Citadel+Compagnie: Four Old Legs
Citadel + Compagnie Presents Stirring World Premiere of James Kudelka’s Four Old Legs
Legendary Canadian ballerina Evelyn Hart stars in a heartfelt journey of love, relationships, and the passage of time
TORONTO, ON — Citadel + Compagnie proudly presents the world premiere of Canadian dance luminary James Kudelka’s Four Old Legs, on stage April 12–13 & 17–20, 2019 at 8pm and April 14 at 4pm at the Citadel: Ross Centre for Dance. Citadel + Compagnie’s resident choreographer and Order of Canada appointee Kudelka has created this poignant performance piece celebrating time, memory, and experience. Ballet icon Evelyn Hart and acclaimed dance artist Zhenya Cerneacov eloquently explore the premise that growing older is something better practiced by young people.
“It is always a joy to present new work by James Kudelka, whose finely honed talent and inexhaustible curiosity never cease to amaze me,” says Citadel + Compagnie’s Artistic Director Laurence Lemieux. “The ballet world has historically been devoted to youth and artistic novelty; however, works by seasoned artists whose creative relationships have deepened with time and familiarity are immensely rewarding. The intimate setting of The Citadel gives audience members an extraordinary opportunity to see Evelyn Hart, Canada’s most beloved ballerina, perform at close range and enjoy the fruits of her long-term collaboration with Kudelka.”
Four Old Legs is a series of vignettes that explore long-term love, after the heady thrill of infatuation has faded. A series of solos and duets are danced in a sparsely furnished space, each one providing a glimpse into the shared life of a couple, weaving the emotional threads into the rich and varied tapestry of a longstanding relationship. Set to16 songs by artists as varied as Chopin, the Talking Heads, Judy Garland, and Serge Gainsbourg, the music indicates the passage of time and helps to illuminate the gifts and challenges of the aging process. With lighting design by Simon Rossiter, projection design by Jeremy Mimnagh and costumes by Hoax Couture, Four Old Legs represents a collaboration of experienced artists at the top of their game.
Ontario-native Kudelka is among today’s most versatile and innovative dance artists. He began choreographing while training at Canada’s National Ballet School, and continued throughout his dancing years with the National Ballet of Canada (1972-1981) and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens (1981-1990). He is renowned for distinctive versions of such classics as The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, and Cinderella, all signature works of the National Ballet of Canada where he served as Artistic Director (1996-2005). He has choreographed for many of the world’s leading ballet companies as well as for smaller contemporary troupes for whom he excels in making smaller-scaled dances that are outwardly abstract yet rich in psychological implication and human drama. In 2008, Kudelka became Citadel + Compagnie’s Resident Choreographer and has created several works for the company, including From the House of Mirth and Against Nature and a remount of The Man in Black. An artist known for his distinctly Canadian sensibility, he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2005.
One of Canada’s most esteemed ballet superstars, Hart hails from Toronto, Ontario. She graduated from the Royal Winnipeg Ballet Professional Division Ballet Academic Program in 1976, and began her stratospheric rise through the ranks of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, achieving the status of Principal Dancer by 1979. The company remained her professional home until 2005, when she transitioned into a career as an independent dance artist. She was the first Canadian to win gold at the Varna International Ballet Competition in Varna, Bulgaria in 1980 for the pas de deux Belong choreographed by Norbert Vesak. In 2000, she was inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame. She was the recipient of the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement (2001), Canada’s highest honor in the performing arts. Hart was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2006.
Cerneacov was born in Chisinau, Republic of Moldova. Upon his arrival in Canada in 2006 he rapidly became an active member of the contemporary dance scene, performing in companies including Danny Grossman Dance Company, Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie (now Citadel + Compagnie), Peggy Baker Dance Projects, Chimera Project, Kaha:wi Dance Theatre and Kaeja d’Dance. In 2011, Cerneacov co-founded The School of Cadence Ballet with partner Courtnae Bowman with whom he shares artistic direction. He also co-founded the award-winning Toronto-based contemporary dance company Throwdown Collective with collaborators Mairéad Filgate and Brodie Stevenson.
Tickets to Four Old Legs are available online at: citadelcie.com/tickets
About Citadel + Compagnie (citadelcie.com)
Citadel + Compagnie is a Toronto-based professional dance organization with a mission to have a significant and lasting artistic impact on our society through creation, curation and cultivation. Led by Artistic Director Laurence Lemieux, Citadel + Compagnie creates, produces and presents works on local, national and international scales from its home base in a former Salvation Army Citadel in the Regent Park neighbourhood of Toronto.
The company purchased The Citadel in 2007, and renovated it into studio, office, and theatre space. The Citadel: Ross Centre for Dance opened in 2012, providing a home for Resident Choreographer James Kudelka, and Artistic Director Laurence Lemieux’s creative processes and intimate performances, while creating an open and welcoming space for artists to rehearse, create and perform and where the community can learn, communicate, and share.
Citadel + Compagnie encourages artistic risk and innovation through its performing arts series, Bright Nights, and delivers accessible works of contemporary dance when touring outside The Citadel itself. Equipped with a commitment to the development of the art form and backed by a small but fiscally aggressive administrative structure, Citadel + Compagnie demonstrates fearless artistic leadership backed by real community engagement.
After nine years as Artistic Director of the National Ballet of Canada (1996–2005), James Kudelka was named Citadel + Compagnie resident choreographer in 2008. This relationship has allowed Kudelka to revisit some of his finest works and made way for challenging new contemporary creations. The presence of Kudelka’s work at Citadel + Compagnie has also expanded the company’s public recognition, and increased audiences eager to see the work of one of the country’s finest choreographers
|LISTING INFORMATION||Citadel + Compagnie presents
Four Old Legs
|Dates:||April 11, 2019 at 7pm (VIP Night)
April 12–13 & 17–20, 2019 at 8pm
April 14, 2019 at 4pm
$100 (VIP Night only)
|Venue:||The Citadel: Ross Centre for Dance
304 Parliament Street
Toronto, ON M5A 2Z6
|Box Office:||CitadelCie.com or 416-364-8011 ext. 1|