Reviewed by Paula Citron
National Ballet of Canada
Choreographed by John Cranko
Performed by McGee Maddox, Heather Ogden, Bridgett Zehr, Brett van Sickle and Pierre Lavoie
Four Seasons Centre
Mar. 17 to 20, 2011
John Cranko’s Onegin has always been a hard sell. Then, suddenly last June, the ballet took off, which is why the National brought it back for a short run between its winter seasons.
I caught McGee Maddox’s performance as Onegin, and he was excellent – tall, brooding, and detailed in his dancing. His partner was Heather Ogden as Tatiana, and they haven’t been dancing long enough to get the wild abandon for the pas de deux, but they’re on their way. Ogden was able to turn low key into intensity.
Brett van Sickle as Lensky showed the qualities of a prince, although still a bit tentative, while Bridgett Zehr as Olga and Pierre Lavoie as Gremin could do no wrong.
About Santo Loquasto’s new production. I can now live with the sets, but the costumes, particularly for the female corps de ballet, are awful – the insipid blanc mange of the first act, the pasty grey-green of the second, and the faded pastels of the third.