Evan McKie has come home in triumph. His guest appearance as Prince Florimund in the National Ballet of Canada's The Sleeping Beauty was greeted with thunderous applause on the weekend.
The principal dancer at Stuttgart Ballet is making his first adult performance in the city of his birth. (He appeared in a few Nutcrackers when he was a student at Canada's National Ballet School.)
McKie is every inch a prince – tall, elegant and handsome. In fact, he has a perfect dancer's body – long and lean, with muscles in just the right places. He commands the stage.
The dancer is an all-rounder. His extra long arms ensure that his port de bras (upper body carriage) is one of lyric grace. His ballon (lightness) is like a feather. On the other hand, in the more virtuoso bits, his body snaps into a crisp attack to produce showy tricks that are downright exciting. He is also very musical. McKie lives in the music.
Another plus is his clean and precise dancing. There is nothing muddy about him. Every movement is complete and clear. He always finishes what he begins and never cuts corners. An arm raise, for example, goes right up to the top and lands in precise placement.
As for partnering, he's sensational, manoeuvring Greta Hodgkinson, his Princess Aurora, as if she were a doll.
Bring him back, Karen!
Evan McKie performs in the National's The Sleeping Beauty on Mar. 15 and 18 at the Four Seasons Centre.