The Kennedy Center

NBC Winter's Tale

The National Ballet of Canada: Wheeldon's The Winter's Tale

Tuesday, January 19, 2016 - Sunday, January 24, 2016

Ballet & Contemporary Dance Ballet Holidays

The company brings another fabulous international success story from British choreographer Christopher Wheeldon and his acclaimed creative team: the U.S. premiere of a dazzling new ballet based on Shakespeare's classic play.

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Karen Kain, Artistic Director
Flip through the pages of our digital storybook.

Choreography by Christopher Wheeldon
Staged by Jacquelin Barrett and Anna Délicia Trévien
Scenario by Christopher Wheeldon and Joby Talbot
Music by Joby Talbot

Set and costume design by Bob Crowley
Lighting design by Natasha Katz
Projection design by Daniel Brodie
Silk effects design by puppeteer Basil Twist
A co-production of The National Ballet of Canada and The Royal Ballet
with the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra

"Five stars out of five! Christopher Wheeldon has produced the most heartfelt and resonant full-length ballet seen in decades… his greatest triumph."

--The Times of London
"A ravishing success! Thought-provoking entertainment, gleaming with fluent, confident dance."
--The Observer 
"Spectacular! Epic emotional sweep... a major artistic achievement, once more confirming Wheeldon's place as a luminary among today's choreographers"--The Toronto Star

"The National Ballet is in top form, and if you go to the ballet to delight in spirited corps work, effective storytelling, flashes of characterization, and luscious colorful sets, then you won't be disappointed."--The Globe and Mail

Following its smash 2013 engagement of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, The National Ballet of Canada brings another fabulous international success story from British choreographer Christopher Wheeldon and his acclaimed creative team: the dazzling U.S. premiere of The Winter's Tale, a co-production with The Royal Ballet in London.  
Based on William Shakespeare's classic play, The Winter's Tale follows the story of King Leontes, who suspects his wife Hermione has betrayed him with his good friend Polixenes. In a fit of blind jealousy, he orders his innocent queen to stand trial, and her newborn child to be abandoned in the wild. Time passes to reveal their daughter Perdita has blossomed into a beautiful shepherd girl. Unaware of her royal lineage, she's now head over heels for Florizel, who happens to be Polixenes's princely son in disguise. Can true love's virtue mend wounded hearts and bring their families back together?
Transporting audiences from the chilly austerity of Leontes's marble kingdom, to a magical tree watching over a lush bohemian paradise, to a beautiful statue that miraculously comes to life, The Winter's Tale embraces all of the romance, comedy, fantasy, and tragedy in Shakespeare's glorious work--leading to a profound ending of redemption, reconciliation, and transformation. With striking sets and costumes by Bob Crowley and a soaring original score by Joby Talbot, this bold and colorful production has been hailed as "a game-changer" for Christopher Wheeldon, featuring "the most expressive and inventive dance language we've yet seen from him" (The Guardian). 

PRINCIPAL CASTING (subject to change)
Piotr Stanczyk (Jan. 19, 21, 23 eve) Evan McKie (Jan. 20, 24) McGee Maddox (Jan. 22) Guillaume Côté (Jan. 23 mat)
Hannah Fischer (Jan. 19, 21, 23 eve) Jurgita Dronina (Jan. 20, 24) Heather Ogden (Jan. 22) Sonia Rodriguez (Jan. 23 mat)
Jillian Vanstone (Jan. 19, 21, 23 eve) Elena Lobsanova (Jan. 20, 23 mat) Rui Huang (Jan. 22, 24)
Naoya Ebe (Jan. 19, 21, 23 eve) Francesco Gabriele Frola (Jan. 20, 23 mat) Skylar Campbell (Jan. 22, 24)
Harrison James (Jan. 19, 21, 23 eve) Brendan Saye (Jan. 20, 24) Félix Paquet (Jan. 22, 23 mat)
Xiao Nan Yu (Jan. 19, 21, 23 eve) Svetlana Lunkina (Jan. 20, 22, 24) Tanya Howard (Jan. 23 mat)

Performance Timing: Act One - 47 min.; Intermission - 20 min.; Act Two - 35 min.; Intermission - 20 min.; Act Three - 23 min.

Watch and Listen

The Winter's Tale: Inside the Music

The Winter's Tale – Ballet Talk with Lindsay Fischer

Christopher Wheeldon on The Winter's Tale

The Winter's Tale Trailer