Karen Kain, Artistic Director of The National Ballet of Canada, has announced that Greta Hodgkinson will retire as Principal Dancer in 2020 after a career that spans 30 years.
She will dance the title role in Giselle and appear in Petite Mort in November as well as The Nutcracker in December. Her final performance as Principal Dancer will be the role of Marguerite in Frederick Ashton’s Marguerite and Armand, which has been acquired in her honour by Kain and the National Ballet. A generous retirement present. The ballet will make its company premiere during the Winter Season 29 February – 7 March 2020.
The 2019/20 season is Hodgkinson’s 24th year as a Principal Dancer with the company, a milestone achieved only by two other dancers in the National Ballet’s history: Kain herself, and former Principal Dancer Veronica Tennant.
Karen Kain said today,
From the moment I saw Greta in class at Canada’s National Ballet School, I knew she was a force to be reckoned with in every way. She is a fearless, exquisitely musical dancer – and one of the most technically proficient artists I have known. She excels in the most classical of ballets and the most contemporary. Her contribution to this company cannot be understated. It has been a pleasure to watch her wonderful career.
Hodgkinson is a gifted interpreter of classical roles but also an instinctive collaborator on new work, making her a favourite with choreographers. She leaves a legacy of roles created for her including Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, Snow Queen in The Nutcracker and Summer in The Four Seasons by James Kudelka. She has worked with such choreographers as William Forsythe, Jiří Kylián, Alexei Ratmansky, Glen Tetley, Christopher Wheeldon, Wayne McGregor, Crystal Pite and Guillaume Côté.
I am forever grateful to The National Ballet of Canada for the many incredible opportunities I have had to fulfil my dreams and dance here and around the world over the past 30 years – said Hodgkinson – This privilege enabled me to grow as an artist in an immeasurable way.
In addition to her acclaim in National Ballet productions, Hodgkinson has had an illustrious international career, performing on stages across the world with The Kirov Ballet, Teatro alla Scala, The Australian Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, Munich Ballet, Teatro Comunale di Firenze and others. She has enjoyed long-standing partnerships with the National Ballet’s Rex Harrington, Aleksandar Antonijevic and Guillaume Côté and has danced with such partners as Roberto Bolle, Carlos Acosta, Marcelo Gomes, Massimo Murru, Laurent Hilaire, Federico Bonelli, Robert Tewsley, Tetsuya Kumakawa, Jason Reilly, Steven McRae and Matthew Golding.
In 2017, Hodgkinson was appointed to the Order of Ontario, the province’s highest honour and received two Citations from her home state of Rhode Island, the highest honour given by the state in recognition of her extraordinary accomplishments and contribution to the arts and culture. In 2000, she was nominated for the prestigious Prix Benois de la Danse for her role as Odette/Odile in James Kudelka’s Swan Lake.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart to the National Ballet, my colleagues, friends and especially the audience members who shared in the journey.