Karen Kain, Artistic Director of The National Ballet of Canada, today announced that Greta Hodgkinson will retire as Principal Dancer in 2020 after a remarkable career that spans 30 years. Ms. Hodgkinson will dance the title role in Giselle and appear in Petite Mort in November as well as The Nutcracker in December. Her final performance as Principal Dancer will be the seminal role of Marguerite in Frederick Ashton’s Marguerite and Armand, acquired in her honour by Ms. Kain and the National Ballet, which makes its company premiere during the Winter Season February 29 – March 7, 2020.
The 2019/20 season is Ms. Hodgkinson’s 24th year as a Principal Dancer with the company, a milestone achieved only by two other dancers in the National Ballet’s history: Ms. Kain and former Principal Dancer Veronica Tennant.
“From the moment I saw Greta in class at Canada’s National Ballet School I knew she was a force to be reckoned with in every way,” said Ms. Kain. “She is a fearless, exquisitely musical dancer – and one of the most technically proficient artists I have known. She excels in the most classical of ballets and the most contemporary. Her contribution to this company cannot be understated. It has been a pleasure to watch her wonderful career.”
“I am forever grateful to The National Ballet of Canada for the many incredible opportunities I have had to fulfill my dreams and dance here and around the world over the past 30 years. This privilege enabled me to grow as an artist in an immeasurable way,” said Ms. Hodgkinson. “Thank you from the bottom of my heart to the National Ballet, my colleagues, friends and especially the audience members who shared in the journey.”
Ms. Hodgkinson has dazzled audiences and critics alike with her immaculate technique and dramatic power. She is a gifted interpreter of great classical roles and an instinctive collaborator on new work, making her a favourite with choreographers. Ms. Hodgkinson leaves a legacy of roles created for her including Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, Snow Queen in The Nutcracker and Summer in The Four Seasonsby James Kudelka. She has worked with such choreographers as William Forsythe, Jiří Kylián, Alexei Ratmansky, Glen Tetley, Christopher Wheeldon, Wayne McGregor, Crystal Pite and Guillaume Côté.
In addition to her acclaim in National Ballet productions, Ms. Hodgkinson has had an illustrious international career, performing on stages across the world with The Kirov Ballet, Teatro alla Scala, The Australian Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, Munich Ballet, Teatro Comunale di Firenze and others. She has enjoyed long standing partnerships with the National Ballet’s Rex Harrington, Aleksandar Antonijevic and Guillaume Côté and has danced with such partners as Roberto Bolle, Carlos Acosta, Marcelo Gomes, Massimo Murru, Laurent Hilaire, Federico Bonelli, Robert Tewsley, Tetsuya Kumakawa, Jason Reilly, Steven McRae and Matthew Golding.
Offstage, Ms. Hodgkinson was invited to work with dancers of The Bolshoi Ballet to stage the Russian premiere of Alexei Ratmansky’s Romeo and Juliet in September 2017. She was also a Répétiteur for the world premiere of Frame by Frame by Guillaume Côté and Robert Lepage.
In 2017, Ms. Hodgkinson was appointed to the Order of Ontario, the province’s highest honour and received two Citations from her home state of Rhode Island, the highest honour given by the state in recognition of her extraordinary accomplishments and contribution to the arts and culture. In 2000, Ms. Hodgkinson was nominated for the prestigious Prix Benois de la Danse for her role as Odette/Odile in James Kudelka’s Swan Lake.