I’m home with the flu today, so I had some time on my hands and thus decided to explore the NBoC’s website. I’m happy to report it contains a lot of educational material
and that no where could I find mention of the position ‘prima ballerina.’ Greta Hodgkinson, despite her PRIMA claim, is listed as a principal on the National’s website
as well as their preview DVD.
Below is an excerpt from Max Wyman’s book, ‘Revealing Dance,’ dealing with the issue of ‘prima ballerinas.’
Might Glasco and Kudelka be seen in retrospect to have been already on collision course, their visions of the structure of a ballet company and the function of its dancers diametrically at odds? Glasco considered herself the company’s star, its Prima Ballerina.
That was how she described herself in a press release when she went public with her lawsuit in 1998: “My name is Kimberly Glasco, Prima Ballerina of the National Ballet of Canada.” Kudelka was far more interested in pursuing the notion of the company as an ensemble: no stars, all stars. Glasco’s use of the term ‘Prima Ballerina’ is interesting.
The National Ballet claims it has never had a position of that name, and says it treats all its principal dancers equally (in the 2000-2001 season it had eight, plus, at the same level, three Guest Artists in Residence). Glasco, however, saw herself in a direct line of Primas -from Veronica Tennant to Karen Kain to herself.
I have enjoyed Miss Hodgkinson’s performances and have no doubt she could dance for any ballet company in the world. From what I’ve seen and read of her, she has not met my definition of a ‘prima ballerina.’ Once again, I invite Miss Prima Hodgkinson, the National Ballet of Canada, and any ‘PRIMA ballerina’ on the planet to respond to this thought provoking topic.