Evan McKie Bids Farewell to The National Ballet of Canada But Not to Dance Career
Famed Canadian Artist Ready for “Act III” & New Roles
July 6, 2022… Hope Muir, Joan and Jerry Lozinski Artistic Director of The National Ballet of Canada, today announced that Principal Dancer Evan McKie will depart from The National Ballet of Canada. The internationally acclaimed dancer, artist and instructor will pursue further development in these areas.
“Evan has become one of Canada’s most celebrated dancers with an international career as both a Principal Dancer and Guest Artist. He was Principal Dancer at Stuttgart Ballet from 2008 until 2014 when he inquired about joining The National Ballet of Canada full-time. He is renowned for his range, strength in fluidity and a rare athletic articulation in both classical and contemporary roles. Often bringing intriguing characters from literature to life, Evan entranced National Ballet audiences. His most notable roles include both Lensky and Onegin in Onegin, the title role in Apollo, Leontes in The Winter’s Tale, Diaghilev and Petruschka in Nijinsky, Prince Florimund in The Sleeping Beauty, Karenin in Anna Karenina and lead roles in Wayne McGregor’s Chroma and Genus. As a Guest Artist, Evan has performed frequently with Paris Opéra Ballet and has danced with The Bolshoi, Mariinsky and Tokyo Ballets. I would like to thank Evan for his many contributions to The National Ballet of Canada,” said Muir.
“It was a great pleasure during my tenure as Artistic Director to be able to invite Evan to return home and share his unique artistry with Canadian audiences. He gave many outstanding performances in a wide variety of important roles with the company. I send Evan my gratitude and good wishes for the future,” said Artistic Director Emerita Karen Kain.
Born in Toronto, Ontario, McKie trained at Canada’s National Ballet School, The Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington, D.C and graduated from the John Cranko School in Germany. He began his career as a member of Stuttgart Ballet and was promoted to Principal Dancer in 2008 after his debut in Marcia Haydee’s The Sleeping Beauty and Kevin O’Day’s Hamlet. McKie appeared with The National Ballet of Canada as a Guest Artist in four leading roles and in 2014, joined the company as a Principal Dancer.
In 2020, La Notte Magazine named him one of their Top Five International Dancers of the Year and in 2019, McKie’s debut as Apollo was cited by the Hamilton Spectator as one of the Top Ten Performances of 2019. He has received Italy's prestigious ApuliArte prize for achievement in dance for Rudolf Nureyev’s The Sleeping Beauty, John Cranko’s Onegin and for three roles created on him in Wayne McGregor’s Eden | Eden, Yantra and Nautilus. German TANZ Magazine named him one of its International Dancers of the Year in 2013 and again in 2014. He has also won critics’ choice nominations for Most Outstanding Male Dancer by London, New York, Tokyo and Paris-based critics over the years. In 2016, McKie received the My Entertainment World Award as all-around fan-favourite for roles such as Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, the title role in Onegin and Leontes in The Winter’s Tale and was nominated for Outstanding Ballet Performance as Diaghilev in Nijinsky and as a leading soloist in Wayne McGregor’s Genus.
McKie stated, “I’ve learned more at The National Ballet of Canada than I thought I had the capacity to. It’s been so gripping. Dancing and developing is the best way I can think of to honour those who’ve created an utterly thrilling time for me. This ‘Act III’ phase of a dancer career is what I have admired seeing most in my dance idols. I’ve been looking forward to it! I wish the company luck and lots of love for a very exciting year ahead.”
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BMO Financial Group presents the 2022/23 Season.
The National Ballet of Canada gratefully acknowledges the ongoing support of the Canada Council for the Arts; the Ontario Arts Council; the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council; the Government of Canada – Department of Canadian Heritage with The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage; and the Government of Ontario with The Honourable Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport.
Evan McKie. Photo by Karolina Kuras.
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