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National Ballet of Canada – Innovation: Choreography by Peter Quanz, Crystal Pite and Sabrina Matthews

The Arts2009-3-8By: Classical Staff

reviewed by Paula Citron
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Innovation: Choreography by Peter Quanz, Crystal Pite and Sabrina Matthews
National Ballet of Canada
At the Four Seasons Centre until Mar. 8
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Karen Kain took a huge risk by commissioning three world premieres by Canadian choreographers, and it has paid off.

Peter Quanz has set IN COLOUR to a compelling new score by 23-year-old Russian composer Anton Lubchenko, and the music is a symphonic son of Shostakovich and Stravinsky. Together, the choreography and music are a modern homage to Russian flash and dash.

Crystal Pite’s impressionist Emergence captures the hidden world of insects as a metaphor for human existence. Owen Belton’s atmospheric electronic score adds mystery. Pite’s choreography showcases the individual within the group to express the collective consciousness of a colony.

Matthews chose Vivaldi’s joyous Dixit Dominus, yet there is darkness. The choreography, built around pas de deux, is one of desperation as her dancers strive for some kind of light. Working against the music creates an interesting effect.

Collectively, the evening is a triumph of Canadian choreography.

The National Ballet’s Innovation program continues at the Four Seasons Centre until Mar. 8.

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