Stage Door News

Toronto: Canadian Stage presents multimedia creation “Crypto” by Guillaume Côté May 5-7

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Concluding the 21.22 season, Canadian Stage and TO Live present the astonishing multi-media dance creation CRYPTO. Created and directed by National Ballet of Canada Principal dancer and Choreographic Associate Guillaume Côté, with story and libretto by Pulitzer Prize-winning librettist Royce Vavrek, this bold new production runs May 5th to May 7th, at the Bluma Appel Theatre.

Moving between raw contemporary form and classical ballet, and bound by theatre and technology, CRYPTO explores the changing dynamic between an eroded romantic relationship and the human need to control and transform beauty. This bold new work is brought to life on stage by a stellar cast of dancers including Greta Hodgkinson, Natasha Poon Woo, Casia Vengoechea and Guillaume Côté himself. Voice actors include Ben Davis, Christopher Fitzpatrick and Lauren Worsham. CRYPTO features epic music from Swedish composer Mikael Karlsson and stunning visual effects by the award-winning Montreal multimedia company mirari, with whom Côté previously collaborated on the riveting and complex creations, Frame by Frame, Le Petit Prince, and the recent TOUCH.

“We are thrilled to be presenting this spectacular and thoroughly innovative large-scale dance piece from Guillaume Côté, one of the most electrifying and in-demand dancers of his generation,” comments Canadian Stage Artistic Director Brendan Healy. “CRYPTO offers an inspired synthesis of narrative storytelling, classical and contemporary dance, original score, and multimedia production design. But at its heart is the opportunity to see two of the greatest dancers in Canada – Guillaume and Greta Hodgkinson – dancing together at the height of their careers. We are also pleased to be in partnership with TO Live for the second time this season.”

Josephine Ridge, TO Live’s Vice President of Programming added “I warmly echo Brendan’s sentiments and eagerly anticipate this presentation of CRYPTO which is remarkable both in concept and creative ambition. This new work by Guillaume Côté brings together an inspiring creative team and company of performers, and TO Live is proud to be partnering with Canadian Stage in presenting it so that it can finally be seen by audiences in here in Toronto.”

Originally announced as part of the 2019-2020 Canadian Stage season, CRYPTO’s premiere was postponed due to the pandemic.

“I am so thrilled to finally be able to share CRYPTO with audiences,” says Côté. “This piece represents the culmination of many threads I have been experimenting with in my work going all the way back to Frame by Frame, including my ongoing work integrating multimedia elements with dance and collaborating with a great team of amazing artists. Bringing in librettist Royce Vavrek to marry language and choreography and combining his spoken word with Mikael Karlsson’s beautiful new score was inspiring and exciting for me as a choreographer.”

Inspired by the idea of working with a libretto as the spine for a piece of choreography, Côté contacted Vavrek, a Canada-born, Brooklyn-based librettist and lyricist who has been called “the indie Hofmannsthal” (The New Yorker) a “Metastasio of the downtown opera scene” (The Washington Post), “an exemplary creator of operatic prose” (The New York Times), and “one of the most celebrated and sought after librettists in the world” (CBC Radio). His opera “Angel’s Bone” with composer Du Yun was awarded the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Music. Vavrek’s libretto gently gives voice to the story and characters in CRYPTO while working in concert with Côté’s language of movement.

Joining Côté, Vavrek, Karlson, and Thomas Payette and Mylène Chabrol of mirari, the creative team also includes lighting designer Simon Rossiter, costume design by Christopher Read, animation motion designer Joshua Ingleby, and illustrator Lily Le.

CRYPTO runs from May 5th to May 7th at the Bluma Appel Theatre with performances at 8:00 p.m. Tickets start at $49 and are available now online. For more information, please visit

Photo: Guillaume Côté. © 2021 Bronwen Sharp.