Footnotes: The Classics of Ballet with Frank Augustyn


Frank Augustyn sheds light on the ballet classics in this eighteenepisode series. From Petipa & Ivanov’s Swan Lake (1877) to Arthur Saint-Leon’s Coppélia (1870) to Coralli & Perrot’s Giselle (1841), Footnotes takes the viewer on an historical journey through some of the most revered of the classical ballets. As an educational tool, Footnotes delves into a range of themes within the milieu. For example, Augustyn critically explores the ever-changing role of the male dancer, the importance of the ballerina, the relevance of music, and the influence of The National Ballet of Canada.


Acclaimed to be one of Canada’s most accomplished male dancers, FRANK AUGUSTYN was trained at Canada’s National Ballet School and joined The National Ballet of Canada in 1970. He was promoted to principal dancer in 1972. In 1973, he and Karen Kain won an award for the best pas de deux at the International Ballet Competition in Moscow, dancing the technically demanding role of the Bluebird pas de deux from The Sleeping Beauty.
He established himself as a guest artist and danced in nearly every major city in the world with companies including Boston Ballet, Royal Ballet, Turin Ballet, The Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Shanghai Ballet, Beijing Ballet, Berlin Opera Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet and Kirov Ballet.
Recognized for his outstanding contribution to dance, Frank Augustyn has been honoured with numerous awards of distinction including honorary doctorates from York, McMaster and Trent universities. In 1979, he was invested as an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Footnotes: The Classics of Ballet with Frank Augustyn

  • DVDs
    18 programs at 27 minutes each

    • SWAN LAKE – A look into the most revered of classical ballets.
    • THE NUTCRACKER – A staple of every holiday season, The Nutcracker is the most popular and well-known ballet of all time.
    • SLEEPING BEAUTY – Based on the timeless fairy tale, The Sleeping Beauty holds a notable place in the history of ballet.
    • ROMEO & JULIET – This ballet has been choreographed by many renowned dance creators. A superb love story, Shakespeare’s classic play is the perfect vehicle for dance.
    • GISELLE – One of the most dramatic of ballets, Giselle has demanded that the great dancers also be the greatest of actors.
    • DON QUIXOTE – Based on Cervantes’s novel of the same name, this ballet was produced chiefly to bring Spanish dances into the ballet repertoire.
    • COPPÉLIA – In this ballet, the Hungarian czardas dances were first introduced; thereafter, national folk dances became extremely popular.
    • CINDERELLA – This ballet, based on Perrault’s enduring fairy tale, is an all-time classic and was choreographed and produced by many great creators and companies over time.
    • LA BAYADERE – A look at one of Marius Petipa’s eminent choreographies and considered as the culmination of his best work.
    • DIAGHILEV’S BALLETS RUSSES – Producer Sergei Diaghilev was a major force in the development of ballet in the 1900s. Ballets include Spectre de la rose (1911), Petrushka (1911), and L’Après-midi d’un faune (1912).
    • GALA EXCERPTS This program looks at various short ballets including The Dying Swan, Les Sylphides, Bluebird, Le Corsaire and Raymonda.
    • THE MALE DANCER – This program examines the development, importance and changes in the role of the male dancer through the history of ballet, with a special focus on Nijinsky and Nureyev.
    • THE BALLERINA – This program examines the importance of the ballerina from a unique perspective.
    • PARTNERSHIPS – This program examines some of the great ballet partnerships: Nureyev/Fonteyn, Sibley/Dowell, Vasiliev/Maximova and Kain/Augustyn.
    • THE MUSIC OF BALLET – This program highlights the great composers of ballet and examines the inseparable relationship between music and dance.
    • BALLET IN RUSSIA – This program looks at the history and influence of the Kirov and Bolshoi Ballet Companies.
    • BALLET IN ASIA – This program focusses on the development of ballet in Asia, specifically looking at the use of Vaganova technique in Hong Kong and China.
    • THE NATIONAL BALLET OF CANADA – This program looks at the history and influence of The National Ballet of Canada.