Les Grands Ballets Canadiens is pleased to announce the renewal of the mandate of its artistic director, Ivan Cavallari, for a second five-year term.
Appointed in 2017, at the moment the company was moving into Édifice Wilder Espace Danse in the heart of the Quartier des spectacles, “Mr. Cavallari has been the key figure in the realization of numerous important artistic achievements over the last four years,” stated Maurice Côté, chairman of the company’s board of directors. “Since his appointment, Mr. Cavallari has put in place a solid foundation for establishing a long-term vision for the company and its community, thereby reinforcing the position of Les Grands Ballets as a ballet troupe of significant scope, a leading organization in our arts and cultural sector.”
His goal of seeing the company reclaim and perform the classical repertoire while taking its place once again as a center for creation has guided all his actions since his arrival at Les Grands Ballets. His vision for an expanded repertoire is also reflected in the desire to introduce audiences to new territory in dance. In that respect, he has given carte blanche to a good number of choreographers from here and elsewhere over the past few seasons, among them Cathy Marston (Lady Chatterley’s Lover), Annabelle Lopez Ochoa (Vendetta), Bridget Breiner (The Firebird), Hélène Blackburn (Fête Sauvage), Andrew Skeels (Vessel and Requiem), Édouard Lock (Écho), Étienne Béchard (The Rite of Spring) and Edward Clug (Stabat Mater and Carmina Burana), to name just these. He has also encouraged company dancers with promising choreographic talent to create for Les Grands Ballets, including Vanesa G.R. Montoya (From the Sun to the Moon), Jérémy Galdeano, Vĕra Kvarčáková, Tetyana Martyanova and Kiara Flavin.
Thus he newly staged the iconic ballet Giselle in 2018 and just recently did the choreography and set design for Romeo & Juliet, which enjoyed a huge success. And Ivan Cavallari is about to restage the great classic Sleeping Beauty, in a version by Marcia Haydée, the only classical version of this ballet from the imperial age to be presented in Montreal in over 40 years.
To showcase the openness of the company’s repertoire, Ivan Cavallari has diversified his dancers and raised their total number from 35 to 44, notably by highlighting the talents developed at the École supérieure de ballet du Québec, now a true Grands Ballets training ground.
During the difficult pandemic period, Mr. Cavallari made every effort to allow for a speedy and safe return to the studios of Édifice Wilder Espace Danse. He succeeded in keeping the dancers’ motivation alive by encouraging creation, recording and digital dissemination, and by choreographing several pieces himself. All this offered the company the chance to dance despite the impossibility of getting up on theatre stages, and in so doing enabled Les Grands Ballets to reach a broader public.
That desire to bring dance to a wider audience moreover led him to undertake the “Envolée au Québec” tour in the summer of 2021, allowing the company’s repertoire to be enjoyed outside our metropolis.