The National Ballet of Canada has cancelled the remainder of its 2020-2021 season including the world premiere of Swan Lake scheduled for this coming March. Karen Kain, artistic director of the ballet, and executive director Barry Hughson made the announcement this morning due to the “ongoing uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic and in recognition that a return to large gatherings in the near future is unlikely.” The National Ballet of Canada performs at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, which has a capacity of more than 2,000 people.
“Although this news is not unexpected, the decision to cancel the remainder of the 2020/21 season was made with a heavy heart,” said Kain, in a press release.“I am particularly disappointed that we must once again postpone the world premiere of my new production of Swan Lake which will now be presented in the 2021/22 season but the health and safety of our artists and audiences continue to be our foremost priority,” she continued. “We will return to the stage when it is safe to do so stronger than ever and until then, we will continue to share the artistry of our dancers virtually and, when possible, in socially distanced live performances.”
Although a serious blow to Toronto’s cultural landscape, many of the city’s arts organizations are pursuing new digital and live-stream works and the National Ballet is no different. It will continue with its virtual season with the upcoming Spotlight Series, described as “a digital reimagining of new and existing works, featuring world premieres of Trase Pa by Kevin A. Ormsby and Soul by Jera Wolfe.”