National Ballet's Karen Kain to make directorial debut with revamped 'Swan Lake'

TORONTO — The National Ballet of Canada will present a fresh take on the classic "Swan Lake" from Karen Kain, a 50-year veteran of the Toronto company, in her directorial debut.

In a statement, the artistic director says the June 2020 restaging will accentuate the love story that has given the ballet its emotional staying power.

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A spokeswoman says this will be only the second time Kain has restaged a ballet for the company — the first was Rudolf Nureyev's "The Sleeping Beauty" in 2006.

The 2019-2020 season will also feature new works from choreographic associate Robert Binet with "Opheus Alive," billed as a gender-flipped retelling of the legendary love affair between Orpheus and Eurydice, and Canadian choreographer Crystal Pite's followup to her 2009 award-winning ballet "Emergence."

Company premieres include Frederick Ashton's "Marguerite and Armand," George Balanchine's "Chaconne" and Jiri Kylian's "Petite Mort."

Audiences will also have a chance to revisit favourites such as "Giselle," "The Nutcracker" and "Romeo and Juliet."

The company will head to Washington, D.C., next winter to perform at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, followed by its annual trip to Ottawa's National Arts Centre in April 2020.

The National Ballet is also launching a project called CreativAction that aims to support the dance community by loaning out free studio space, fostering collaborations with the company and comissioning small-scale works from choreographers.

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