The Sea Above, The Sky Below; The National Ballet of Canada, June 6th, 2017
The Sea Above, The Sky Below was created in honour of Principal Dancer Xiao Nan Yu’s 20th anniversary with The National Ballet of Canada. It is the first ballet designed by fashion designer Erdem Moralioglu and is set to the Adagietto from Mahler’s 5th Symphony. The lighting is by Jeff Logue.
3 dancers, 9 minutes. Original cast: Xiao Nan Yu, Harrison James and Felix Paquet.
The Kreutzer Sonata; Ballet Moscow, June 1st- November 19th, 2017
The Kreutzer Sonata is an adaption of Leo Tolstoy’s novella of the same name. It features an original score by Gity Razaz, libretto by Britta Johnson, set and costume designs by Hyemi Shin and lighting design by Konstantin Binkin.
“Music makes me forget my real situation. It transports me into a state which is not my own. Under the influence of music I really seem to feel what I do not feel, to understand what I do not understand, to have powers which I cannot have.” – Leo Tolstoy, The Kreutzer Sonata
I have always been drawn to Tolstoy’s The Kreutzer Sonata because it is a story where music is the driving force of the plot. This means it lends itself beautifully to dance where music is the driving force of the body, and in the case of this production, every element.
In Tolstoy’s novella, he brilliantly explores a husband’s spiral downwards through crippling jealous rage. In attempting to capture the narrative through dance, I chose to focus on the journey of the wife. Her story is not just about her relationship with her husband but also about a relationship with music- a relationship that unlocks new possibility, new passion and new strength within her, a relationship that offers an escape from a dysfunctional and isolating marriage. I can think of no better journey to uncover through dance.
This is the first time I am tackling a linear narrative in my work and I was very interested in finding a way to honour Tolstoy’s riveting arc in a setting and timeline that felt exciting, rich and contained. One quote from the novella has always stood out to me: “The last excuse for our swinish life — children — was then taken away, and life became viler than ever.” In this adaptation, we have begun the story with a paralyzing loss that leaves this young couple with only one another. Their relationship immediately becomes a container for so many overwhelming emotions -anger, despair, regret. Through music, the wife finds an escape. Through music, something very dark is unlocked for the husband.
In the end it is a story about the effect the wife and husband have on each others bodies, and the effect art has on us all.
13 dancers, 60 minutes. Original cast: Eugenia Goncharov, Eduard Akhmentshin, Ot Klemann and artists of Ballet Moscow.
Self and Soul; The National Ballet of Canada, November 15th, 2016, March 29th-April 2nd, 2017
Self and Soul was initially created for The 12th International Competition for the Erik Bruhn Prize and was subsequently taken into The National Ballet of Canada’s repertoire.
The creation Self and Soul began with an attempt to translate excerpts from Noa Sadka’s book Talking Parts into movement. Sadka’s book is made up of short phrases or sentence fragments excerpted from her diary that depict moments that are at once mundane but also call our attention to vast, universal emotional ideas. In exploring these ideas between two dancers we found an undefined love; one that is not necessarily romantic, familial, platonic or passionate, but one that permeates their every action.
2 dancers, 9 minutes. Original cast: Felix Paquet and Calley Skalnik.
Void and Fire; The Royal Ballet, November 10th-19th, 2016
Void and Fire was created for The Royal Ballet as part of the celebrations of Wayne McGregor’s 10th anniversary. The ballet features music by Missy Mazzoli, costumes by Ilaria Martello, set design by architects Julia Backhaus and Martin Tang and lighting by Natasha Chivers.
‘the blue of the sky depends on darkness of empty space behind it. As one optics journal puts it, “The color of any planetary atmosphere viewed against the black of space and illuminated by a sunlike star will also be blue.” In which case blue is something of an ecstatic accident produced by void and fire.’
-Maggie Nelson, Bluets
The sky, or that which is above us in any physical or spiritual sense, is both fearsome in its unfathomable scope and unpredictable in nature. However, it exists so often as a metaphor for freedom and limitlessness. A void – a state of emptiness – and fire – a force so powerful that the sun can illuminate and feed our entire planet – are extremes present in our natural and emotional worlds. These are forces too extreme to be positive on their own. However, they can come together to create a brilliant blue sky in the same way individuals can come together to create all the beauty and love in the world.
6 dancers, 17 minutes. Original cast: Romany Pajdak, Meaghan Grace Hinkis, Solomon Golding, Tomas Mock, Giacomo Rovero and Joseph Sissens.
The Dreamers Ever Leave You; The National Ballet of Canada, August 30th-September 6th, 2016
“a thrilling and affirming victory for the art form.” Martha Schabas, The Globe and Mail
The Dreamers Ever Leave You is an immersive ballet created in collaboration with The Art Gallery of Ontario. The ballet was inspired by Canadian painter Lawren Harris and features music by Lubomyr Melnyk, costumes by Robyn Clarke and lighting design by Simon Rossiter.
13 dancers, 150 minutes. Original cast: Heather Ogden, Alexandra MacDonald, Brendan Saye, Jenna Savella, Robert Stephen, Hannah Fischer, Harrison James, Elena Lobsanova, Skylar Campbell, Emma Hawes, Felix Paquet, Rui Huang and Spencer Hack.
Terra Incognita; Wild Space, July 28th-30th, 2016
Terra Incognita is the first production created for Robert’s project-based company Wild Space. The site-specific ballet had an original story written by Rosamund Small and music by HIF Biber, Nils Frahm and Clem Leek. More information is available at www.wild.space
5 dancers, 50 minutes. Original cast: Andreas Kaas, Emma Hawes, Martin ten Kortenaar, Yasmine Naghdi, Ida Praetorius.
The Blue of Distance; New York City Ballet, September 30th, October 8th-17th, 2015; February 2nd-11th, 2016, May 10th & 13th, 2017
“Binet moves powerfully against the grain of expectation” “Countering its surface values, Binet has discovered new depths in the ballet tradition.” - Apollinaire Sherr, The Financial Times
“Mr. Binet’s choreographic voice in “The Blue of Distance” is the strangest and most remarkably poetic among the premieres.” – Alastair Macauley, The New York Times
The Blue of Distance premiered as part of New York City Ballet’s Fall 2015 Gala and will be performed a total of 10 times through the Fall 2015 and Winter 2016 seasons. The ballet is set to Oiseaux Tristes and Une Barque Sur l’Ocean from Maurice Ravel’s Mirrors. The costumes are by fashion designer Hanako Maeda of ADEAM.
7 dancers, 13 minutes. Original cast: Sterling Hyltin, Rebecca Krohn, Sara Mearns, Tyler Angle, Harrison Ball, Preston Chamblee, Gonzalo Garcia.
Orpheus Becomes Eurydice; a co-comission between The Banff Centre and The National Ballet of Canada, July 9th-11th 2015
“Binet’s vision was presented in a completely original concept with refreshing authenticity”, “Orpheus Becomes Eurydice is a brilliant success” – Stephen Bonfield, The Calgary Herald
Orpheus Becomes Eurydice tells four interconnected stories of love and attempted rescue. This ballet was a collaboration with Librettist and Dramaturge Rosamund Small and set to music by the composer Missy Mazzoli.
4 dancers, 23 minutes. Original cast: Spencer Hack, Emma Hawes, Felix Paquet and Calley Skalnik
The Wild Space Between Two Hearts; The National Ballet of Canada, March 24th 2015
Created for Hannah Fischer and Ethan Watts of The National Ballet of Canada for the contemporary portion of the Eleventh International Competition for the Erik Bruhn Prize. Set to Rift from Silfra by Hilary Hahn and Hauschka. Have a look into rehearsals here.
Further performances: National Ballet of Canada Mad Hot Ballet Gala, June 17th, 2015. Arctic International Ballet Gala, February 5th & 7th 2016. Ballet Kelowna, April 29th, 30th & May 1st, 2016.
2 dancers, 7 minutes. Original cast: Hannah Fischer, Ethan Watts.
Surfacing; Dutch National Ballet Junior Company, February 6th – June 6th 2014
Premiered in Amsterdam and tours through The Netherlands as well as to the UK and Spain. Set to Birds in Warped Time II by Somei Satoh.
12 minutes, 4 dancers. Original cast: Nancy Burer, Antonio Martinez, Cristiano Principato, Riho Sakamoto.
Untitled work; The New York Choreographic Institute, and affiliate of the New York City Ballet, November 7th, 2014
Created for the Fall 2014 Session of The New York Choreographic Institute. Set to Lieux retrouvés: I. Les eaux and III. Les Champs and In Seven Days: VII. Contemplation by Thomas Adès.
10 minutes, 6 dancers. Cast: Alexa Maxwell, Mimi Staker, Indiana Woodward, Christopher D’Ariano, Sebastian Villarini-Velez and Saxon Wood
The Party Line; Music video for Belle and Sebastian‘s single ‘The Party Line’
Directed by Scott Cudmore and featuring Emma Hawes, Miyoko Koyasu, Jack Bertinshaw, Skylar Campbell and Spencer Hack.
White Rush; Dance film commissioned by The Royal Ballet and featuring dancers of The National Ballet of Canada
‘White Rush’ premiered as a part of the Deloitte Ignite 2014 festival at The Royal Opera House. It was screened in the Linbury Studio Theatre at The Royal Opera House on September 5th, 6th & 7th, 2014 and live-streamed worldwide. ‘White Rush’ is commissioned by The Royal Ballet, is directed by Dylan Tedaldi and features music by Nils Frahm.
6 minutes, 4 dancers. Cast: Jack Bertinshaw, Emma Hawes, Svetlana Lunkina and Félix Paquet
These Worlds In Us; The National Ballet of Canada, June 11th, 2014
Created for the National Ballet of Canada’s annual fundraising Gala at The Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto Canada and set to Missy Mazzoli‘s These Worlds in Us.
8 minutes, 6 dancers. Orginal cast: Jillian Vanstone, Skylar Campbell, Jenna Savella, Keiichi Hirano, Rui Huang, Robert Stephen
Wave Ring; Canada’s National Ballet School, May 21st-24th, 2014
Created for Canada’s National Ballet School’s annual Spring Showcase performances and set to an original score by Gity Razaz
32 minutes, 22 dancers. Original cast: Spencer Hack, Zoe Michalik, Madysen Felber, Calley Skalnik, John Canfield, Simon McNally and ensemble
5 minutes, 6 dancers. Cast: Patrick Foster, Keito Yamamoto, Liam Redhead, Clare Peterson, Shizuru Kato, Madysen Felber
Unearth; The National Ballet of Canada, November 22nd-28th, 2013
Created as a part of the National Ballet of Canada’s ‘Innovation’ programme at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto, Canada. The ballet is set to an original score by Owen Pallett with designs by Hyemi Shin and lighting by Jeff Logue
28 minutes. 14 dancers. Original cast: Heather Ogden, Sonia Rodriguez, Elena Lobsanova, Jenna Savella, Jordana Daumec, Emma Hawes, Ji Min Hong, McGee Maddox, Aleksandar Antonijevic, Skylar Campbell, Dylan Tedaldi, Giorgio Galli, Brendan Saye, Jonathan Renna
Free Verse and Open Form; commissioned by The Royal Academy of Dance for The Genée International Ballet Competition, September 21st-30th, 2013
Performed by all finalists at the Theatre Royal Glasgow on September 30th, 2013. Set to excerpts from Sergei Prokofiev’s Visions Fugitives.
Stretchy Movement; Wayne McGregor | Random Dance, September 21st & 22nd, 2013
4 minutes, 2 dancers. Cast: Anna Nowak and Travis Clausen-Knight
Earthborn; Canada’s National Ballet School, April 30th, May 25th & 26th, 2013
Created for students to perform at Assemblée Internationale 2013, a festival hosted by Canada’s National Ballet School that brought together eighteen of the top ballet schools from around the world. Set to Agu by Marc Mellits.
12 minutes, 12 dancers. Original cast: Jeannine Haller, Madysen Felber, Zoe Michalik, Spencer Hack, James Nix, Shizuru Kato, Patrick Foster, Mackenzie Farquhar, John Canfield, Marcus Pei, Godwin Merano, Alp Deris
Aerial View; The Royal Ballet, April 23rd-26th, 2013
Performed as part of The Royal Ballet’s Draft Works programme in the Linbury Studio Theatre at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Set to excerpts from Jóhann Jóhannsson’s Fordlandia.
10 minutes, 4 dancers. Cast: Frankie Hayward, James Hay, Yasmine Naghdi, Tristan Dyer.
EGAL; Ballet Black, February 27th-March 5th, 2013
Performed in the Linbury Studio Theatre at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, as well as extensive touring throughout the United Kingdom and to Bermuda. Set to GODOT by Hilary Hahn and Hauschka.
2 dancers, 12 minutes. Original cast: Cira Robinson, Jacob Wye
Life’s Witness; Wayne McGregor | Random Dance, commissioned by the Royal Opera House, November 22nd-24th, 2012
Performed as part of a mixed bill featuring The Royal Ballet and Wayne McGregor | Random Dance and commissioned by The Royal Opera House to celebrate 10 years of collaboration between the two organizations. Set to music by Hildegard von Bingen, Peteris Vasks, Olafur Arnalds and Jóhann Jóhannsson.
25 minutes, 8 dancers. Cast: Daniela Neugebauer, Paolo Mangiola, Catarina Carvalho, Fukiko Takase, Davide Di Pretoro, MJ Harper, Jessica Wright, Anna Nowak
Vertigo; YouDance, the second company of the National Ballet of Canada, September 14th-21st, 2012; April 2nd-12th 2013
Created for the YouDance outreach performances by the National Ballet of Canada at the Betty Oliphant Theatre in Toronto Canada. Set to etudes by Einojuhani Rautavaara
8 minutes, 4 dancers. Original cast: Hannah Fischer, Félix Paquet, Trygve Cumpston, Nayara Lopes, Kota Sato
Incident and Repose; The National Ballet of Canada, September 21st & 22nd, 2012
Performed as part of The National Ballet of Canada’s Choreographic Lab and set to excerpts from Musica Callada by Federico Mompou.
5 minutes, 2 dancers. Cast: Ji Min Hong, Jonathan Davidsson
Polar Night; The National Ballet of Canada, June 20th, 2012
Created for Principal Dancers Heather Ogden and Guillaume Côté to perform at The National Ballet of Canada’s 60th Anniversary Diamond Gala at The Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. Set to the adagio from Edward Elgar’s Cello Concerto in E Minor, Op. 85
9 minutes, 2 dancers. Cast: Heather Ogden, Guillaume Côté
Voces Intimae; Estonian National Ballet, June 7th & 8th, 2012, April 4th-18th, 2013
Performed at the Estonian National Opera House and on national tours. Set to Jean Sibelius’ string quartet Voces Intimae.
30 minutes, 11 dancers. Original cast: Olga Rjabikova, Aleksandr Prigorovski, Sergei Upkin, Bruno Micchiardi, Nanae Maruyama, Heidi Kopti, Abigail Sheppard, Marianne Bassing, Jonathan Hanks, David Horn, William Simmons
Lake Maligne; Bob Lockyer’s Birthday Bash at The Place, commissioned by Wayne McGregor, April 12th & 13th, 2012
Commissioned by Wayne McGregor for a celebration of Bob Lockyer at The Place. Bob Lockyer was the executive producer for dance programmes at the BBC for many years. This work was set to Loved One by Arve Henriksen and Palimpsest by Smog.
8 minutes, 1 dancer. Cast: Daniela Neugebauer
Die schöne Müllerin; Bundesjugendballett, the second company of the Hamburg Ballet, March 29-31& June 25, 2012
Created for the Bundesjugendballett and performed with singers and musicians from the Lied Academy at the Heidelberger Frühling. Set to Franz Schubert’s Die schöne Müllerin.
70 minutes, 8 dancers. Original cast: Natalie Ogonek, Maurus Gauthier, Yukino Takaura, Graeme Fuhrman, Yaiza Coll Suppert, Paco Ruiz Echarri, Gabriela Finardi, Hélias Tur-Dorvault
At The River Styx; The Royal Ballet, January 24th-26th, 2012
Performed as part of The Royal Ballet’s Draft Works programme in the Linbury Studio Theatre at The Royal Opera House. Set to Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber’s Passacaglia from the Rosary Sonatas.
2 dancers, 10 minutes. Cast: Yuhui Choe, Ricardo Cervera
Postlude; YouDance, the second company of the National Ballet of Canada, September 19th, 2011 – May 22nd, 2012
Created for the apprentices of The National Ballet of Canada to perform in their outreach and education performances. Set to preludes and etudes by Alexander Scriabin.
8 minutes, 4 dancers. Original cast: Miyoko Koyasu, Asiel Rivero, Nayara Lopes, Gabrielle Frola
Chance Has Spoken; New York Choreographic Institute at New York City Ballet, March 11th, 2011
Created during the Spring 2011 Session of The New York Choreographic Institute, an affiliate of New York City Ballet, and set to an original score by Gity Razaz.
8 minutes, 8 dancers. Cast: Zarina Stahnke, Aaron Sanz Madrid, Sarah Lee, Sebastian Villarini, Brianna Abruzzo, Craig Wasserman, Sukyung Park, Eric Mazzie.
Another Dark; The National Ballet of Canada’s Choreographic Lab, September 10th &11th, 2010
Created for The National Ballet of Canada’s Choreographic Labe while still a student at Canada’s National Ballet School. Set to Company I-IV and the first movement from String Quartet no. 3 by Philip Glass.
Cast: Elena Lobsanova, Jillian Vanstone, Ryan Booth, Jonathan Renna