The National Ballet of Canada Returns to the Kennedy Center With Two Programs

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The National Ballet of Canada Returns to the Kennedy Center With Two Programs

Canada's esteemed national ballet company, The National Ballet of Canada, returns to the Kennedy Center with two programs showcasing its world-renowned talents in the classical and contemporary dance repertory, January 28-February 2. All performances will be accompanied by the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra conducted by David Briskin, Music Director and Principal Conductor of the National Ballet of Canada's Orchestra.

Works by Forsythe, Kylián, and Ratmansky (January 28 & 29):

On Tuesday and Wednesday, the National Ballet performs a repertory program with works by William Forsythe, Jiří Kylián, and Alexei Ratmansky. Set to the final movement of Schubert's Ninth Symphony, William Forsythe's fiercely demanding The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude requires pure classical technique, along with rigor, focus, and speed, and functions as an homage to traditional classical and neo-classical form as perfected by Petipa and Balanchine. Approximate Sonata 2016, a more subdued Forsythe, if no less vigorously athletic, is an assemblage of intricately shaped pas de deux and is set to a hushed, minimalist piano score by Thom Willems. Originally created for the 1991 Salzburg Festival to mark the second centenary of Mozart's death, Jiří Kylián's Petite Mort is a dynamic ballet performed to selections from two Mozart piano concertos. The work, for six men and six women, is in many ways the embodiment of the Czech choreographer's style. Alexei Ratmansky's Piano Concerto #1 is an homage to composer Shostakovich's life and his transcendent spirit of creation. This work is the final section of the choreographer's Shostakovich Trilogy, which premiered in 2013.

The Sleeping Beauty (January 30-February 2):

The company will then perform the classic The Sleeping Beauty, choreographed by Rudolf Nureyev after Marius Petipa. Of all the story ballets, perhaps none embodies classical ballet's unabashed exuberance, grace, and virtuosity more than this romantic tale of a princess cursed to sleep for 100 years, who can only be awakened by a prince's kiss. Danced to Tchaikovsky's captivating music, this production helped put the National Ballet on the international map when Nureyev brought it to the company in 1972 and chose current Artistic Director Karen Kain-then a principal dancer-for the title role. With her staging of the ballet, she has kept Nureyev's vision intact; his is considered one of the most richly entertaining and technically impressive versions there is.


Established as a classical company by founder Celia Franca in 1951, The National Ballet of Canada is the only Canadian ballet company to present a full range of traditional full-length classics. The company's repertoire includes works by the world's most celebrated 20th and 21st century masters, Sir Frederick Ashton, George Balanchine, John Cranko, Rudolf Nureyev, John Neumeier, William Forsythe, James Kudelka, Wayne McGregor, Alexei Ratmansky, Crystal Pite, Christopher Wheeldon, Aszure Barton, Guillaume Côté, and Robert Binet. In addition to its classical repertoire, the company also embraces contemporary works and encourages the creation of new ballets and the development of Canadian choreographers. The National Ballet is committed to outreach and education for families and youth who may not otherwise have the opportunity to experience the joys of ballet. The company has a wide range of age-appropriate programs designed to engage with schools and children in the Greater Toronto Area and communities across Canada. YOU dance, the National Ballet's signature program, is designed to introduce students in grades four, five, and six to the world of dance through FREE workshops and performances.


Tickets start at $29 and can be purchased on the Kennedy Center website, at the Kennedy Center box office, or by calling Instant Charge at (202) 467-4600. Patrons living outside the Washington metropolitan area may dial toll-free at (800) 444-1324. For all other ticket-related customer service inquiries, call the Advance Sales Box Office at (202) 416-8540.

Support for Ballet at the Kennedy Center is generously provided by C. Michael Kojaian.

International Programming at the Kennedy Center is made possible through the generosity of the Kennedy Center International Committee on the Arts.


The National Ballet of Canada:

with the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra

Kennedy Center Opera House

Works by Forsythe, Kylián, and Ratmansky

The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude (Forsythe/Schubert)

Approximate Sonata 2016 (Forsythe/Willems)

Petite Mort (Kylián/Mozart)

Piano Concerto #1 (Ratmansky/Shostakovich)

Tuesday, January 28 & Wednesday, January 29, 2020 at 7:30 p.m.*

*A pre-performance discussion will take place with members of the company at 6:30 p.m. (free with your performance ticket)

The Sleeping Beauty (Nureyev after Petipa/Tchaikovsky)

Thursday, January 30-Saturday, February 1, 2020 at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, February 1-Sunday, February 2, 2020 at 1:30 p.m.

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