In its big MTV hit from 1983, ZZ Top sang about a woman who had legs, and that "she knows how to use them." ZZ Top was easily impressed with basic human motor skills, but the National Ballet of Canada has higher standards. Which means that the newly promoted first soloist Hannah Fischer would need to do more with her long limbs than to simply walk and stand upright. Successfully trained at Canada's National Ballet School, she has done that.
A ballerina on the rise, the Toronto-bred Fischer is set to reprise her lead role again as Hermione in Christopher Wheeldon's balletic interpretation of the Shakespeare play The Winter's Tale. She will do so under the watchful eye of the dance-world cognoscenti and of her parents: mother Mandy-Jayne Richardson is the national's senior ballet mistress; father Lindsay Fischer is the principal ballet master.
Critics have lauded her expressive agility, jazzy angularity and mischievous manner. Fischer has genes, charisma and sense of dedication, and, it is apparent, she knows how to use them.
The National Ballet of Canada's The Winter's Tale runs Nov. 10 to 19. $39 to $265. Four Seasons Centre, 145 Queen St. W., 416-345-9595 or national.ballet.ca.