Entertainment

National Ballet of Canada cancels rest of 2020-21 season, including Swan Lake

The National Ballet of Canada says it's cancelling its remaining 2020-21 season, "due to the ongoing uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic." The world premiere of its Swan Lake production in June will be postponed to the 2021-22 season.

Pandemic had already forced cancellation of Toronto-based company's November and December performances

The National Ballet announced in August it was cancelling its fall season, including its annual production of The Nutcracker, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It has now cancelled the remainder of the 2020-21 season. (Karolina Kuras/The National Ballet of Canada)

The National Ballet of Canada says it's cancelling its remaining 2020-21 season, "due to the ongoing uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic."

In August, the National Ballet announced the pandemic had forced the cancellation of its performances set for November and December, including its annual production of The Nutcracker.

It later announced a virtual showcase, though still intended to proceed with its winter season in March of next year.

However, the Toronto-based company now says it can no longer do that, since "a return to large gatherings in the near future is unlikely."

Artistic director Karen Kain and executive director Barry Hughson said the winter season in March will be cancelled, and the world premiere of Kain's Swan Lake production in June will be postponed to the 2021-22 season.

That season will be announced in spring of next year.

More digital offerings to come

"Although this news is not unexpected, the decision to cancel the remainder of the 2020-21 season was made with a heavy heart," Kain said Thursday in a statement.

"I am particularly disappointed that we must once again postpone the world premiere of my new production of Swan Lake which will now be presented in the 2021-22 season but the health and safety of our artists and audiences continues to be our foremost priority."

The virtual season launched in September with a triptych of films called Expansive Dances, which are available for free on the National Ballet's website and social media channels.

The next digital offering will be the Spotlight Series, which reimagines new and existing works.

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