Critical acclaim from the press

  • Watershed opens in silence with the silhouette of dancers performing the most exquisite and mesmerizing kaleidoscope-like series of twirling and turning moves.” ELLE Canada, 2013
  • “Navas comes from the world of contemporary dance, yet he creates on-point choreography as if to the manner born.” The Globe and Mail, Toronto, 2013
  • “The power and clarity of Navas’ conception turned Watershed to be the evening’s highlight.” Musical Toronto, Toronto, 2013

A few words about the show

When he first heard Four Sea Interludes, an orchestral suite from the opera Peter Grimes by Benjamin Britten, José Navas immediately pictured a dance piece on pointe for a large group. He didn’t imagine then that his vision would one day become a reality with the 32 dancers of The National Ballet of Canada, continuing his entry into the ballet world that began with Giselle and Bliss.

A major turning point on the choreographer’s artistic journey, José Navas establishes in Watershed a dialogue both formal and sensitive with Britten’s work, subtly following its dramatic arc and echoing its musical geometry in his choreographic composition and in a movement vocabulary of pure and sensuous lines.

Highlighting the classical form as well as the dancers’ personalities and technical virtuosity, he both celebrates the aesthetic of ballet and questions its conventions by dressing men and women alike in tutus the colours of a stormy sky. It’s a bold choice that breaks the constraints of gender and gives the piece’s lyricism a wild strength while magnifying each dancer’s internal strength.


  • Choreography: José Navas
  • Assistant to the Choreographer: Ami Schulman
  • Female dancers: Jordana Daumec, Hannah Fischer, Selene Guerrero-Trujillo, Emma Hawes, Kathryn Hosier, Tanya Howard, Rui Huang, Stephanie Hutchison, Elena Lobsanova, Elizabeth Marrable, Chelsy Meiss, Stacey Shiori Minagawa, Tiffany Mosher, Tina Pereira, Jenna Savella, Sarah Elena Wolff, Xiao Nan Yu
  • Male dancers: Jack Bertinshaw, Skylar Campbell, Naoya Ebe, Francesco Gabriele Frola, Giorgio Galli, Harrison James, Etienne Lavigne, Patrick Lavoie, James Leja, Brendan Saye, Piotr Stanczyk, Joseph Steinauer, Robert Stephen, Dylan Tedaldi, Nan Wang
  • Rehearsal directors: Rex Harrington et Lindsay Fisher
  • Music: Benjamin Britten, Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes
  • Lighting: Jeff Logue from an original concept by James F. Ingalls
  • Costumes: Sonya Bayer
  • Length: 20 minutes
  • World premiere: November 22, 2013, National Ballet of Canada, Toronto

Watershed is a production of the National Ballet of Canada.