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HAMLET PRINCE OF DENMARK Adds Performance in Toronto

The newly added matinee performance is scheduled for Saturday, April 6th at 2:00pm.

By: Feb. 23, 2024
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Due to popular demand, a matinee performance has been added to the limited run of the premiere of The Tragedy of HAMLET Prince of Denmark in Toronto.  The newly added matinee performance is scheduled for Saturday, April 6th at 2:00pm.

A new dance theatre collaboration from the internationally celebrated partnership of legendary director Robert Lepage and dancer/choreographer Guillaume Côté, who previously created Frame by Frame for The National Ballet of Canada, the pair now re-imagine one of the theatre’s most persistent and haunting stories, Shakespeare’s HAMLET, making its World Premiere in Toronto at the prestigious Elgin Theatre from April 3 through April 7, 2024.

A wordless take on the emblematic tale of a man consumed by doubt and perhaps descending into madness, after his father dies under troubling circumstances, this new HAMLET from Côté and Lepage mines the essential narratives of Shakespeare’s complex examination of the human condition, with a weaving of classic and contemporary choreography. Performed by a company of hand-picked dancers, Côté himself stars as the troubled Dane.

Côté and Lepage’s creation pulls the audience deep into a world of deceptiveness, where phantoms and humans mingle on a minimalist set on which light, shadow and transparency play a central role. This metaphorical reinterpretation of the Shakespearian drama draws a fine line connecting movements of the body with what may or may not be lurking within the corners of the mind.
“Robert has staged numerous award-winning productions of Hamlet worldwide and has performed the role himself – he has deep and nuanced understanding of the play, and we began to talk about it during the creation of Frame by Frame,” recounts Côté. “We are all faced with choices in life - whether to do right or wrong - and must always accept the consequences of our actions. Robert and I frequently discuss this irrevocability.”

“Hamlet is a play that I know very, very, well,” adds Lepage. “When Guillaume expressed an interest in revisiting the character, the proposition of working with him to find a nonverbal expression all of the inner contradictions and the paradoxes of Hamlet, was for me, a very, very exciting idea.” 

“As we further explored the possibilities together it became clear that the story of Hamlet goes well beyond the dialogue and lends itself well to a physical storytelling,” continues Côté. “And the piece seemed to offer continued creative challenges to us both as well as continued resonance. Hamlet remains a deep mirror to human experience, and by gaining a deeper understanding of this character, we can appreciate the importance of taking action to address the problems of humanity. Shakespeare's works exemplify the power of art in this regard, and there is no better time than now to unite through shared experiences in art.”

Developed over the last several years including multiple intensive sessions run in Quebec City and Toronto, a first work-in-progress draft of the piece was presented at the Festival des Arts de Saint-Sauveur, where Côté is Artistic Director, in August of 2023.

Moving away from the projection driven visuals of Frame by Frame, for HAMLET Côté and Lepage take a theatrical, narrative approach emphasizing the movement of the nine-dancer company. Lepage brings his renowned visual signature to the production, creating a powerfully symbolic world through expressive lighting design, moveable set pieces, and a striking original score from award-winning composer John Gzowski.

“This piece is really based on bodies, on movement, on how to use the space,” shares Lepage. “I think people will recognize my signature….any technology we employ is very supportive of the strong ideas underpinning the production.”

HAMLET is produced by Lepage’s Ex Machina and Côté’s Côté Danse, in partnership with veteran producer Svetlana Dvoretsky’s Dvoretsky Productions, and is presented by Show One Productions, which celebrates 20 years as a leading global arts producer and presenter in 2024.  Dvoretsky recently produced a new work with Côté on the acclaimed multimedia dance production TOUCH and with Lepage, presenting his immersive VR project The Library At Night in Toronto.

“I am overjoyed to have these relationships with these two extraordinary artists come together on this absolutely stunning and innovative new work,” commented Dvoretsky. “Guillaume Côté and Robert Lepage are both singular artists working on a global platform and their visual worlds come together beautifully. A project like this is the dream of a lifetime for a producer and it is an honour to be part of  their ongoing collaboration.” 


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