In 1997 James Kudelka choreographed a beautiful and dynamic ballet to the music of Vivaldi's Four Seasons. The piece follows a man through the "seasons" of his life- ruminating over his triumphs and failures as the beat of time carries him forward to ultimately surpass him. As a whole, the choreography of the piece matches the dramatic emotion of the music, infusing it with a deep psychological complexity. However, it is the pas de deux of the Summer section of the ballet that really provokes the senses. Choreographed with principal dancer Greta Hodgkinson of The National Ballet of Canada in mind- the piece takes full advantage of her strongest features.
So, it was a real treat to get to see the Summer excerpt of this ballet performed most recently at the annual fundraising Gala for The National Ballet of Canada. Hodgkinson is an incredible dancer. Her exquisitely precise movements are made uncanny by her ability to shift between a gentle, vulnerable femininity, to a fierce and commanding force of power and rage. Her steps move in effortless collaboration with the cascading notes of the violin, bringing it all together to triumph as a profound articulation of all the sweaty, sultry, hazy, lazy and crazy days of summer. So, with the solstice behind us and the super moon in Capricorn waning, as we enter the summer season- dance! dance! dance!