Canadian heavyweights Crystal Pite and Jonathon Young use farce to explore themes of politics and moral bankruptcy in this innovative dance theatre hybrid

OTTAWA — The National Arts Centre (NAC) is thrilled to present Revisor, the highly anticipated new work by Kidd Pivot from February 28 – March 2, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. in the Babs Asper Theatre. Choreographer Crystal Pite and writer Jonathon Young have joined forces once again to create a wildly innovative dance theatre hybrid; mixing classic farce to confound expectations and invert the official order of a well-worn tale of mistaken identity.

“It is such an honour to partner with the NAC’s National Creation Fund and other collaborators to invest in supporting this powerful creation,” says Executive Producer, NAC Dance, Cathy Levy. The National Creation Fund invests in the creation process, giving new work the time and resources it needs to achieve its potential, resonate with audiences, and the opportunity to be presented on a wider scale.

Revisor follows their moving and highly successful collaboration Betroffenheit, and offers a contemporary adaptation of an archetypal comic plot that serves as the basis for stunning choreography. 

The bold physicality of Pite’s choreography for nine performers embodies the eviscerating wit of Young’s script, recorded by some of Canada’s finest actors.

“Crystal Pite’s artistry is boundless, with one inventive quest after the next. Her extraordinary talent at assembling movement, text, sound, and design has produced multilayered signature creations that redefine the art form,” says Executive Producer, NAC Dance, Cathy Levy. “In Revisor, her third collaboration with esteemed writer/theatre artist Johnathon Young, the relationships between people and politics is boldly examined through farce and conflict. Whether devising sweeping creations for the world’s major companies or poignant contemporary language for Kidd Pivot, Pite’s vision and artistic acumen are astounding. “

The title of the new work is inspired by an article Young read years ago about Russian theatre director Vsevolod Meyerhold’s 1926 non-realist production of Nikolai Gogol’s farce, Revizor (known in English as The Government Inspector). Pite and Young’s central character is a revisor - someone who is responsible for the revision of legal texts - in a plot that reinvents theatrical devices with anarchic absurdity.

“The process with Revisor is a kind of feedback loop, similar to working with original music. Sometimes the text acts as a way of underscoring the physical: it is both musical and meaningful,” explains Pite. “Similarly to a musical score, the choreography can move analogously with the rhythm of the text and reflect its message, or it can be at odds with it, creating tension between what we're hearing and what we're seeing.


Now an internationally renowned choreographer, Pite is a former company member of Ballet BC and William Forsythe’s Ballet Frankfurt. Since her choreographic debut with Ballet BC in 1990, she has created more than 50 works for companies such as The Paris Opera Ballet, The Royal Ballet, Nederlands Dans Theater I, Cullberg Ballet, Ballett Frankfurt, The National Ballet of Canada, Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal (Resident Choreographer, 2001-2004), Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, and Ballet BC. She has also collaborated with Electric Company Theatre and Robert Lepage. The recipient of numerous awards for artistic excellence, including the 2017 Olivier Award for Best New Dance Production and, most recently, the 2018 Grand Prix de la danse de Montreal (PDM), Pite is an Associate Choreographer of Nederlands Dans Theater, Associate Dance Artist of Canada’s National Arts Centre, and Associate Artist at Sadler’s Wells, London.

An admired veteran of stage and screen, Young is among Canada’s most acclaimed theatre artists. He has collaborated on more than 20 original productions with Electric Company Theatre, of which he is co-founder, including Tear the Curtain! (a film/theatre hybrid for Arts Club Theatre and Canadian Stage), No Exit (a re-working of Jean-Paul Sartre’s play performed in San Francisco at the American Conservatory Theatre), and Studies in Motion (Vancouver Playhouse, Edmonton Citadel, Theatre Calgary, Canadian Stage). Young was the recipient of the UK National Dance Award for his performance in Betroffenheit, as well as several Jessie Richardson Awards for acting and writing.


Kidd Pivot’s phenomenal dancers - Doug Letheren, Rena Narumi, Matthew Peacock, David Raymond, Ella Rothschild, Cindy Salgado, Renée Sigouin, Jermaine Spivey, and Tiffany Tregarthen - will lend their considerable talents to Revisor, coupled with the production team behind many of the company’s works: composition and sound design by Owen Belton, Alessandro Juliani, and Meg Roe; set design by Jay Gower Taylor; lighting design by Tom Visser; and costume design by Nancy Bryant.

Revisor is co-produced by Sadler’s Wells (London, UK), Théâtre de la Ville (Paris, France), Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity (Banff, Canada), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (North Carolina, US), The CanDance Network Creation Fund, Dance Victoria, (Victoria), Canadian Stage (Toronto), National Arts Centre, DanceHouse (Vancouver), Danse Danse (Montreal,) and Seattle Theatre Group (Seattle, US).

Revisor is one of the 200 exceptional projects funded through the Canada Council for the Arts’ New Chapter Program. With this $35M investment, the Council supports the creation and sharing of the arts in communities across Canada.




Andrea Ruttan

Communications Officer

National Arts Centre

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