by Paula Citron
The National Ballet of Canada understands choreographer John Cranko very well, and the company’s version of his The Taming of the Shrew is vastly enjoyable.
Guillaume Côté was born to play the swaggering Petruchio. From his first entrance as the braggadocio drunk-cum-wastrel, to his final gentle caress of Kate as a caring lover, he created a memorable character.
The great Greta Hodgkinson was a perfect Katherina. Whether fighting the battle of the sexes against the determined Petruchio, or giving in to her own womanly feelings at the end, Hodgkinson was masterful.
First soloist Jillian Vanstone’s Bianca was never cloyingly simpering and she rendered the character’s consummate grace with lyrical ease.
Zdenek Konvalina, the National’s newest principal dancer, gave Lucentio his stamp. He could play up the funny moments, but he could also be tender as Bianca’s lover.
This production shows the National at its best.
“The Taming of the Shrew” continues at the Four Seasons Centre until Mar. 18.
I’m Paula Citron, arts reviewer for CLASSICAL 96.3 FM.