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It's been nearly 30 years since the poet sang about the ‘crack in everything’ that lets the light in, and in troubled times, it still has the power to move us. Here's how performers across the country did it

Watch: This is a selection of all seven dance performances set to Leonard Cohen's Anthem. To see individual performances in their entirety, watch the videos below.

The Globe and Mail

We turn to the arts to move us: to uplift, transport, provoke. But during this time of crisis, so many large and small cultural institutions have gone dark, so many voices diminished.

Turning to Canada Day, though, it’s time to celebrate the resilience of Canadian culture, so The Globe and Mail and nine leading organizations have collaborated on a video project. The Toronto Symphony Orchestra has arranged and performed the Leonard Cohen song, Anthem, whose poignant lyrics about finding hope at a time of tribulation are sung by three artists from the Canadian Opera Company. Seven dance companies from across the country have also participated: the Atlantic Ballet, Les Grandes Ballets Canadiens de Montréal, the National Ballet of Canada, Red Sky Performance, Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers, the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity and Ballet BC.

“There is a crack in everything,” writes Cohen, whose lyrics from this 1992 song have recently become a social-media prayer. “That’s how the light gets in.”


Table of contents

Choose a performanceNational Ballet of CanadaBallet BCBanff CentreWinnipeg’s Contemporary DancersRed SkyLes Grands BalletsAtlantic Ballet

Behind the musicProfiles of the performancesAn oral history of Anthem

Behind the scenesMusic and production credits



National Ballet of Canada

CREDITS • Choreography: Alysa Pires • Dancer: Alexander Skinner • Videographer: Christina Skinner

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Ballet BC

CREDITS • Dancer/choreographers: Kirsten Wicklund, Kiana Jung, Kiera Hill, Juan Duarte, Emily Chessa, Emily Klukas • Video editing: Peter Smida

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Banff Centre

CREDITS • Choreographer: Troy Emery Twigg • Dancer: Kevin Jesuino • Elder: Celestine Twigg • Videographer: Kyla Jacobs • Additional thanks to: Erin Brandt-Filliter, Christine Majer

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Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers

CREDITS • Choreographer/dancer: Jolene Bailie • Dancers: Carol-Ann Bohrn, Warren McClelland, Shawn Maclaine • Videographer: Landon Lake

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Red Sky Performance

CREDITS • Dancer/choreographer: Miyeko Ferguson • Videographer: Kiarash Sadigh

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Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal

CREDITS • Dancer/choreographer: Vanesa Garcia-Ribala Montoya • Dancers: André Santos, Stefano Russiello, Anna Ishii, Tatiana Lerebours, Hamilton Nieh

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Atlantic Ballet Atlantique Canada

CREDITS • Choreographer: Igor Dobrovolskiy • Dancers: Irina Lerman, Olga Petiteau, Stéphanie Audet, Biel Torra Matamala, Thomas Finnigan-Badrock, Eldiyar Daniyarov • Technical director: Shawn Donellsen • Videographer: Sergiy Seniv

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Music and production credits

Toronto Symphony Orchestra

First violin: Jonathan Crow, Amanda Goodburn • Second violin: Paul Meyer, Sergei Nikonov • Viola: Victor Fournelle-Blain, Ivan Ivanovich • Cello: Joe Johnson • Bass: Jeffrey Beecher, Dave Longenecker • Flute: Julie Ranti • Oboe: Keith Atkinson • Clarinet: Eric Abramovitz • Bassoon: Darren Hicks • Horns: Neil Deland, Christopher Gongos, Nicholas Hartman • Trombone: Vanessa Fralick • Harp: Heidi Bearcroft • Percussion: Charles Settle, John Rudolph

Music by Leonard Cohen

Canadian Opera Company

Tenor: Matthew Cairns • Sopranos: Anna-Sophie Neher, Midori Marsh

Lyrics by Leonard Cohen

Editing and production

Editor: Patrick Dell • Assistant editor, sound mixing: Lucas Waldin • Digital design: Evan Annett • Producer: Craig Offman

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