Age in ballet and Evelyn Hart

Vieillir en ballet pour Evelyn Hart

Photo: Trevor Hagan
In “Vespers”, Evelyn Hart is surrounded by masked dancers, a little alone and a little shaman of a people half-human, half-animal.

“Ballet, as a dance, it’s a little like horse racing. It is for young people, ” indicates to the phone the ex-prima ballerina Evelyn Hart, 62 years old. A art of young animals, young dancers. Ms. Hart, who has starred from 1979 to 2005 as a principal dancer with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet (RWB) by interpretations emotional, dramatic, and precise — including the classics ; the famous dying swan, Romeo and Juliet, Giselle, necessarily nutcrackers — and continues today to get a feel for its expressiveness of the performer to change, and this lyricism any individual who defines it. Even if an ankle is not. Even if the technique fell apart since his retirement, at age 50, with the stopping of the daily training. Again on stage. Without tips, all heart, on the Vespro Della Beata Vergine 1610 of Monteverdi, muse and main character of the Vespers of James Kudelka.

“Aaaaaah, the music,” sighed Evelyn Hart, visibly delighted that we asked him mid-interview how she saw it, in his dance. “It has always been the music first. Even before the dance. First listen to… ” take the time to say, his voice very soft. “I hear the music from a place that is very emotional. After that come the technique and the interpretation. “In this order ? No ; technique and interpretation are intertwined, as in ballet, the challenge is always to go beyond the technical execute it so well that I can erase, swallow the difficulty, and that not to spend that emotions and music.

And it is this technique, merciless, which makes it very difficult, even today, to grow old in ballet. “For women, the tips are great difficulty. “Ms. Hart, do not make or breaks. It is an ankle injury which forced her to withdraw. In men, these are the knees, “with their big jumps, and the fact that they wear” their partner, which are often the Achilles heel, vulnerable to wear and tear.

Yet, the choreographer James Kudelka is Evelyn Hart today something that inspires her. And lots of them. “This is not what she can still do physically at his age that matters, but its essence human and a performer, that fact that doing so little, it leaves a resonating and deep impression. “A long time ago that their paths crossed, which becomes a companionship choreography has sprouted in their sixty — two artists are the same age. In 2014, Mr. Kudelka’s think of her to embody The Woman Winter in its Four Seasons, which allowed the dancer to come back to perform at the RWB. They are found from regularly.

The pace on the ground, the heart in the sky

Today, Evelyn Hart approach choreography the same way as before. “No need to be absolutely clear,” says Ms Hart, speaking always of “musicality,” precise, so that the upper body can surrender deeply to the interpretation.” Is it that the absence of spikes allows him to consider the job otherwise, that in this separation the legs-trunk, letting off the emotion ? “No, it’s exactly the same thing, with the opportunity to be a little less rigorous. On tips, I should be careful to put my slippers in exactly the right angle ; my rotation outside should always be perfectly held ; my attacks, accurate… There, I don’t have to think about it. “

“I’m not interested in combinations, to spins, to the idea of a technical virtuoso to Evelyn, says of his side, James Kudelka. Leave it to the young dancers who are excellent and who must do as they can. What Evelyn can offer to the public, it is his generosity, that she communicates so easily to those who seek, many, humanity, who are not looking to the theatre in the destitution of contemporary dance. “

In Vespers, Evelyn Hart is surrounded by masked dancers, a little alone and a little shaman of a people half-human, half-animal. What requires room ? A great availability, she answers. “It is still, always embody the best ideas and sensibilities of the choreographer. It is to be a vehicle, in fact, ” called Mrs. Hart. “It is a challenge to distill my thought into a gesture that is fair, accurate, so that she could carry it and we carry on to the land psychological that usually remain unexplored,” says Kudelka. And it is thanks to her age that she can clear paths of understanding out of the voices of these improvisations so young, so loaded physically and sexually practiced by dancers today. “

If they offered a theater, a white card in two years ? “Oh… In two years, I don’t know where I’ll be…” Silence. “I’d like to start gently, be able to dance a character designer, woman artist, struggling with creation,’ says Mrs Hart. That chorégraphierait ? “James [Kudelka], of course…” appoints-t-it, smile in the voice.

She will find it as early as next year, not only as choreographer, but as a partner in the scene, in Four Old Legacy. “I have had the chance to work with all kinds of dancers, appointed James Kudelka, with seniors, also, on scenes more intimate than those of the operas and ballets, with Susan Macpherson, Margie Gillis, Peggy Baker, Laurence Lemieux, Claudia Moore. All of these experiences are crystallized when I’m working with Evelyn. I am now good enough for it. “

Evelyn Hart in a few dates

1978 a Soloist at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet

1979 First as a dancer for the company

1980 First Canadian to win gold at the competition of Varna, with Belong (Norbert Vesak)

2005 Departure of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet


Choreography by James Kudelka for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. At the national arts Centre of Ottawa, from 1 to 3 November.

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