A Canadian Ballerina Goes Abroad

Photo by Daniel Neuhaus, Courtesy NBoC.

Many dancers aspire to perform abroad, and for National Ballet of Canada corps member Emma Hawes, that dream is about to come true. Next Monday she begins an exchange program with the Royal Danish Ballet in Copenhagen, where she'll take class, rehearse and perform with the company through mid-April. For Pointe's bi-weekly newsletter, we spoke with Hawes about her upcoming trip.

What will you be performing with RDB?
I'm going to be dancing in the creation of Nikolaj Hübbe and Silja Schandorff's new Swan Lake, so that's really exciting. I went on summer program exchanges back when I was in school, but this will be my first time performing with a company abroad.

Do you know any of the dancers? 
The Royal Danish sent Andreas Kaas to the National Ballet of Canada for the exchange program earlier in the season. He danced several roles in The Nutcracker. Plus, we both danced in the competition for The Erik Bruhn Prize, so I know him from there. The ballet world is so small. I even have old classmates in the company there, so it's going to be nice to see familiar faces.

What do you hope to gain technically by studying Bournonville?
I'd like to improve on my petite allégro, and I feel like that's something Bournonville will be great for. This will be my first full immersion in the technique, so I'm excited to dive in. 

Why is an exchange program like this so important for the ballet world?
I think it's wonderful to see other dancers and the influences and trajectory of dance in Europe. Even though we are definitely doing a lot of exciting work, Canada feels a bit separate from Europe. In order for dance to grow, I think it's important for young dancers to see what's going on all around.

 

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