a pairing of SwanS


The Film

a pairing of SWANS (14:00) is a poetic homage to the two consummate Canadian artists of the international ballet scene, Evelyn Hart and Rex Harrington. At the summit of their careers, they are joined by the riveting Brent Carver, and celebrated cellists, Shauna Rolston and Amanda Forsyth. Harpist Judy Loman plays in the two exquisite music compositions; The Dying Swan by Camille Saint-Saëns, and The Swan Sees His Reflection by Canadian composer, Malcolm Forsyth. The mirror-image solos reflect the classical and contemporary -- in concept, camera-styles, dancing and choreography.

The film opens with the Elizabethan madrigal The Silver Swan– sung by The Toronto Consort for a pairing of SWANS. Filmed in the historic Winter Garden Theatre in Toronto, Evelyn Hart's transcendent performance hearkens back to the first 'immortal Swan', Anna Pavlova. Brent Carver remembers her final days and last performance.

Pivoting in time, Rex Harrington dances The Swan Sees His Reflection to newly created choreography by Matjash Mrozewski, with its musical reflection of the Saint-Saëns Swan, by Canadian composer, Malcolm Forsyth.

Now we are in today's Winter Garden– no curtain, no wings, the stage stripped to the brick back wall. The shooting style, in contrast to the sepia and classical treatment of part-one, is contemporary and crisp.

Evelyn Hart, the extraordinary and Prima Ballerina, has always infused her work with a unique urgency. For nearly 30 years she has unswervingly given her all, achieving transcendence in each one of her performances as if it were indeed the last.

Rex Harrington, the former Principal Dancer of the National Ballet of Canada, is a super-star, magnetic, vulnerable and technically masterful. He too is at the zenith of his career, with the 2003-4 season of The National Ballet dedicated to his farewell.

In a sequence juxtaposing the two solos, underscored by the Italian madrigal sung by The Toronto Consort, Il Bianco e dolce cigno, Brent Carver muses in the prose-poem of French poet Paul Valéry – "Why can't life be an endless dance?" A montage of the performing artists tending their instruments leaves us with the knowledge that a cared-for harp or cello will come out of its case as it was left the day, the year or the decade before; the dancer's instrument, no matter how well nurtured, will inevitably decline.





Quote from Penelope Reed Doob


Quote from York Student


Quote from York Student