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Leigh Witchel

Guillaume Côté promoted to Principal Dancer

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From the press office - I hope it isn't awful to say this, but I wonder if Geon van der Wyst's early retirement didn't speed this up.


Toronto, Ontario...March 1, 2004...National Ballet of Canada Artistic Director JAMES KUDELKA promoted GUILLAUME CÔTÉ to Principal Dancer following his performance as Prince Florimund in The Sleeping Beauty on Saturday, February 28, 2004.

"Guillaume has performed the Prince in the Tchaikovsky ballets, The Nutcracker and Swan Lake, as well as Romeo, the lead man in Rubies and Diamonds in Jewels, Ivan in The Firebird and created the pivotal role of Will in The Contract. He has danced through what one might call his apprenticeship with great thoughtfulness, ever increasing technical assurance and has realized his potential many times over. It is time now, having added the most taxing of Prince roles to his repertoire, Prince Florimund in Rudolf Nureyev's Sleeping Beauty, that I promote him to Principal Dancer " said Mr. Kudelka.

Born in Lac St. Jean, Quebec, Guillaume Côté trained at the National Ballet School. He joined the company in 1999 and was promoted to Second Soloist in 2000 and First Soloist in 2002. Mr. Côté was the youngest dancer in the history of The National Ballet of Canada, at the age of 19, to dance the lead role of Siegfried in Swan Lake. Other lead roles include Peter/ The Nutcracker in The Nutcracker, Solor in La Bayadère, Lensky in Onegin, the title role in Apollo, the Poet in Les Sylphides as well as roles in Bournonville's Napoli Excerpts, Dominique Dumais' one hundred words for snow and James Kudelka's The End.

Mr. Côté recently returned from Paris, where he trained with étoile MANUEL LEGRIS at the Paris Opera Ballet in preparation for his debut in The Sleeping Beauty. In May 2002, Mr. Côté represented The National Ballet of Canada at the Sixth International Competition for the Erik Bruhn Prize. In 2003, Mr. Côté was a guest artist with The South African Ballet Theatre in Johannesburg.

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...but I wonder if Geon van der Wyst's early retirement didn't speed this up.

According to a short item in today's Globe & Mail (Paula Citron), it wasn't a question of "who would get the coveted vacancy, but when."

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