|Evelyn Anne Hart|
April 4, 1956 |
|Known for||Ballerina and former principal dancer with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet|
Life and career
Born in Toronto, Ontario, she studied dance at the Dorothy Carter School of Dance in London, Ontario and later on at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School. Before attending the Royal Winnipeg, though, Hart auditioned for The National Ballet School of Canada in Toronto, Ontario. She was accepted for its preliminary intensive summer session of auditioning for consideration as a student in the year's intensive academic/professional training program at the distinguished National Ballet School, where students train for its parent company the National Ballet of Canada. Hart did not secure a place for the entire school year at the prestigious National Ballet School of Canada, mostly due to her problems with anorexia nervosa. Hart battled with this pathological eating disorder before returning to ballet, training again, and winning a place for herself at The Royal Winnipeg Ballet School. She joined the Royal Winnipeg Ballet company in 1976, was promoted to soloist in 1978, and to principal dancer in 1979, only three years after she joined.
She was the first Canadian to win gold at the Varna International Ballet Competition in Varna, Bulgaria in 1980 for the Belong Pas de Deux choreographed by Norbert Vesak. The National Ballet of Canada's Martine Van Hamel had already won this same prize in 1966, but although she trained at The National Ballet School of Canada, Hamel was born in Belgium to Dutch parents.
In 2005 Hart left the RWB to dance as a freelance artist. On August 23, 2006 she danced her swan song at the Grand Theatre in London, Ontario. She danced as a guest artist with Toronto's ProArteDanza ending a thirty year career.
In 1983 she was made an Officer of the Order of Canada and was promoted to Companion in 1994. In 2000 she was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame. In 2001, Hart received a Governor General's Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement, Canada's highest honour in the performing arts. In 2006, she was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. She was made a Member of the Order of Manitoba in 2006.