Stars of the 21st Century was first presented in 1996 in Toronto's O'Keefe Centre. It was created by dance impresario Solomon Tencer, who with his wife Nadia Veselova-Tencer had established the Academy of Ballet and Jazz in a Toronto suburb, wanted to bring examples of great performance to his students. Since there were no big company tours at the time, he began to organize shows of his own.
This year's roster of dancers features Angel Corella, Herman Cornejo, and Xiomara Reyes from American Ballet Theatre; Svetlana Lunkina from the Bolshoi Ballet; Diana Vishneva and Andrian Fadeev from the Kirov Ballet; Lucia Lacarra and Cyril Pierre from the Munich Ballet; Alexandra Ansanelli from New York City Ballet; Eleonora Abbagnato and Alessio Carbone from Paris Opera Ballet; Alina Cojocaru and Johan Kobborg from London's Royal Ballet; and the Martha Graham Ensemble, directed by Yuriko, a longtime associate of the company and stager of Martha Graham's works.
In the past, dancers have also come from the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Tango Metropolis de Buenos Aires, San Francisco Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet, and many companies.