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Here are the Canadian ballet dancers I've heard about most over many years. I've always wondered how they were regarded internationally. (Canada is a difficult country -- famously regional, some think we have an inferiority complex, others that we over-rate ourselves). Would anyone care to share their opinion of any of the following, whose careers were made in Canada, as dancers and artists?

Karen Kain

Frank Augustyn

Veronica Tennant

Evelyn Hart

Rex Harrington

I believe all of the above are from Ontario, except Tennant who was born in England but grew up in Toronto. Don't know about Quebec. In British Columbia they're especially proud of the following, whose careers largely took place abroad:

Lynn Seymour

Jennifer Penney

Reid Anderson

And finaly, here are a couple of names I had never heard of till very recently, also with careers abroad:

Wayne Eagling

Laverne Meyer

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Melissa Hayden was one of the most illustrious exports.

I can give you my opinion as an American living in Canada. I thought Karen Kain was vastly overrated: rigid and uninteresting, except in the works of Glen Tetley. I thought Frank Augustyn was the more talented of the pair, but his dancing went south quickly once he entered his thirties, and I often had the impression that he was phoning in his performances in the latter stages of his career. I adored Veronica Tennant as a dramatic dancer, and she retired at the peak of her powers. She had two other English-born, Canadian-raised colleagues at the National Ballet: Nadia Potts and Vanessa Harwood, and I was especially fond of Potts' lyricism. Evelyn Hart in her prime was sublime, unearthly and intense at the some time, though later on I think she was trapped in some of her own mannerisms. Rex Harrington I never liked at all. I don't know whether he was actually hopelessly vain, but he sure came across that way. I found many of his male colleagues much more interesting, such as Raymond Smith (born in Scotland), Jeremy Ransom and the devastatingly handsome Peter Ottmann, who never rose to principal rank. I admired Gizella Witkowsky's bold physicality and obvious intelligence, and I was mightily sorry to lose (Swiss-born) Sabina Allemann to San Francisco. Among Hart's colleagues, I derived great satisfaction from the forceful dancing of Albertan John Kaminski, who still works for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet as a stage hand.

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I've never had the pleasure of seeing David Nixon dance but a number of my friends did when he guested with Brmingham Royal Ballet; the fact that they have never forgotten those performances says volumes to me.

Jon Renna had a big following amongst fans of Northern Ballet during his couple of seasons with the company. He is still missed and remembered fondly.

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