25 May, 2023

Spring Showcase 2023

Spring Showcase 2023

An Annual Performance Tradition: May 25-27, 2023

Thursday May 25: 7:30pm | Friday May 26: 7:30pm | Saturday May 27: 2pm, 7:30pm

Presented on The Anna McCowan-Johnson Stage in the Betty Oliphant Theatre, 404 Jarvis St, Toronto

Adults: $65 | Students/Seniors (65+): $31.50


To reach the Box Office directly, please contact boxoffice@nbs-enb.ca or 416-964-5148 | Box Office Hours: Monday & Thursday | 1pm-4pm


Buy your tickets now!


Join us for this completely unique opportunity to witness the next generation of leading ballet artists as they develop and explore the full spectrum of this rapidly-evolving art form. Performances will feature the world premiere of 5 canticles, a new work choreographed by James Kudelka, a new creation choreographed by Esie Mensah and Robert Binet titled The Call, as well as a reprise of Jera Wolfe’s Arise.

5 canticles

First Canticle, Come Away
My beloved speaks and says to me:
"Arise, my love, my fair one, come away with me; 
for lo, the winter's past, the rain is over,
and the flowers bloom throughout the land.
The time of singing has begun,
the cooing of the doves is heard,
and figs begin to ripen; air is fragrant. 
So arise, my love, my fair one, come away with me.
Arise, my love, my fair one, come away with me, O come away.


“You are a dove that hides in cracks of rocks 
and hides in secret places in the crannies of the rock. 
Show me your face,
and let me hear your voice, 
for you are lovely,
and your voice enchants me and is sweet .
Catch us the foxes, catch the little foxes 
plundering the vineyards 
for our vines have tender grapes.”


My love belongs to me, and I to him; 
he feeds his flock among the lilies as he pastures them.
Until the day breathes cool and shadows lengthen, 
roam, my lover, 
Like a stag upon the rugged hills. [Song of Songs 2: 10-17]

Second Canticle, While I Slept
While I slept my heart was awake, keeping vigil 
I heard my beloved; he's knocking and saying, 
"Please open to me, my beloved, my fair one, 
for my head is wet with the dampness of night.” 


I have taken off my robe, 
am I then to put it on? 
I have bathed my feet, 
must I then soil them again? 


My lover thrust his hand through the hole of the door, 
my heart pounded, I trembled, 
and I grew faint when he spoke. 
I was thrilled he was near. 


I rose up to open
to let my beloved come in
and my hands dripped with myrrh, 
and my fingers were dripping of wetness 
as I grasped the handle, the bolt of the lock; 
it too, dripped of from the myrrh. 


I opened to my love 
but he had already departed and gone 
[so] I sought him but I could not find him; 
I called him, but he gave no answer to me. [Song of Songs 5:2-6]


Third Canticle, Deep Waters
Deep waters cannot quench love, 
nor floods sweep it away. 
Were one to offer all he owns to purchase love, 
he would be roundly mocked. [Song of Songs 8:7]


Fourth Canticle, Give You My Love
Come, my beloved, let’s go out into the fields, 
Let's lodge in the villages.
Let's go early to the vineyards 
to see if the vines have budded;
if the blossoms have opened.
There I will give you my love. [Song of Songs 7:12-13]


Fifth Canticle, Set Me As a Seal
Set me as a seal on your heart,
As a seal on your arm;
For love is strong as death,
passion is cruel as the grave;
It burns like a blazing fire, 
like a mighty flame. [Song of Songs 8:6]


The Call

The Call creates a world where tension can be resolved, and differences can be celebrated through movement. Bringing together the vocabularies of Esie Mensah, rooted in Afrofusion, and Robert Binet, rooted in ballet, this project challenges and celebrates their abilities to communicate through dance. The Call is an invitation to imagine a future where dance is an essential element of our cultural conversation. Our greatest lessons are learned through the body and it is through the body that we can experience true freedom.
The music has been created by composers Christopher Gerty and Diana Reyes (Fly Lady Di) and also includes existing tracks by Boddhi Satva and Omar. Together, this score spans genres from house to electronic to contemporary classical.




Jera Wolfe’s Arise explores how collaboration and support for one another enables us to rise and face challenges in our lives. The powerful choreographic work reflects the journey of growth for artists, and from the music to the dancers, highlights the creativity and connection of the next generation of artists. “I have realized that what defines me is not necessarily my failures or accomplishments, but how I rose to face them. We each face challenges in our own lives, from personal, political, to environmental. Only by collaborating, supporting and caring together will we be able to arise to face these challenges,” says Wolfe.

Arise features music from the album Eulogy for Evolution by Ólafur Arnalds. The album was first composed by the artist in his late teens. 



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