Stunning is just one word to describe this exceptional pas de deux called, Belong. It was choreographed by Norbert Vesak and danced by Evelyn Hart and David Peregine, who became principal dancers with Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet. The music is by Syrix called December Angel.
I think this pas de deux can be considered one of those historical moments for Canadian dance/ballet and in particular for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and Evelyn Hart. This pas de deux was danced by Ms. Hart and Mr. Peregine at the 1980 Varna International Ballet Competition in Bulgaria where Evelyn Hart became the first Canadian Ballerina ever to receive Gold and to receive the rare Certificate of Exceptional Artistic Achievement. David Peregrine won the Bronze and Norbert Vesak received gold for choreography. In fact that year this Canadian contingent swept the medals. This instant international recognition launched The Royal Winnipeg Ballet onto the international stage and Evelyn Hart recognized as an international ballerina.
The most memorable reviews I could find of this duet express the emotional impact this dance had on the audience. “The crowd gave them a standing ovation for 18 minutes. Evelyn Hart commented “that she felt that [the cheers] never ended.” “That’s how overwhelmed the crowd was with this spectacular pas de deux, until they finally had to ask Evelyn and David to ask the crowd for no more cheers!”
On a personal note, this duet takes me back many years to when I was a young dancer in the professional division at RWB, where I was so fortunate to be able to, almost daily, watched Evelyn and David rehearse this glorious duet. It truly was (and still is) wonderful live. I was also given special permission to observe the last rehearsals of all their competition pieces just before they left for Bulgaria, which was very exciting. Watching this video sure brings back some special memories!
This piece is deeply emotional, wrenching yet exhilarating. The dancers, especially Evelyn, were sublime. Her lines, her musicality and lyricism say it all. The music is passionate, the choreography beautiful, and the dancers own aesthetic and interpretation were all brought together in a wonderful way that made a rare and profound impact. Unfortunately the video isn’t very clear or a live performance! but it is still wonderful to be able to watch how these two remarkable artists danced this glorious duet together.
Enjoy this gorgeous and heartrending pas de deux, Belong and SHARE it on!