Last Wednesday evening at a gala event in a former printing factory in south London, extraordinary dancers from The National Ballet of Canada and The Royal Ballet came together for the U.K. premiere of The Dreamers Ever Leave You, the innovative, immersive, Lawren Harris-inspired ballet that debuted at the AGO last summer.
Choreographed by the National Ballet of Canada’s Choreographic Associate Robert Binet, Dreamers was co-commissioned by the AGO and The National Ballet in conjunction with the exhibition The Idea of North: The Paintings of Lawren Harris. Its sold-out premiere at the Gallery was widely praised, with The Globe and Mail naming it as one of the top three dance events in Toronto in 2016 and calling it “a veritable candy store for ballet fans.”
At the AGO, Dreamers took over our Signy Eaton Gallery: audiences were invited to move around three rectangular platforms under shifting light and sky while the dancers moved among them to an expressive piano soundtrack performed live by composer Lubomyr Melnyk. In London, Dreamers was performed at Printworks, a raw industrial space more than five times the size of the Signy Eaton Gallery, and the former home to the massive printing presses that would produce the Evening Standard for Londoners.
In such a vast space, the performance became a beautiful landscape of light and movement, and more than 2,000 Londoners came to see the magic in action over three sold-out performances. At the opening, National Ballet artistic director Karen Kain recalled the first meeting about Dreamers, in a conference room at the AGO, when both organizations quickly signed on to a unique and creative partnership after hearing Binet outline his vision.
For those who missed Dreamers in Toronto and couldn’t make the trip across the pond, Binet will be adapting the work for the stage at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. It will be performed from February 28 – March 4, 2018 as part of The National Ballet’s Made in Canada program and tickets are available now.
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