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National Ballet School of Canada

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have just returned from the international showcase.

NBS opened with the second act, La Sylphide. The lead couple was just wonderful.

The couple from the Royal Ballet School was, in a word, amazing. Watching the duet it was hard to keep in mind that these two are students!

I also enjoyed the "doll" dance presented by the John Cranko School. The dancers were incredibly strong, and made what I imagine must be a very difficult piece look like a piece of cake. They truly seemed to enjoy the performance.

Other pieces were good too, and I have to say that the NBS men really shone in Ephebos.

I'll let other posters add to this, I could go on but in short: good show!!!!

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I was there at the very last performance on saturday night. I was quite impressed with Naoya Ebe, who danced James. He tackled that difficult variation with ease- lovely beats and stunning height on his jumps. (We also saw him as the 'angel of death' in "Four Last Songs"). Erica Horwood was a convincing sylph, very light and gentle. Deborah Hess was a very dramatic madge! It's incredible to see that kind of acting from someone so young!

I wasn't crazy about the choreography for Ephebos, although I thought the 5 young men did an excellent job. It's a very athletic piece and their energy level remained constant throughout (I was getting tired just watching all those jumps!).

Just to second mom2's comment, Adeline Kaiser and Pietro Zambello from the Royal Ballet School were stunning in the Concerto pdd (MacMillan/Shoshtakovich). They danced with the poise and confidence of professionals. Zambello was a sensitive partner and Kaiser's adagio technique is near flawless. Definitely a highlight of the evening.

The dolls piece from Stuttgart ("Munecos") was danced by Anais Bueno Garces and Mariusz Czochrowski. Both have the strong technical foundation that allows them overlay it with stylized movements and comedic touches. The audience was laughing from start to finish! At some student performances, the dancers are (understandably) so nervous and tentative. It's a pleasure to see young dancer's just having a good time on stage!

The Hamburg dancers, Anna-Lena Wieg and Mattias Iaconianni, performed a pdd from Neumeier's "Daphnis and Chloe". Together they evoked the calm, pastoral feeling of the ballet. It was a beautifully understated performance.

The NBS students performed a Kudelka pdd, "Four Proverbs". I don't have much to say about this one. All I can remember, unfortunately, is being distracted by Michael Torke's repetitive music with the proverbs from the Bible being sung in a rather banal way. I found it quite distracting.

The last piece, Rudi van Dantzig's "Four Last Songs" provided a fitting closure for the evening. It was so special to see the dancers from 4 different schools all working together. Once again, I was most impressed by the Royal Ballet School dancers, Moe Nieda and Leigh Alderson, who danced with maturity beyond their years. I also enjoyed the choreography.

Next year, I believe the new theatre will be finished. I'm sure it will be wonderful for all the students to have such great facilities!

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Hi everyone, my name is Maria Emilia. I was a ballet dancer in Argentina and has recently moved to Canada. I was able to attend the Spring Showcase at NBS and was very impressed by this dancer Antonella. Does anyone have any input or information on this wonderful dancer?

Much Thanks


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I hope someone can answer your question, Maria Emilia.

Meanwhile, maybe you can tell us, What did Antonella dance, and what were the qualities that specially appealed to you? Did you see the same program as Paquita? How would you assess the students as a group?

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Deborah Hess was a very dramatic madge! It's incredible to see that kind of acting from someone so young!

I'm confused. Deborah Hess has been teaching at NBS for 25 years and danced professionally before that. How old should one be to bring the right drama to the role of Madge? :)

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Hmm...! I'll have to go and check my program again. Perhaps it was another dancer I saw? In any case, she looked very young to me (well, she looked like a very young woman pretending to be old!). I assumed it was one of the students... Then again, it's very hard to tell with the stage make-up and I was sitting at the very back with no opera glasses!

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Yes, it was Deborah Hess who danced the role of Madge. She is a teacher at NBS. That role was also danced other evenings by Sorella Englund and Eva Draw, who are teachers as well.

Antonella Martinelli is a student in the post graduate program.

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