Friday, February 9, 2007

Familiar Faces

My sister told me there would be ballet on "Opening Night", a fine arts program on CBC on Thursdays. She'd seen names in the TV listings she wasn't expecting - principal dancers and former dancers from the National Ballet of Canada. So my husband and I were set at 9:00, videotape primed, my pulse beating with anticipation. He pressed 'record' and slipped away for a nap, leaving me to my bliss. It's hard to be married to a ballet fanatic when you're only mildly interested. He's learned to back up slowly and fade into the shadows before I start watching ballet on TV or dvd.

Last night's program was a marvel - a new type of 'musical' where the dancers were in fact actors with spoken dialogue, whose characters broke into dance where the songs would be in a musical. How marvellous! I hope this new format builds momentum. I loved it!

The dancers are all familiar faces, some still dancing with the National, some dancing elsewhere, but all were there when I used to work as front of house staff at their former theatre. Their faces and forms are so dear to me. I was really impressed with their interest in this dance film, because it breaks some new ground for film and for themselves as performers. Ballet dancers are not known to crave spoken word, as their voices are really their bodies. So I applaud them in taking what was probably a scary step forward in their developments as artists.

Rex Harrington, Greta Hodgkinson, Guillaume Cote, Christopher Body and Roberto Campanello - how I have admired your dancing. And now I admire your courage as well.


MichelleWriter said...

Having been lucky enough to see these gifted dancers perform in person (thanks, Jul!) I can say that they have inspired me, comforted me on a rainy Sunday matinee... thrilled and astounded me... Never stop dancing.