While in a perfect world, all theatre lovers could jetset to Moscow, London, and even Stratford, in order to take in the best of contemporary performing arts. Unfortuntely, pesky finances and work schedules get in the way, which is why we're so excited that Cineplex offers the series Performance in HD. Filmed recordings of performances from around he world, starring A-lister celebrities and the principle dancers of our era, alike. This year, the Yukon Arts Centre Programming Assistant, Elyssia Sasaki, brings us five shows across the season. We sat down with her to learn more about the upcoming season.

Hey Elyssia!

Hi! Thanks for chatting with me!

Of course! We're really excited about this year's selections! So, what was your thought process when making the 2017/2018 Performance in HD selections?

I'd like to think there is a balance between old familiars and new faces. Performance in HD (PiHD) in the past years has had so many of the great classics of opera and dance, but I am excited to see a lot of classics on screen, with just a slight twist. Norma from the MET is a brand new production for me, a beautiful tragedy with Soprano Sondra Radvonovsky illuminating the titular role. I also think it's going to be amazing to see how the Bolshoi Ballet translates Shakespeare's sharp, witty language into movement in their production of The Taming of the Shrew Swan Lake, of course, is timeless (no one does it better than Bolshoi) and both Peter Pan and Rosencrantz and Guildernstern are Dead are anticipated to be full of laughs, charm, and adventure.

What is the one thing you wish people knew about the Performance in HD Series?

One of my favourite parts of the screenings are the intermissions, particularly for the Bolshoi Ballet. Between acts, you sometimes get a brief glimpse at the behind the scenes of the ballet, including short chats with the directors and costumers, and a backstage view of some of the most acclaimed venues anywhere in the world. I find I appreciate the magic of what is onstage a little bit more when I see just how much work is going on behind the scenes.

If you could magically transport any Performance in HD to be an ACTUAL LIVE performance, which one would you choose? Why?

I think I would like to go see Peter Pan Live, if not simply for the excuse to spend a touch of time in London. The production is so whimsical, colourful and energetic. Cineplex and National Theatre Live do an amazing job of capturing the energy onstage, but there is an energy, a buzz in the audience of children young and old alike that I think would be amazing to experience in person.

What Broadway, London West End, Bolshoi, Met Opera performance do you WISH we could broadcast in HD? 

I wish we could get more of our Canadian Icons on the big screen. Timing didn't work out this season, but it would've been great to have screenings of productions happening at Stratford Festival. I would love to screen a production of the Canadian Opera Company's Falstaff or Nijinsky from the National Ballet of Canada.
Or Hamilton. But EVERYONE wishes it could be Hamilton.


Check out our full list of Performance in HD shows here

Daniel Radcliffe and Joshua McGuire star in the title roles of Rosencrantz and Gildenstern are Dead, January 14, 2018.

Title photo: Sondra Radvonovsky as Norma. November, 19, 2017