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David Adams


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#1 volcanohunter

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Posted 25 October 2007 - 08:52 PM

David Adams, the first male star of the National Ballet of Canada, has died at age 79.

Though it may seem irreverent, I can't help but remember David with a chortle. The first memories that spring to my head:

- swore by Russian training, despised English-style training because it produced "RAD thunder thighs"
- did a wicked impersonation of Rudolf Nureyev
- loved feet anecdotes: in a pinch the Royal Ballet could have crossed the Atlantic in one of Beryl Grey's pointe shoes; Celia Franca's feet were so bad that when she pointed them demonstratively, the audience would giggle
- on meeting his next Giselle: "Oh no, she's loose." "Oh no, he's going to jump."
- liked his tobacco on the strong side
- cautioned against idolizing anyone: "They'll always disappoint you in the end"
- "If you don't like something about yourself, change it."
- honestly believed that with enough effort a female dancer could keep her breasts from moving

My single most memorable episode with David took place when I was still a student. A leading dancer with a European company was visiting his old haunts in Canada and asked David if he could take the class he was about to teach. Finding the class too easy, he spent the entire barre doing his own thing. At the conclusion of the barre David opened the studio door and kicked the visitor out. He absolutely would not tolerate someone ignoring an instructor or showing up his students.

I'm glad he finally did receive the Order of Canada, though, my heavens, they waited a long time to give it to him. And it's a pity the Canada Council never provided him with funds to write and publish his memoirs (not for lack of trying on his part). They would have been a blast.

Requiescat in pace, David.

#2 Helene

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Posted 25 October 2007 - 08:58 PM

When I read the obituary in tThe Globe and Mail, I really wondered what David Adams was like.

Thank you, volcanohunter, for writing a tribute that sounds like one he himself would have enjoyed reading.

#3 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 25 October 2007 - 09:00 PM

the Royal Ballet could have crossed the Atlantic in one of Beryl Grey's pointe shoes

:rofl:

with enough effort a female dancer could keep her breasts from moving

:)

He absolutely would not tolerate someone ignoring an instructor or showing up his students.

:wink:

RIP, Mr. Adams. :bow:

#4 bart

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Posted 26 October 2007 - 04:09 AM

Adams was unable to attend his Order of Canada induction ceremony in 2005 because of the effects of a stroke. Instead, then governor general Adrienne Clarkson visited him to present the award.

A very classy thing to do. :flowers:

#5 Paul Parish

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Posted 26 October 2007 - 08:13 AM

"oh no, he's going to jump"

I have heard myself saying that, too.

he sounds like a very smart guy and wonderful company -- wish I'd seen him dance.

#6 holonar

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Posted 27 October 2007 - 11:11 AM

volcanohunter

I have been corresponding via phone, email and personal visits with David for the past five years (after being his student in various studios from 1987-1999). He would have loved your observations. Until the last year or so, his sense of humour was as wicked as ever.

I also agree with (a) the lateness of his OC and (b) his memoirs.

On (a), I was amazed at the number of professional who came forward and the wondrous things they had to say about him.

On (b), Meridith, his wife, has spoken with me about continuing work on his biography, which of course would require talking with more people who knew him. Would you care to correspond on this?

Gunnar Blodgett
Edmonton

#7 leonid17

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Posted 10 November 2007 - 04:48 AM

David Adams, the first male star of the National Ballet of Canada, has died at age 79.

Though it may seem irreverent, I can't help but remember David with a chortle. The first memories that spring to my head:

- swore by Russian training, despised English-style training because it produced "RAD thunder thighs"
- did a wicked impersonation of Rudolf Nureyev
- loved feet anecdotes: in a pinch the Royal Ballet could have crossed the Atlantic in one of Beryl Grey's pointe shoes; Celia Franca's feet were so bad that when she pointed them demonstratively, the audience would giggle
- on meeting his next Giselle: "Oh no, she's loose." "Oh no, he's going to jump."
- liked his tobacco on the strong side
- cautioned against idolizing anyone: "They'll always disappoint you in the end"
- "If you don't like something about yourself, change it."
- honestly believed that with enough effort a female dancer could keep her breasts from moving

My single most memorable episode with David took place when I was still a student. A leading dancer with a European company was visiting his old haunts in Canada and asked David if he could take the class he was about to teach. Finding the class too easy, he spent the entire barre doing his own thing. At the conclusion of the barre David opened the studio door and kicked the visitor out. He absolutely would not tolerate someone ignoring an instructor or showing up his students.

I'm glad he finally did receive the Order of Canada, though, my heavens, they waited a long time to give it to him. And it's a pity the Canada Council never provided him with funds to write and publish his memoirs (not for lack of trying on his part). They would have been a blast.

Requiescat in pace, David.


Thank you for your recollection. I remember David Adams in a number of roles with the Festival Ballet and with the Royal Ballet. I always thought him a serious artist, a very good dancer and superb partner.


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