Vanessa Harwood

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Vanessa Clare Harwood
Born (1947-06-14) 14 June 1947 (age 69)
Cheltenham, England
Former groups National Ballet of Canada
Dances Swan Lake

Vanessa Clare Harwood, OC (born 14 June 1947) is a Canadian ballet dancer, choreographer, artistic director, teacher, and actor.

Born in Cheltenham, England, Harwood was one of the first pupils at The National Ballet School of Canada in Toronto when it opened in 1959.[1] She joined the National Ballet of Canada in 1965, became a soloist in 1967, and was a principal dancer from 1970 to 1987. Harwood was celebrated for her portrayal of Odette-Odile in Swan Lake, and came to be known as Superswan because of her mastery of the demanding dual role.[2]

As an actor, Harwood had minor roles in Road to Avonlea and Due South. As a choreographer, she makes an uncredited appearance in the introductory sequence of "Poison à la Carte" a 2002 episode of A Nero Wolfe Mystery.

In 1984, Harwood was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.[3] She is also an Advisory Council member of the Dancer Transition Resource Centre.[4]


  1. ^ "Enter the sexy one to play next Giselle for the National"; Globe and Mail, November 4, 1978
  2. ^ Kelly, Deirdre, "Harwood bows out of ballet"; Globe and Mail, February 16, 1987
  3. ^ "Order of Canada to Peterson, Gretzky"; Globe and Mail, June 30, 1984
  4. ^ [1]

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