Robert Lepage and Guillaume Côté's new dance work Frame by Frame opens tonight, 1 June, at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto.
Karen Kain, Artistic Director of The National Ballet of Canada, announced that Sadler's Wells in London will co-produce Frame by Frame, a collaboration between theatre artist Lepage and Choreographic Associate and Principal Dancer Côté, and will tour to Sadler's Wells in an upcoming season. The company last appeared at Sadler's Wells in 2013 with Alexei Ratmansky's Romeo and Juliet.
Frame by Frame is Lepage's debut with the National Ballet and Côté's second full-length ballet for the company, the first being Le Petit Prince created in 2016. Côté has been a Principal Dancer with the National Ballet since 2004 and a Choreographic Associate since 2013.
The work is a homage to pioneer Canadian filmmaker and animator Norman McLaren. It is a multidisciplinary work that follows the arc of his life and work, incorporating dance, film and theatre. Best-known for his Academy Award-winning film Neighbours (1952) and his groundbreaking dance film Pas de deux, McLaren's experiments in animation, innovative use of sound, music and drawn-on-film techniques transformed cinema and animation.
The production incorporates and interweaves several different media, aiming to be both an evocation of and inquiry into the world and imagination of one of Canada's most uncategorizable and accomplished, yet elusive, artists.
Jack Bertinshaw – Norman McLaren, Pioneering animator and filmmaker
Félix Paquet – Guy Glover, McLaren's life partner
Dylan Tedaldi – Grant Munro, McLaren's protégé, featured in many of McLaren's films, including Neighbours
Tomas Schramek – John Grierson, Founder of the National Film Board of Canada and McLaren's mentor
Wellesley Robertson – Oscar Peterson, Jazz pianist and composer whose music McLaren used in Begone Dull Care
Greta Hodgkinson – Evelyn Lambart, Animation pioneer and McLaren's collaborator
Harrison James – Maurice Blackburn, Film composer and collaborator & Vincent Warren, Featured dancer in McLaren's film Pas de deux, collaborator on McLaren's film Narcissus
Skylar Campbell – Jean-Paul Ladouceur, Featured actor in Neighbours & René Jodoin, Fellow animator and McLaren's collaborator
Alexandra MacDonald – Ludmilla Chiriaeff, Choreographer for McLaren's film Pas de deux and founder of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens
Heather Ogden – Margaret Mercier, Celebrated actress and featured dancer in McLaren's film Pas de deux
Running Time 1h 50m with no interval
Frame by Frame is onstage June 1 – 10, 2018
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.