FOUR OLD LEGS MEDIA PAGE
FOUR OLD LEGS
April 15-18, 2020 at 8pm | April 19, 2020 at 4pm
Choreographer: James Kudelka
Presented by Citadel + Compagnie
James Kudelka’s “profoundly moving duet” Four Old Legs returns to The Citadel to delight audiences once more
Legendary Canadian ballerina Evelyn Hart and Zhenya Cerneacov explore long-term love, the passage of time and the power of memory from April 15-19, 2020 at The Citadel: Ross Centre for Dance
TORONTO, ON – Citadel + Compagnie is thrilled to be remounting Four Old Legs—the much beloved, and critically acclaimed duet by James Kudelka that explores love after the initial infatuation has faded. Through a series of vignettes set to music by artists from Chopin to the Talking Heads, Judy Garland to Serge Gainsbourg, Canada’s most beloved ballerina, Evelyn Hart performs with Zhenya Cerneacov, delving into the emotional spectrum of long-term relationships.
Kudelka, Citadel + Compagnie’s resident choreographer, Order of Canada appointee, and 2020 Dance Collection Danse Hall of Fame inductee, has spent years working with Hart and the work is imbued with the depth of their long-term collaboration. Hart, who received a Dora nomination for her 2019 performance of the work, was deemed “irresistible” in the sold-out premiere run in 2019, and Cerneacov “partners Hart with his more grounded sensibility providing both earthy ballast and counterpoint.”
“The work was lauded by the press as ‘a duet to fall in love with,’ and we are so excited to be remounting the work once again,” says Citadel + Compagnie’s Artistic Director Laurence Lemieux. “The intimacy of The Citadel is the perfect venue for this poignant and profound work.”
The dancers perform a series of solos and duets, exploring the life’s work and nuance of a decades-long relationship. With lighting design by Simon Rossiter, projection design by Jeremy Mimnagh and costumes by Hoax Couture, Four Old Legs is a collaboration of experienced artists at its finest.
James Kudelka’s Four Old Legs is a duet to fall in love with…Kudelka has the eye and maturity to sketch the long-term relationship experience in subtle, yet very legible shades. – NOW Magazine
The lure of ballerina Evelyn Hart is irresistible. – Paula Citron
Kudelka has skilfully created a lingua franca between the two respective dance worlds of balletic prim and viscerally modern, with the choreography itself becoming a synergistic melting pot of various stylistic influences, including pedestrian walks and gestural language, often punctuated by weighty pauses and moments of recognition between the two characters that pack an emotional wallop…a poignant ode to love. – The Winnipeg Free Press
A profoundly moving duet. – The Globe and Mail
Evelyn Hart was nominated for a 2019 Dora Award for Outstanding Performance of an Individual.
Choreographer: James Kudelka
Performers: Evelyn Hart* and Zhenya Cerneacov
Music: Various artists
Projection design: Jeremy Mimnagh
Lighting Design: Simon Rossiter
Costume Design: HOAX Couture
Four Old Legs features dancers Evelyn Hart and Zhenya Cerneacov in a duet celebrating time memory and experience, performed to a playlist from Chopin to Judy Garland to Talking Heads.
“Growing old is something better practiced by young people.”
*The participation of this artist is arranged by permission of Canadian Actors’ Equity Association under the provisions of the Dance Opera Theatre Policy (DOT)
Download the press release: PDF
ABOUT THE COMPANY:
Citadel + Compagnie is a Toronto-based professional dance organization with a mission to have a significant and lasting artistic impact on our society. Under the directorship of Laurence Lemieux, Citadel + Compagnie creates, curates and cultivates dance works and community collaborations on local, national and international scales from its home base in a former Salvation Army Citadel in the Regent Park neighbourhood of Toronto.
The company purchased The Citadel in 2007, and renovated it into studio, office, and theatre space. The Citadel: Ross Centre for Dance opened in 2012, providing a home for resident choreographer, James Kudelka, and artistic director, Laurence Lemieux’s creative processes and intimate performances, while creating an open and welcoming space for artists to rehearse, create and perform and where the community can learn, communicate, and share. These strategic actions have re-energized both its neighbouring community of Regent Park, and the dance community at large.
Citadel + Compagnie encourages artistic risk and innovation through its performing arts series, Bright Nights, late-night showcase, Night Shift, and additional collaborations, and delivers accessible works of contemporary dance when touring outside The Citadel itself.
After nine years as artistic director of the National Ballet of Canada (1996-2005), James Kudelka was named Citadel + Compagnie’s resident choreographer in 2008. With Citadel + Compagnie, he has revisited some of his greatest works and developed challenging new contemporary creations. Kudelka’s presence at Citadel + Compagnie has elevated the company’s profile, and offered audiences a new platform to experience the work of one of the country’s finest choreographers.
Artistic Director Laurence Lemieux continues to refine her choreographic vision, having created over twenty-five works including Interiors, Les Paradis Perdus, and Looking for Elvis. From explosive, intimate pieces like Love me out of it (which she performed with iconic Canadian punk band Teenage Head), to large scale works like Jusqu’a Vimy, that toured to France for the 100th anniversary of the battle, Lemieux continues to explore the extraordinary range of her choreographic voice through the company.
Under Lemieux’s leadership, Citadel + Compagnie has had a marked impact on the local community, offering free studio access to key neighbourhood initiatives: Toronto Police Force 51 Division’s youth and hip-hop program, the Regent Park School of Music, and Toronto Council Fire’s Indigenous dance program, First Fire. These collaborations have built lasting ties within the community, and as a result, The Citadel has become a sought-after safe space for youth to gather and explore their creativity.
High-res photos: right-click to download
Photo by Jeremy Mimnagh
Photo by Jeremy Mimnagh
BIO: JAMES KUDELKA
James Kudelka is among today’s most versatile and innovative dance artists. He has choreographed for many of the world’s leading ballet companies and for smaller contemporary troupes. His creative range reflects his eclectic musical interests, command of diverse movement idioms, and commitment to working collaboratively with artists from other disciplines. Kudelka is renowned for distinctive versions of such classics as The Nutcracker and Cinderella – signature works of the National Ballet of Canada where he served as artistic director (1996-2005). Equally, Kudelka excels in making smaller-scaled dances that are rich in psychological implication and human drama. Born in Newmarket, Ontario and trained by Canada’s National Ballet School, Kudelka began choreographing as a student and continued throughout his dancing years with the National Ballet (1972-1981) and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens (1981-1990). He began an affiliation with Toronto’s Citadel + Compagnie in 2006 and has been resident choreographer since 2008 where he has experimented with cross-disciplinary collaborations. As a teacher, Kudelka has worked with Vancouver Arts Umbrella, Ryerson University, and Canada’s National Ballet School, and he continues to work internationally as a choreographer. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2005 and is among the 2020 Dance Collection Danse Hall of Fame inductees.
BIO: EVELYN HART
Evelyn Hart is an internationally renowned dancer. She joined the Royal Winnipeg Ballet in 1976, becoming a principal dancer in 1979. Over her 30-year career with the RWB, she performed on stages in over 118 countries. Hart brought her trademark dramatic approach to Giselle, Swan Lake, Onegin, Sleeping Beauty, Anna Kareninna, Cinderella and Romeo and Juliet. A few of her favourite roles included ballets created by Sir Frederick Ashton, Antony Tudor, Jirí Kylián, Norbert Vesak, Vincente Nebrada, Hans van Manen, Rudi van Dantzig, George Balanchine and James Kudelka. A 50-minute film about Hart, Moment of Light: The Dance of Evelyn Hart was produced and a biography entitled Evelyn Hart: an Intimate Portrait. Evelyn Hart is a Companion of the Order of Canada and the Order of Manitoba. She has been awarded with three honorary doctorates from McMaster University, University of British Columbia, and the University of Manitoba. She was awarded the Chalmers Award for excellence in the arts and was inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame. In 2001, Hart received a Governor General’s Performing Arts Award.
BIO: ZHENYA CERNEACOV
Zhenya Cerneacov was born in Chisinau, Republic of Moldova. In 2006, Cerneacov moved to Canada where he quickly became an active member of the contemporary dance scene broadening his horizons to include works in Contemporary, Bharatanatyam, Modern, Aboriginal Dance, Contemporary Ballet and Argentine Tango performing with companies including Danny Grossman Dance Company, Corpus Dance Projects, Peggy Baker Dance Projects, Bouchardanse, Citadel + Compagnie, Menaka Thakkar Dance Company, Chimera Project, Kaha:wi Dance Theatre, Kaeja d’Dance, among others.
Cerneacov is co-founder and co-choreographer for the “Throwdown Collective” with which he has co-created three critically acclaimed commissions for Dusk Dances, and a stage piece presented at “dance: made in canada 2015” and “DanceWorks” which won the Audience Choice Award and subsequently the Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Original Choreography and 4 other nominations. In 2011, Cerneacov co-founded “The School of Cadence Ballet”, an International Ballet School with partner Courtnae Bowman with whom he shares artistic direction.
K.M. Hunter Charitable Foundation
A very special thank you to Robin Vaile for her continuous support of James Kudelka’s ongoing activity at Citadel + Compagnie.