From classical form to contemporary poses, Les Grand Ballets Canadiens is about to launch a new season that will celebrate everything fabulous about the ballet and beyond.
Though Les Grand Ballets was formed in 1957, this year they are celebrating a decade of working with their cherished Artistic Director, Macedonian-born Gradimir Pankov.
“He was a dancer himself in Yugoslavia and Germany and then quickly became the artistic director of many European companies,” said Dancyger of Pankov.
Dancyger said that Pankov was looking to select what feels are the most striking ballets of the past decade for his 10th anniversary with the company. The idea is to mount a season that would delight both aficionados and first-timers alike.
Starting up the season, Sergei Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet will grace the stage at Place des Arts from October 15-30 on selected dates.
Dancyger described this production as a classical presentation with a distinct modern element as though it will be “on point,” the show will be devoid of tutus and tiaras.
The choreography is by Jean-Christophe Maillot, who is the artistic director for the Ballets de Monte-Carlo, and Prokofiev’s score will be performed by the Grand Ballets’ orchestra.
“The production is very sleek, very Zen and very pure, though it is a big production with lots of costumes. The sets are minimal with beautiful lighting,” explained Dancyger.
Christmas time would just not be the same in Montreal without Les Grand Ballets’ production of the beloved classic, The Nutcracker.
Though this particular presentation never strays from the traditional, it is a holiday favourite as it appeals to children and adults alike. According to Dancyger, many people come year after year or every few years as there is always something new to discover about the piece because of its elaborate sets and large cast.
The holiday classic about a young girl named Clara and a nutcracker that comes to life is a favourite around the world and will be staged in Montreal from December 12-30 on selected dates.
“It really reflects and translates the spirit of Christmas and the holidays. It is a magical production,” said Dancyger.
For those looking for a true classical ballet in its purest form, Les Grand Ballets is importing the Guangzhou Ballet from China for a three-night presentation of La Sylphide.
“This Chinese company is very famous and their technique is based on that of the Russians. They are amazing dancers with beautiful, classical form,” stated Dancyger.
Over 100 dancers are being flown in from China for their North American debut, which will run from February 18-20.
For six select days in March, starting on the 18th, Les Grand Ballets are beaming with pride to present the Kylián Evening, which will feature three pieces by famed Czech choreographer Jirí Kylián.
“Kylián is unique in the world of today’s choreographers because what he does is full of contrasts. There is a Kylián style that is very aesthetic and very fluid, very beautiful and very organic,” Dancyger said.
He recommends this particular production to those who are not looking for a classical ballet but something out of the ordinary that encapsulates the beauty of the human form.
Rounding off Les Grand Ballets’ season in May is a boisterous and colourful production titled Minus One by Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin. It will run on selected dates from May 6-15.
Dancyger pointed out that this 80-minute non-stop production is a collage of seven of the choreographer’s different works.
“It feels a little bit like the A Chorus Line production in New York. At one point they sing, at another point the dancers talk and they also do improvisations. There are some personal testimonials by the dancers,” said Dancyger.
This production features a variety of music from world beat to Jewish rock and is being hailed as one of the most exciting productions of the year.
“This year is the best of the best. I think that the public is bound to like the season in that sense. In fact, these are the programs that our audience wanted to see again so they are not only the most popular but they are also the most striking from an artistic point-of-view,” said Dancyger.
For more info on the shows or to buy tickets, go to: www.grandsballets.com/en