Layes, Helena Waldman)

6. Spain (Israel Galván)

7. Taiwan (Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan)

8. United Kingdom (Akram Khan Company, Wayne McGregor | Random Dance, Aakash Odedra)

9. United States (Kyle Abraham | Abraham.In.Motion, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Pennsylvania Ballet)

BALLET SERIES featuring the National Arts Centre Orchestra

  • The National Ballet of Canada: Swan Lake. A classical ballet masterpiece by master choreographer James Kudelka. His provocative, passionate ideas and dynamic choreographic palette heighten the ballet’s mingling of sensuality and lyricism and add dark psychological complexity – renewing Swan Lake for contemporary audiences. Tchaikovsky’s glorious score and Santo Loquasto’s dramatic sets and costumes evoke a world of enduring emotional power and astonishing, singular beauty. Jan 30-Feb 1 2014. (Last here in 2013, performing Romeo and Juliet).
  • Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal: Rodin/Claudel is a story of passion, obsession and betrayal that vividly portrays the intimate lives of 19th-century French sculptor Auguste Rodin and his young lover/muse, Camille Claudel. Canadian dance wunderkind Peter Quanz creates his first full-length North American ballet. With music by Berlioz, Debussy and Ravel, this is a theatrical, exciting fusion of ballet and contemporary expression influenced by sculpture, creativity, the human body and the emotional resonance of great art. March 27-29 2014. (Last here in 2008, performing Ode to Ohad on Series A).
  • Pennsylvania Ballet: Coppélia sparkles with wit and charm. Featuring a voluptuous score by Léo Delibes, a flirty, feisty heroine and a capricious romance, Pennsylvania Ballet’s effervescent production radiates freshness and high spirits. Coppélia is impeccably staged, with elaborate, inventive choreography after Marius Petipa. With its folklore and comedic allure, Coppélia is ideal for the whole family. May 1-3 2014. (Last here in 2011, performing The Nutcracker).


  • Hubbard Street Dance Chicago: One Thousand Pieces. Inspired by Marc Chagall’s America Windows at the Art Institute of Chicago, resident choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo’s velvety spectacle for 24 dancers (with music by Philip Glass) is luminous, with flawless choreography, design and execution. It’s a fast-moving onslaught of silky, gorgeous, classical dance extolling creativity, the arts and freedom of expression. It’s also a pure, fluid and brilliant testament to the dynamism of modern dance. Nov. 23 2013 – 2 shows, including 1 matinee. (Last here in 2005, performing Diphthong, Kiss, Love Stories, Rooster).
  • Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan: Songs of the Wanderers. A visually stunning masterpiece of imagination and timeless tranquility. Inspired by Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha, asceticism and the quest for quietude, Artistic Director and Choreographer Lin Hwai-min transforms ancient rites into mesmerizing dance theatre. Set to soulful Georgian folk songs, the beautiful images are created by both Eastern and Western dance styles, the absolute focus and control of the performers – and massive shimmering curtains of saffron rice. March 21-22 2014. (Last here in 2007, performing Wild Cursive).
  • Argentina’s internationally renowned Tango Pasión is heart-pounding, edge-of-your-seat performance, with sensational dancers and brilliant live music. Stabbing quicksteps, intricate footwork, alluring costumes … Tango Pasión is sensual, with stunning solo performances, mesmerizing duets, tightly synchronized group dances and energetic musical interludes. Hailed as a “masterpiece” worldwide and playing to sold-out houses, it leaves audiences breathless. April 8 2014. (Last here in 2012, performing a different repertoire).
  • Dance Theatre of Harlem: Mixed Repertoire, including Gloria (choreography by Robert Garland) and Far But Close (choreography by Canadian John Alleyne). A newly invigorated company presents an exciting evening of high-energy works. Hewing to their mantra of “passion, power and perfection,” DTH – with a truly multiracial artistic profile – is known for graceful and vigorous performances and for “verve, technical proficiency, and theatrical flair.” Dance Theatre of Harlem is poised to help define the meaning of ballet in the 21st century. May 21 2014. (Last here in 1998, performing mixed repertoire).


  • Compagnie Maguy Marin: Salves. A potent mix of dance and theatre, Salves is a masterful choreographic vision, a salvo of images – subverting repetition, expectation and variation – which brings the power of resistance to the stage. October 3-4 2013. (Last here in 1986, performing May B).
  • Akram Khan Company: DESH. Ottawa favourite Akram Khan reconnects with his homeland, Bangladesh, in his mesmerizing new full-length solo hailed as the most urgent, beautiful and confident work of his career. This intensely personal journey blends memory, myth and experience. November 14-16 2013. (Company last here in 2012, performing Vertical Road).
  • Kyle Abraham | Abraham.In.Motion: The Radio Show. The Radio Show delves into the loss of voice with authenticity, heart and humour. Award-winning Kyle Abraham – equal parts power and grace, he commands the stage – and his seven dancers are riveting: sizzling lines of energy, sinuous yet funky, elegantly articulated. With a classic soul/hip-hop score. Feb. 13 2014. (NAC debut).
  • Israel Galván: La Edad de Oro. Israel Galván is a genius of gesture, a maverick, known for spellbinding 21st-century flamenco. Famous for his power, precision and brilliantly complicated fast footwork, Galván stuns, astonishes and leaves you overwhelmed. March 18 2014. (NAC debut).
  • Wayne McGregor | Random Dance: FAR. FAR, based on 18th-century theories of the body, mind and soul, is one of the most purely beautiful things Wayne McGregor has ever created. Glimmering with humanity, it is physical and immediate, high-speed and relentless, yet intensely cerebral. April 23 2014. (Last here in 2011, performing Entity).


  • Lucy Guerin Inc.: Weather. A unique exploration of the human body’s reaction to sun, wind and rain. Lucy Guerin’s return to pure movement is a highly visual and kinetic homage to the breathtaking power of the elements. Hypnotic and intense. Nov. 7-9 2013. (Last here in 2003, performing The Ends of Things and Melt).
  • Compagnie Virginie Brunelle: Complexe des genres. Montreal’s Brunelle is known for exploring tenuous male-female relationships. Complexe des genres is a highly physical, flesh-baring work that delves into the quest for identity. The stormy collisions of the dancers embody fragile romance, sexual freedom, longing and loneliness, frustration and abandonment. April 3-5 2014. (NAC debut).
  • Provocative, engaging, thoughtful, bold – following its terrific success last season, Face 2 Face returns for its second edition. Face 2 Face features four incredible companies: the UK’s Aakash Odedra in Rising, with choreography by Akram Khan, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Russell Maliphant (NAC debut); Germany’s Public in private/Clément Layes in allege, a remarkably funny, prize-winning solo of skill, wit, daring and intelligence (NAC debut); Montreal’s Anne Plamondon in Les mêmes yeux que toi – an NAC co-production – an electrifying full-length solo that is a captivating collage of superimposed realities, co-created with actress/writer/director Marie Brassard (Anne Plamondon is performing her first solo at the NAC; she was here as part of RUBBERBANDance in 2009, performing Punto Ciego; she was also here performing with Kidd Pivot); and Get a Revolver by Germany’s Helena Waldmann, a penetrating and emotional exploration of dementia that confronts our own prejudices and asks, can dementia possibly be positive, or even liberating? Face 2 Face runs Feb. 5-8 2014. (NAC debut).


  • Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet: Nutcracker is a visual and musical spectacle that preserves the best of the Russian tradition and spices it up with uniquely Canadian ingredients. Dec. 4-8 2013. (Appearing in April 2013, performing Sleeping Beauty; their Nutcracker was last here in 2009).
  • Dave St-Pierre: Foudres. With choreography of challenging physicality, St-Pierre’s work is defiantly in-your-face, designed to shock and surprise. NOTE: Contains extreme scenes of a sexual nature, nudity and smoking. May 8 2014. (Last here in 2011, performing La pornographie des âmes).


NAC Dance and the National Arts Centre Foundation would like to thank Jerry and Joan Lozinski for their generous support in making the performances of The National Ballet of Canada in Ottawa possible. The Lord Elgin Hotel is the Hotel Sponsor for Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal and Tango Pasión.


Dance subscribers save up to 15% on regular single ticket prices when they subscribe to one or more Dance Series. Subscribers may also create their own Designer Series by choosing at least four subscription performances and save up to 15% on single ticket prices. Box office prices are subject to change after the renewal deadline of May 10, 2013.

Subscribers save an additional 5% when subscribing online by April 26, 2013.

Full-time students save 50% off the Box Office single ticket price when purchasing subscriptions (with valid student ID).

Dance subscribers save up to 15% on additional tickets to Dance performances throughout the season, as well as up to 15% on regular-priced tickets to concerts with the NAC Orchestra, and English Theatre or French Theatre productions.

Subscription information is available at the NAC Box Office, Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Visit the Box Office located in the Main Foyer of the National Arts Centre, call 613-947-7000 x 620 or subscribe online:


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