Evelyn Hart

As we approach the 20th anniversary of Older & Reckless, we shine a light on the senior artists who we are honoured to feature in our celebrations, including the divine EVELYN HART

Evelyn Hart in Abiding by Matjash Mrozewski at O&R 2017- photo by Tamara Romanchuk

Q&A with EVELYN HART

How has your work in dance affected other aspects of your life?

The discipline and challenge have, I think, allowed me to live with a knowledge of who I am inwardly which has developed in me a strength to follow my own path regardless of obstacles and pressures.

Please tell us about a current project that excites you. Pre- pandemic, I was to have worked with Alysa Pires on a new project for Toronto Summer Music 2020 which would have been another opportunity to create with an exciting new talented choreographer. Who knows, maybe next year? Please talk about a highlight or pivotal moment from your dancing past. Really, winning the gold medal in Varna, Bulgaria cemented my artistic path. It was an international assurance of potential to become a world class ballerina and have a dream come true. But more importantly, it showed me that as a Canadian I could achieve what the great dancers around the world had before me and completely opened my eyes to the qualities of being a unique artist. It was never easy being unique and a thinking dancer, not qualities that “fit” into many organizations, but it was the ingredient that made my dancing life incredibly rich. What do you consider most challenging as an experienced dance artist? As a mature dancer one carries the knowledge of what one once was. Coming to the stage as a “senior” requires courage to trust that it is enough to bring experience and less physicality. I am incredibly grateful for any chance to perform and so admire Moonhorse for its advocacy of we oldie goldies! Please tell us about a quote that guides or inspires you. Ever since I began dancing, hands down, it is Winston Churchill “Never, Never, Never give up.”

Evelyn Hart’s dramatic intensity and sublimely lyrical dancing have made her one of the most compelling stage personalities in Canada. Hart was principal dancer with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet (RWB) from 1976 until 2005. In 1980 she won the gold medal for best female soloist at the International Ballet Competition in Varna, Bulgaria. Hart's international profile and her artistic brilliance in the full-evening classics led the RWB to mount a variety of new productions to showcase her talents as its star ballerina. Hart was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1983 and was elevated to the rank of Companion in 1994. In 2001 she received the Governor General's Performing Arts Award and in 2007 she was inducted into the Order of Manitoba. Evelyn is a revered teacher and has recently performed new works by James Kudelka for Citadel + Compagnie and RWB.

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