Jacques Gorrissen

Jacques Gorrissen - hero Photo Credits

Jacques Gorrissen (1996). Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann.

The National Ballet of Canada mourns the passing of former Principal Character Artist Jacques Gorrissen. Mr Gorrissen was 67.

Born in Ghent, Belgium, Jacques Gorrissen studied dance at the Royal Flemish Opera School and upon graduation, he joined the Royal Flemish Opera Ballet in Antwerp. He joined The National Ballet of Canada in 1968, was promoted to Soloist in 1972 and was a Principal Character Artist from 1985 until 1998 when he retired from the stage.

Described by the Toronto Star as a "seasoned character dancer," Mr. Gorrissen's range extended from the comic to the tragic. He earned critical acclaim with such roles as the bewildered Dr. Coppelius in Coppélia, Friar Laurence and the Duke of Verona in Romeo and Juliet, the Master of Ceremonies and the Tutor in Swan Lake, the pompous Catalabutte in The Sleeping Beauty, Bottom in The Dream, Baptista in The Taming of the Shrew, Madge in La Sylphide and Gamache and Sancho Panza in Don Quixote, among others.

Mr. Gorrissen also created roles in several works by James Kudelka including The Four Seasons (1997), An Intruder in The Actress (1994), The Grandfather in The Miraculous Mandarin (1993), a featured role in Pastorale (1990), Tesman in Hedda (1983), The Balloon Seller in Washington Square (1979) and the Chic Couple in A Party (1977).

Condolences can be sent to Morley Bedford Funeral Home.

  • Jacques Gorrissen - Gallery 1
    Jacques Gorrissen - Gallery 1

    Jacques Gorrissen (1996). Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann.

  • Jacques Gorrissen - Gallery 2
    Jacques Gorrissen - Gallery 2

    Jacques Gorrissen as Paris in Romeo and Juliet (1972). Photo by Anthony Crickmay.

  • Jacques Gorrissen - Gallery 3
    Jacques Gorrissen - Gallery 3

    Jacques Gorrissen and Charles Kirby as Sancho Panza and Don Quixote in Don Quixote (1982). Photo by Andrew Oxenham. 

  • Jacques Gorrissen - Gallery 4
    Jacques Gorrissen - Gallery 4

    Margaret Illmann and Jacques Gorrissen as Swanilda and Dr. Coppélius in Coppélia (1994). Photo by Lydia Pawelak.

  • Jacques Gorrissen - Gallery 5
    Jacques Gorrissen - Gallery 5

    Jacques Gorrissen, Yoko Ichino and Kevin Pugh as Njegus, Valencienne and Camille in The Merry Widow (1986). Photo by Michael Cooper.

  • Jacques Gorrissen - Gallery 6
    Jacques Gorrissen - Gallery 6

    Rex Harrington with Artists of the Ballet in Winter from The Four Seasons (1997). Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann.