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Evan McKie joins National Ballet of Canada


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Press Release from NBOC:

 

Evan McKie Joins as a Principal Dancer in 2014/15 Season

April 25, 2014… Karen Kain, Artistic Director of The National Ballet of Canada, today announced that Evan McKie will join the company as a Principal Dancer in the 2014/15 season. Mr. McKie returns to his hometown of Toronto after dancing with Stuttgart Ballet for 13 years.
“One of the finest dancers of his generation, Evan McKie is acclaimed internationally for his artistry and dramatic sensibility. His recent guest appearances have thrilled Toronto audiences and I am so pleased to welcome him to the company as a Principal Dancer. Evan is a perfect fit with our dancers and repertoire and it is wonderful that a Canadian artist celebrated around the world is coming home,” said Ms. Kain.
Mr. McKie appeared with the National Ballet as a Principal Guest Artist for the past two seasons, receiving critical acclaim for his portrayals of such roles as Siegfried in Swan Lake, Prince Florimund in The Sleeping Beauty, Albrecht in Giselle and Lensky in Onegin. Mr. McKie has been hailed by the Toronto Star as “a natural aristocrat of ballet”, Ballet Review wrote “Not since Nureyev has a dancer found the yearning in the elegant and passionate solo that defines the Prince Florimund’s aching heart.” DanceView Times exclaimed “McKie is a dream as Lensky.”
Born in Toronto, Mr. McKie trained at Canada’s National Ballet School, the Kirov Academy of Ballet and John Cranko School. He joined Stuttgart Ballet in 2001 where he has been a Principal Dancer since 2009. Mr. McKie has had roles created on him by choreographers such as Wayne McGregor, Marco Goecke, Mauro Bigonzetti, Christian Spuck, Kevin O'Day and Douglas Lee and has also worked with John Neumeier and the late Glen Tetley. He has guested internationally with Bolshoi Ballet, Tokyo Ballet, Universal Ballet and Ballet de Chile and is the first and only Canadian to dance with Paris Opéra Ballet. Recently he was awarded the prestigious ApuliArte prize for achievement in dance and German TANZ Magazine named him one of the Dancers of the Year 2013. He also won critics choice nominations for best dancer in Dance Europe magazine for his portrayals of Albrecht in Giselle, Lensky and Onegin in Onegin and the lead role in Paquita.
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Wow. Does that mean that he is joining NBoC on a permanent basis or on a one year contract? Btw, there was a fairly lengthy, and interesting (he was very open), interview with him in what I think is the latest issue of Dance Europe. I was secretly wishing that he might guest with ENB, partnering Tamara, in one of their classical productions. We did not have much opportunity to see him when Stuttgart Ballet came to London last year and I would love to have seen him in a full length ballet.

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Wow. Does that mean that he is joining NBoC on a permanent basis or on a one year contract? Btw, there was a fairly lengthy, and interesting (he was very open), interview with him in what I think is the latest issue of Dance Europe. I was secretly wishing that he might guest with ENB, partnering Tamara, in one of their classical productions. We did not have much opportunity to see him when Stuttgart Ballet came to London last year and I would love to have seen him in a full length ballet.

 

I'm not sure. I know only what is in the press release. Doubtless there will be reports in the newspapers and I will pass anything else along. I saw the interview in this month's Dance Europe too. Anyway, it's certainly great news for us here in Toronto! (and the places where the NBOC is touring this coming year).

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Wonderful news:  A wonderful dancer returning to his roots in a truly wonderful company.  Good news ALL round (methinks anyway).   I only wish NBoC were returning to London.  I would love to see McKie and Lunkina dance together.  

Edited by Meunier
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Great news for NBoC, although I don't suppose Stuttgart audiences will be so pleased.

 

Oooh, don't worry, there's always a huge supply of young male dancers at Stuttgart...  How cool to be able to say these words ;)

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The contract at Toronto is permanent, McKie is leaving Stuttgart. In the Stuttgart press release, he says that the reason for returning to Canada is his family. His farewell performance at Stuttgart will probably be the "Wayfarers" triple bill on June 3rd.

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...  I would love to see McKie and Lunkina dance together.  

They have already been doing this: 

http://www.google.co.uk/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=Lunkina+McKie+swan+lake&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&gfe_rd=cr&ei=-NRbU7zSJoPR8ge02oGABQ

 

Oooh, don't worry, there's always a huge supply of young male dancers at Stuttgart...  How cool to be able to say these words ;)

Not many ballet companies can boast this. Why do you, Angela, think this is the case with Stuttgart? Could it be due to the contribution from the late Pyotr Pestov?

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They have already been doing this: 

 

 

 

Oh, thanks, Angela.  I did know they appeared in Kudelka's SL .... but sadly I wasn't able to nip across and catch it.  Bless the NBoC for their always wonderful video clips, interviews and photographs.  

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Not many ballet companies can boast this. Why do you, Angela, think this is the case with Stuttgart? Could it be due to the contribution from the late Pyotr Pestov?

 

Well of course many boys came to the Cranko school for Pestov, but now he is dead and they still keep coming. I guess it's mainly Reid Anderson's merit - Jason Reilly said in an interview in Dance Europe (January 2014): "Reid is a genius. That's why a lot of us have stayed there. The principals, some of us have been there 10+ years and none of us want to go anywhere else". Anderson is brillant in developing dancer's careers, giving them already important roles (and the right roles) at a very young age. Maybe it's also the repertoire with many interesting roles for men, the Cranko ballets for example. 

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Thanks for your reply, Angela.


I asked my question because Pyotr Antonovich Pestov was a unique teacher, capable of not just teaching the ‘trade’ to excellence but also of nurturing his boys’ personality. Enough to recall some of those principals’ names: Gordeyev, Bogatyrev, Anisimov, Vetrov, Posokhov, Malakhov, Ratmansky, Tsiskaridze, Bolotin, Kaniskin, Pisarev, etc. And Evan McKie worked with him too.


I remember a most interesting and revealing interview with Pestov in the Dance magazine:


Teacher's Wisdom: Pyotr Pestov By Evan McKie


http://www.dancemagazine.com/issues/October-2009/Teachers-Wisdom-Pyotr-Pestov


 


Since you, Angela, are well informed about that school, are you aware of any efforts on the part of the school’s management and teachers to implement and preserve some of Pestov’s teaching techniques?

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Oh yes, of course they try to preserve his teaching methods - Petr Pestov was admired and honoured by the teachers and by his students. I don't know if Tadeusz Matacz, director of the Cranko School, directly adopted Pestov's teaching techniques, but I'm sure he saw how clear, how smooth and elegant, and especially how musical Pestov's students left the academy classes where he was professor, so I'm very sure Matacz tries to preserve much of Pestov's methods. Among Pestov's last students was Daniel Camargo, now a very young principal dancer at Stuttgart with incredible intensity.

 

Here are two articles in German about Pestov, the first with some pictures from 2010, maybe you can translate them via Google. The layout of the pages is muddled, I fear.

Six questions by Patricia Kapp, who describes Pestov's training, with a short biography and an interview

A monument for Petr Pestov, written by three of his students, with detailed descriptions of his lessons

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