Review: THE NATIONAL BALLET OF CANADA Enraptures Audiences at New York City Center


Review: THE CRUCIBLE at Eisenhower Theater

The National Ballet of Canada has returned to New York City Center for the first time in 15 years and we give the troupe an enthusiastic welcome. The company is under the artistic direction of Hope Muir with musical direction by the Principal Conductor, David Briskin. The company will be on the midtown stage through Saturday, April 1. They are presenting three stunning, exquisitely performed pieces that include the US premiere of Crystal Pite's Angels' Atlas; the New York premiere of David Dawson's Anima Animus; and Kenneth MacMillan's Concerto. We attended opening night when the rapt audience enjoyed every minute of the superb performance.

The lights dim, the National Ballet of Canada Orchestra strikes the first note and the magic begins. The program opened with Anima Animus. This is the National Ballet's first collaboration with British choreographer David Dawson. Anima Animus is an ingenious dance that explores the fluid space between extremes and opposites and Carl Jung's gendering of the collective unconscious as anima and animus. The piece is set to exhilarating music by Ezio Bosso. Anima Animus has a modern appeal while showcasing the company's finest classical ballet talents. Calley Skalnik and Genevieve Penn Nabity were among the dancers that were wonderfully featured.

Review: THE CRUCIBLE at Eisenhower Theater

After a brief intermission, the company returned to the stage to perform Concerto that was dedicated to the memory of beloved, acclaimed ballerina, Lynn Seymour. Created by Kenneth MacMillan for Deutsche Oper Ballet in 1966, it is full of intricate pairing and features perfect precision by the entire ensemble. This spirited piece has the dancers wearing bright springtime hues. Concerto is complemented by the lively variation in the music by Dmitri Shostakovich's Piano Concerto No. 2 in F major. The first movement paired Koto Ishihara and Siphesihle November; the second movement paired Tina Periera and Peng-Fei Jiang; and the third movement was performed by Jeannine Haller.

Review: THE CRUCIBLE at Eisenhower Theater

To top off a brilliant evening of dance, the company performed Angels' Atlas. The fascinating, award-winning piece was created for the National Ballet in 2020 by internationally acclaimed Canadian choreographer Crystal Pite. The emotive and thought-provoking dance explores the limits of our time in life. Angels' Atlas is set to original music by Owen Belton, choral work by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and Morten Lauridsen. The backdrop of a changing wall of celestial light that was created by designers Jay Gower Taylor and Tom Visser is ideal for Angels' Atlas. The dance demonstrates the versatility of the entire company as they perform graceful, yet intense, rhythmic movements.

The National Ballet of Canada is one of the foremost international ballet companies. Founded in 1951 by Celia Franca, the troupe currently numbers 70 exceptional dancers and has its own orchestra. They present ballet at its very finest.

Tickets for The National Ballet of Canada start at $35 can be purchased online at, by calling 212.581.1212, or in person at the City Center Box Office. New York City Center is located at 131 W 55th Street between Sixth and Seventh avenues.

Photo Credit: Performance Photos by Karolina Kuras


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Marina P. Kennedy's writing career led her from freelancing opportunities in New Jersey and New York to writing for where she covers entertainment, the culinary scene, ... (read more about this author)