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Director Lepage and dancer Cote to premiere wordless 'Hamlet' ballet in Toronto

Jason Reilly and Alicia Amatriain in Hamlet. (Stuttgart Ballet / National Ballet of Canada) Jason Reilly and Alicia Amatriain in Hamlet. (Stuttgart Ballet / National Ballet of Canada)
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Robert Lepage and Guillaume Cote have reimagined “Hamlet” without one of its most famous features: the script.

The celebrated dancer-choreographer and veteran playwright-stage director say they will premiere a ballet based on the classic tragedy in Toronto in April, five years after reimagining the career of filmmaker Norman McLaren as a multimedia dance for the National Ballet of Canada.

This time, they've transposed William Shakespeare's tragedy into a “wordless” performance that weaves classic and contemporary choreography.

Cote will star as Hamlet, alongside a company of eight other dancers. John Gzowski supplies the score.

Lepage has worked on numerous productions of the play and even played the troubled prince, and says he is excited about the idea of a non-verbal rendition of the story.

The production from Ex Machina, Cote Dance and Dvoretsky Productions runs April 3 to 7 at Toronto's Elgin Theatre.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 30, 2023.

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