Date: Coming in 2016
Partner: National Ballet of Canada
Project Members: Niamh Byrne Rodgers, Katherine Hannemann, and Lily Jackson
Highlights in the Evolution of Canada’s National Ballet School is a virtual exhibition that tells the story of the School’s 55year history through thematic areas and seminal moments. The exhibition draws attention to the individual and collective memories of the NBS’s alumni, teachers, choreographers, and students, and invites discussion about the School’s growth. Through sharing memories of NBS’s past, the exhibition sets the stage for its growth into the future.
Launched in conjunction with NBS’s Global Alumni Symposium in 2016, the exhibition is designed to engage audiences with direct connections to the School, including alumni. Passersby of the School’s Toronto campus, as well as people with an interest in the vitality of the arts, will also find the exhibition’s content intriguing.
With its virtual platform, the exhibition reaches audiences close to the School’s home in Toronto as well as those around the globe. Accessible on any mobile device, tablet, or computer, the website format also allows the many NBS Alumni who dance in companies worldwide to reconnect with their peers and remember their time at the School.
Fees associated with Highlights in the Evolution of Canada’s National Ballet School, including support of the website platform, were generously provided by Canada’s National Ballet School and the Master of Museum Studies Exhibition Class fund.
Initial planning of the exhibition began in September 2014 with proposal meetings between Canada’s National Ballet School and the MMSt Exhibition team and course instructor. From then, planning continued until December 2014, during which the Exhibition team worked with NBS partners to develop the major themes and platform for the exhibition. Research, text development, and materials selection took place between December 2014 to March 2015. Website design and completion took place during March and April 2015. The exhibition is due to launch in 2016 in conjunction with the NBS Global Alumni Symposium.
The major themes of the exhibition are presented in text, images, and video. Text includes interpretive text as well as direct quotations from NBS alumni. While interpretive texts highlight the significance of formative moments in the School’s history, quotations from alumni present personal memories of the School from those who spent years in its studios and classrooms.
Images also help to illustrate key events and everyday life at the School since 1959. In particular, photographs depict major NBS performances, conferences, and ceremonies, as well as generations of students, teachers, and artists influential to the School. Images also consist of ephemera that represents important formative moments in NBS history.
Videos further bring NBS history to life. The embedded videos enable audiences to view dance in its true format, as a medium that combines the movement of dancers with music. In this exhibition, videos show notable NBS performances, highlight the current work of alumni, and present an Academy Awardwinning short film about Flamenco class at NBS.
The exhibition will be launched in conjunction with NBS’s Global Alumni Symposium in 2016. As such, NBS will be responsible for marketing this exhibition and organizing the accompanying programming.
While our exhibition website will not launch until 2016, we intend to drive traffic from NBS’s main website, which has approximately 13,000 views per month, as well as through its e-newsletter, which has over 9,000 subscribers.
We would like to thank our course supervisor, Matthew Brower, for his support throughout the completion of this exhibition.
We would also like to recognize the support of Canada’s National Ballet School, with special thanks to Joanna Gertler, Cheryl BelkinEpstein, and Sondra McGregor.
Thanks also go to the National Film Board and The National Ballet of Canada for use of their media materials.