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.”
<small>[ 20 December 2004, 09:42 PM: Message edited by: Michael Goldbarth ]</small>