A Career Come and Gone (Part Five)

Posted September 5, 2014 by

My first memory was that of the woman whom I idolized – Evelyn Hart stirred emotions that I had never experienced whenever I saw her dancing on stage. When her and her partner won the gold medal in Varna, Bulgaria, it was a pas de deux created especially for them called “Belong”. This was approximately 14 minutes in length I believe and Evelyn was suspended in the air by her partner for the entire duration. The costumes were simply light blue full body leotards, the lighting was blue, no props were used and the music was a piece that in its entirety was simple whale cries and the sound of the ocean………..a memory I’ll never forget. I was so beside myself when Evelyn offered me to live with her for a period of time. I found myself being chased around the apartment as she threatened to spray me with shaving cream. She would simply grab a spoon and eat peanut butter out of the jar. And I’ll always remember the health food cookies she baked for energy and protein, seeing as she always seemed on the vurge of, and had at one point in her life dealt with anorexia, what a role model, and for those of you that have seen her dance, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. Our mutual dance instructor in London – Dorothy Carter I’m sure shared the same words with Evelyn – “Don’t let your wishbone be where your backbone should be”.

“Belong pas de deux”

In 1980, Hart became the first Canadian to be awarded a gold medal at the International Ballet Competition in Varna, Bulgaria, as well as the rarely awarded Certificate of Exceptional Artistic Achievement.

Hart was inducted to the Order of Canada in 1983, and was promoted to Companion in 1994. She has been named Manitoba’s Woman of the Year (1987), received honorary doctorates from several universities, and two ACTRA awards for her television performances in Belong and Romeo & Juliet. In 2000, Hart received the Chalmers Award for her contribution to dance and was inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame. In 2001, she received a Governor General’s Performing Arts Award.

Evelyn Hart has been a Guest Artist with, among others, The National Ballet of Canada and the Royal Ballet of Britan, and remains the Resident Guest Artist with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet.