Patrick Lavoie

Patrick Lavoie 2013-14 Photo Credits

Patrick Lavoie, photo by Sian Richards.

Biography

Patrick Lavoie was born in Montréal, Québec and trained at L’École supérieure de ballet contemporain de Montréal and San Francisco Ballet School. He joined The National Ballet of Canada in 1997 and was promoted to First Soloist in 2003.  

Mr. Lavoie's repertoire includes the roles of Romeo and Paris in Romeo and Juliet, Siegfried and Rothbart in Swan Lake and Prince Charming in Cinderella, as well as principal roles in Onegin, The Firebird, Madame Butterfly, An Italian Straw Hat, The Seagull, Hamlet and The Four Seasons. Also included in his repertoire are The Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Jewels, The Four Seasons, Carmen, The Man in Black and Emergence. Recently, Mr. Lavoie danced the roles of the Faun and Golden Slave in the Canadian premiere of Nijinsky by John Neumeier.  

In 2010, he danced with the company in 24 Preludes by Chopin at the Cultural Olympiad at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. 

Mr. Lavoie was awarded the David Tory Award in 2012 and the Patron Award of Merit by the Patron’s Council Committee of The National Ballet of Canada in 2001.  

Q&A

You will be making your debut as Kostya in The Seagull this season. What excites you about taking on this role? 

Kostya is a multi-faceted role. Not only is there a lot of depth to his character but there is so much happening between him and all the different characters onstage. It’s also interesting to dance and expand upon a role that has been developed so deeply on page as in Chekhov’s play versus creating a character from scratch.

How does John Neumeier transform Chekhov’s famous play, The Seagull, into dance? 

John stays very true to the characters and story of the play. The greatness of Chekhov and other Russian playwrights is how much is not being said. John is wonderful at conveying through dance the subtle themes and feelings that lie beneath the surface in the story.

You are also dancing in The Sleeping Beauty and La Fille mal gardée. How do the three ballets differ in choreographic style? 

The Sleeping Beauty is the most classical of classical ballets whereas La Fille mal gardée is a bit more light and down to earth. The Seagull is the opposite and is dark and extremely theatrical.

You have been with the National Ballet for 15 years and have a diverse repertoire of roles. Name some of your favourite roles and what you liked about them? 

One of my all time favourite roles is The Man in The Four Seasons – it is so beautiful and well crafted and it was an honour to dance the role – but every role I’ve danced, big or small, has been interesting and rewarding in its own way. It all depends on how much you invest into the role.

Tell us what brought you to ballet. How did you decide to make dance your career? 

My sister used to dance ballet as a child so it was natural for my parents to take me along to class as well. I fell in love with the physicality of ballet and stayed with it through the years. I chose ballet for my career because of the artistry.

What gives you inspiration as an artist? 

Life, the people I meet, my family… inspiration is everywhere. Dance is about the real world, a lot of times, as in The Seagull, where the characters are ones that you can actually relate to.

You recently became a father for the second time. Your daughter Anais was born in October last year. How do you juggle family life and being a dancer? 

It’s hard to juggle both, it’s not easy. There are many sleepless nights but you get used to it and it is extremely rewarding to have your kids watch you dance and appreciate what you do.

I like doing active stuff with my kids, such as ice skating and skiing in the winter and playing on the beach during the summer.

Quotes

Swan Lake 
“Patrick Lavoie debuting as Rothbart was a sensation... he found the evil sorcerer's strength of command without ever losing a stately bearing. His chemistry with both victimized Odette and accomplice Odile was palpable.” The Globe and Mail, 2010  

The Four Temperaments 
“From the opening steps, danced with rapier-like precision by Bridgett Zehr and Patrick Lavoie, it is a dance lover's dream” Toronto Sun, 2009  

The Man in Black 
“Patrick Lavoie brought something real and emotional to the stage with his vulnerable portrayal of a hurting, self-destructive man.” Dance International, 2012