Your story is our history! Share your treasured National Ballet memories.
was the year we toured Romeo and Juliet to
Vancouver’s Queen Elizabeth Theatre (1977) and Karen Kain was Lady Capulet to
my Lord. During a performance at the Queen E., of my sword fight in the first
scene between Lord Montague and myself, the drama became terribly realist.
Suddenly, my broad sword ricocheted off his and caught me, sinking edge first
into my forehead, slashing it open. I didn’t realize I had been cut until we
had to kneel in front of the Duke of Verona. As I dropped my head, blood
started dropping onto the stage. As I turned to Karen, she said, ‘Charles,
don’t look at the audience, your face is a mess.’ At the end of the scene, I
was given something to stop the bleeding and then finished the show. After the
performance I was rushed to the hospital. As you can imagine, the surgeon was
in disbelief when I recounted my adventure and proceeded to put in 13 stitches!
The end of the story is that the stitches were removed in Edmonton at a party,
by a visiting physician, at the home of the Premier of Alberta, Mr. Lougheed,
on that same tour.”
- Charles Kirby,
Alumni, Dancer 1965-1998
"The greatest wave of emotion I can recall at any National Ballet performance came with Veronica Tennant's farewell appearance in Romeo and Juliet. The cheering nearly brought down the roof of the Hummingbird Centre as the flower bouquets piled up steadily around her on the stage. I especially remember one bouquet that came flying like a rocket from somewhere in the audience and landed right at her feet just as she was taking her umpteenth curtsey. What an amazing display of love from audience to artist!"
- Ken Stephen, Subscriber & Donor, 25+ Years
"My Memory: Sharing the joy of the ballet with my daughter Amy. The ballet has become our true love of the arts. Our favorite production so far has been Swan Lake. I am looking forward to the new Romeo and Juliet and am coming to the performance on November 18th, this time with a friend. I have to travel from my new home in Elliot Lake, Ontario and wouldn't miss it for the world. Thank you once again for your performances - they have become a regular part of my life."
- Maureen Cameron, Audience Member, Less than 5 years
"Despite having small children at home and very little money, we HAD to see the 1965 performance of Romeo and Juliet. We will never forget seeing Veronica Tennant's perceptive interpretation of Juliet and Celia Franca's passionate display of grief over Tybalt's death in the ballet."
- Sylvia Murray and Jane Ameline, Audience Members, 40+ Years
"My favourite ballet is Romeo and Juliet and my favourite Juliet was and is Veronica Tennant. Her retirement performance belied her age. Through her leg and body motions and pure acting ability she transformed herself into an innocent and lovestruck 14 year old."
- Leon Steinberg, Audience Member, 40+ Years
"Having become a Canadian citizen in the beginning of April 1964, as a special gift my mother surprised me with tickets to see the first performance of Romeo and Juliet at the O'Keefe Centre. The performance by Galina Samtsova and especially Earl Kraul was absolutely superb. Now every April I have to think of this special month in my life and the most wonderful introduction to The National Ballet of Canada."
- Dieter Reimers, Audience Member, 40+ Years
"My favourite memory of The National Ballet of Canada is the last time Karen Kain and Frank Augustyn danced Romeo and Juliet. Between the choreography, the dancers and the score there was not a dry eye in the house. I learned once and for all the ability of dance to move people's emotions."
- Stephen Stein, Audience Member, 30+ Years