National Ballet of Canada’s History Written by Trent Professor Emeritus


Passion to Dance, by Dr. James Neufeld celebrates 60 years

Monday, November 7, 2011, Peterborough

Passion to Dance: The Story of the National Ballet of Canada (Dundurn, 2011), the second book of its kind by Trent University’s Dr. James Neufeld, is being launched this month in tandem with the National Ballet of Canada’s 60th anniversary celebrations.

The official launch of Passion to Dance will take place on Wednesday, November 16, 2011, at the pre-performance talk before the National Ballet’s opening of the 60th anniversary season, with the world premiere of Romeo and Juliet at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto. As part of its celebrations, the National Ballet will be collecting stories and memories from alumni, audience members and supporters and will award a copy of Professor Neufeld’s book to a winner once per month.

In the 15 years since Prof. Neufeld released his first book on the history of the National Ballet, Power to Rise, the National Ballet has seen dramatic changes. Whereas Power to Rise follows the National Ballet as a young company in its efforts to establish itself, Passion to Dance (which builds on the material from Power to Rise) tells the story of the company’s coming of age on an increasingly international stage.

Prof. Neufeld had been writing about the National Ballet in the Journal of Canadian Studies for almost 15 years when he approached the company about writing its history. “I was very fortunate. On the strength of the writing I had done already, they allowed me unparalleled access to their archives and to their dancers.” Power to Rise was the product of 10 years research and its positive reception led the company to approach Prof. Neufeld three years ago to produce a new volume for their 60th anniversary. Published by Dundurn Press, Passion to Dance is set to be launched mid-November as part of the National Ballet’s 60th anniversary celebrations.

Prof. Neufeld was a professor of English at Trent for 38 years. He was the principal of Traill College from 1982 to 1987, the vice-president of University Services from 1990 to 1995, and head of the English department from 2000 to 2005. He retired in 2009.


For more information, please contact: James Neufeld,