Too many of my favorite ballerinas are soon leaving the stage or their companies. This spring alone, three remarkable dancers have announced their retirements. First to announce was Anik Bissonnette then followed Geneviève Guérard; both dancers are from Les Grands Ballets Canadiens.
If that wasn't enough bad news, Patricia Barker of the Pacific Northwest Ballet announced she too will be bidding adieu.While I have not had the pleasure of watching Barker's career unfold in Seattle, I have had the good fortune of seeing her performances at the annual Gala des Étoiles here in Montreal. Indeed, both Barker and Bissonnette are scheduled for this year's star-studded show, September 7. It's a not-to-be-missed performance.
Of the three retirement announcements, only Guérard's was surprising since she is just thirty-three years old. Bissonnette and Barker, on the other hand, are forty-four and forty-three respectively. Still, all three of these lovely dancers possess such immense artistry and technique that it is hard to say goodbye!
For information on Gala des Étoiles see www.galadesetoiles.com.For more about all three ballerinas, Barker, Bissonnette and Guérard, see my past interviews with each of them for this website. Please also see a retrospective look at Barker's career by R.M. Campbell at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.