It's hard to imagine the National Ballet of Canada without ballerina Greta Hodgkinson. Yet this week NBoC announced that the longtime company star will take her final bow in March, as Marguerite in Sir Frederick Ashton's Marguerite and Armand.
A native of Providence, Rhode Island, Hodgkinson's career at NBoC spans an impressive 30 years—24 of those as a principal dancer, a feat achieved by only two other company ballerinas: Veronica Tennant and current artistic director Karen Kain.
Since joining in 1990, she's worked under three artistic directors at NBoC, dancing a vast repertoire of classical roles, contemporary ballets and new commissions. In particular, she created numerous leading roles for choreographer James Kudelka, including Swan Lake, Firebird and The Four Seasons. In 2017, Hodgkinson was appointed to the Order of Ontario, the Canadian province's highest honor. "Her contribution to this company cannot be understated," Kain said in a statement.
Hodgkinson's final season will showcase her versatility. In November she'll dance the title role of Giselle and appear in Jiří Kylián's Petite Mort, followed by Nutcracker in December. But Marguerite and Armand will be new to her, and very special. In an interview with Pointe in 2017, Hodgkinson said that Marguerite was one role she hadn't danced yet that was at the top of her bucket list. It seems that Kain was listening—she acquired the ballet in Hodgkinson's honor for her farewell performances.