I have returned from my hiatus! It’s not officially winter but we’ve cracked open the Nutcracker and hence I feel it my right to open National Ballet of Canada Winter 2006. I was shocked to read of the glowing review Paula Citron
gave Heather Ogden after her 2002 cipher critique! GGGrrrr!!!
The statuesque Ogden has grown into a brilliant artist with impeccable technique, and she romps through Kudelka's choreographic challenges with the precision of a surgeon's knife. Along the way, she has acquired a vibrant stage personality and acting skills which make her a complete package as a prima ballerina.
Her opinion certainly changed from witnessing Heather Ogden’s Sugar Plum Fairy just 4 years ago!
Posted: Mon Dec 20, 2004 7:26 pm Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada 2004/2005
I could not agree more. You may be interested in the below post from the archives of CriticalDance. I was pleased with Heather Ogden’s performance on the 16th and will post my review later. There is not that much emotional depth needed for the role of ‘the Sugar Plum Fairy.’ Hence, I don’t know what Paula Citron was writing about.
Critics go toe-to-toe over Sugar Plum Fairy!
In my years of reading Nutcracker reviews, never have I read a more contrasting opinion over the performance of the Sugar Plum Fairy! I guess some reviewers will agree to disagree.
Paula Citron of www.globeandmail.ca
He also had to act for two because Ogden, who is one of the most technically gifted dancers in the company, is soulless. Ogden must start developing interpretative skills to realize her awesome potential, because, at the moment, her Sugar Plum Fairy is a beautifully dancing cipher.
Shena Wilson of www.nationalpost.com
Heather Ogden as the Sugar Plum Fairy has the special gift of making technique almost disappear in her visible joy. Her precision, lovely smile and gentle presence make her a pleasure to watch. Together, Ogden and Côté exude musicality, generosity and complicity.
The above quotes were from the December 14th debut of the National Ballet of Canada’s 2002 Nutcracker. I was quite surprised at the stinging criticism levied by veteran ballet critic, Paul Citron. Soulless really needs no explanation. The dictionary definition of cipher is a person of no value or importance. Ouch! I myself did not see the opening Nutcracker so I can offer no opinion. Did anyone from our Critical Dance readers see this performance?
Below is a snippet of my opinion of Heather Ogden’s dancing prowess from a year ago.
Michael Goldbarth of www.criticaldance.com
If you’re a dreamy-eyed ballerina-struck balletomane like myself you’ll attend more than one performance. Sonia Rodriguez and Greta Hodgkinson are must-sees as Juliet. Another can’t miss as Juliet is the lovely Heather Ogden, who is a star very fast on the rise at the NBoC.
James Kudelka must be happy with Miss Ogden, as she was promoted to Second Soloist in 2002, her 4th year with the NBoC. One would think a seasoned journalist like Paula Citron could have found a more sympathetic way to convey her opinion of Miss Ogden’s performance. If she found it wooden, perhaps a comparison to the Nutcracker would have been more apropos than “soulless” and “cipher.”
John Coulbourn was just ‘nuts’
over the National’s Nutcracker!
From the work of seasoned veterans like Victoria Bertram, who still steals hearts as Baba, the children's nurse, through dancers like the affable Cote, Stacey Shiori Minagawa (as the Snow Queen) and Heather Ogden (as the Sugar Plum Fairy) to a tight and disciplined corps capable of melting hearts as Snow Maidens and making them bloom with joy as a whole bouquet of flowers, this is a superb showcase for the talent that is at the heart of any successful classical ballet company. From Kevin D. Bowles' magically whirling Uncle Nikolai through to Jillian Vanstone's honey of a Bee, the stage is filled with artists at the peak of their form and utterly delighted to have an opportunity to strut their stuff.
I can’t believe I beat Steph to a Heather Ogden review? What gives