A dance version of Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina opens National Ballet of Canada’s new season

John Neumeier, the choreographer whose Nijinsky has brought the National Ballet of Canada international acclaim, will contribute another of his ballets to the company’s 2018/19 season.

Neumeier’s Anna Karenina will open the new season on Nov. 10.

“Those of you who experienced Nijinsky or A Streetcar Named Desire will understand how excited the company is to present the North American premiere of John’s adaptation of Anna Karenina,” artistic director Karen Kain said in a news release.

The production, based on the Leo Tolstoy novel, is the first co-production between the National Ballet, the Hamburg Ballet and the Bolshoi Ballet.

As well, the Canadian company will tour to Hamburg, Germany, in July with an all-Canadian program of James Kudelka’s The Man in Black, Crystal Pite’s Emergence and Robert Binet’s The Dreamers Ever Leave You.

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It follows recent tours by the company to New York, Washington, Los Angeles, London and Paris, where Nijinsky received standing ovations last year.

Also on the bill:

  • Two company premieres of works by American choreographer William Forsythe — The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude and Approximate Sonata 2016 — packaged with Forsythe’s The Second Detail in June 2019.

  • The return of The Merry Widow, also in June 2019, with principal dancer Xiao Nan Yu — who is retiring after 22 years with the company at the end of the season — in the title role.
  • The return of Being and Nothingness by choreographic associate Guillaume Cote, based on the work of the same name by Jean-Paul Sartre, paired with Frederick Ashton’s The Dream, based on A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

The season also features the return of family favourites The Nutcracker and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland; Marius Petipa’s Paquita, grouped with George Balanchine’s Apollo and Robert Binet’s The Sea Above, The Sky Below.

See national.ballet.ca for more details.