Passion to Dance


This is the story of the National Ballet of Canada – the people, the determination, and how at sixty it is still creating new work while still representing the classics.

Passion to Dance is the story of the National Ballet of Canada – the people who dreamt the company into existence, the determination needed to keep it afloat, the bumps on the road to its success, and above all, its passion for dance as a living, evolving art form.

From catch-as-catch-can beginnings – borrowed quarters, tiny stages, enormous dreams the National Ballet has emerged as one of North America’s foremost dance troupes. The company at sixty is a company of its time, engaged in creating challenging new work, yet committed to maintaining the classics of the past, favourites like Swan Lake, The Nutcracker,and The Sleeping Beauty.

One hundred and fifty photographs from the company’s archives illustrate this definitive history, filled with eyewitness accounts, backstage glimpses, and fascinating detail. This is a record of one of Canada’s boldest cultural experiments, a book to enjoy now and keep forever.


"This is a beautiful book for the coffee table which is rich array of photos both vintage and recent and is a must for all balletomanes' libraries."

Peterborough Examiner (October, 2011)

"...informative and lavishly illustrated."

Now magazine (December, 2011)

Neufelds treatment of the companys gestation, birth and evolution, and of the people who have shaped its progress, is exemplary.

Dance International (Canada) (March, 2012)

About the Author

James Neufeld

Posted by Kendra on December 6, 2014

James Neufeld

James Neufeld, author of Power to Rise: the Story of the National Ballet of Canada (1996) teaches English Literature at Trent University, Peterborough and writes regularly about the arts in Canada. He studied voice at the Royal Conservatory of Music, and has been a lifelong amateur singer.