Raymond Smith (ballet)
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Raymond Smith Ballet

Raymond Smith is a Canadian ballet dancer and teacher, who was a principal dancer of the National Ballet of Canada from 1980 to 1995.[1]


Raymond Smith was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, and immigrated to Canada at the age of seven.[2] He began dancing lessons in London,[3]Ontario, at the age of 11, and entered Canada's National Ballet School[4] at the age of 12, in the eighth grade. Upon graduating in 1975, he joined the corps de ballet of the National Ballet of Canada,[5] making his professional debut at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York in Coppélia.[2] He was promoted to the rank of second soloist in 1978, to first soloist in 1979, and to principal dancer in 1980.[6][7] During the 1985-86 season he was a principal dancer with London Festival Ballet.[8] He also appeared as a contemporary dancer with the Desrosiers Dance Theatre at the Calgary Olympic Arts Festival in 1988.[9] His decade-long stage partnership with ballerina Veronica Tennant was particularly admired by critics.[10][11][12][13][14][2]

Smith retired from the stage in May 1995, following a performance as one of the Stepsisters[15] in Ben Stevenson's Cinderella.[2] He subsequently worked as a ballet master for Ontario Ballet Theatre,[16]Ballet BC[17] and BalletMet.[18] Since 2004 he has been on the faculty of Canada's National Ballet School.[19][20]


Smith's repertoire included La Sylphide (James), Napoli (Gennaro),[21]Giselle (Count Albrecht),[22]Coppélia (Franz),[23]Swan Lake (Prince),[24][25]The Sleeping Beauty (Prince Florimund,[10][26] Bluebird[27]), Celia Franca's production of The Nutcracker (Prince),[28]Don Quixote (Basilio),[11][29] the third act of Raymonda (Jean de Brienne),[30]Michel Fokine's Les Sylphides[7] and Le Spectre de la rose,[7]Frederick Ashton's Romeo and Juliet (Romeo, Mercutio[31]), La Fille mal gardée (Colas)[32] and The Two Pigeons (Young Man),[33]John Cranko's Romeo and Juliet (Romeo),[34][13][35]Onegin (Lensky,[36] Onegin[12][37][38][39]) and The Taming of the Shrew (Lucentio),[40][41][42]Ronald Hynd's The Merry Widow (Camille de Rosillon;[43][44][45] a role filmed by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation[46]), George Balanchine's Serenade, Concerto Barocco,[47]The Four Temperaments (Melancholic,[48] Sanguinic[49]) and Symphony in C (third movement),[50]Kenneth MacMillan's Elite Syncopations, Song of the Earth (the Man)[51] and Concerto,[52]Glen Tetley's Sphinx (Oedipus),[53]Alice (White Rabbit),[54][55]La Ronde (the Count)[56][57] and Tagore,[58]Maurice Béjart's Song of a Wayfarer,[59]Harald Lander's Etudes,[60]Anne Ditchburn's Mad Shadows (Patrice; a role filmed by the CBC[61]), Robert Desrosiers' Blue Snake (filmed by the National Film Board of Canada[62]) and several ballets created by James Kudelka[63][64][2] and John Alleyne.[65][66]


  1. ^ Neufeld, James (2011). Passion to Dance: The National Ballet of Canada. Toronto: Dundurn Press. p. 440. ISBN 978-145-970-1212.
  2. ^ a b c d e Walker, Susan. "Final role puts dancer through hoops", Toronto Star, 6 May 1995, p. H2
  3. ^ Belanger, Joe (13 May 2016). "Victoria Carter has helped shape a generation of dancers". London Free Press. Retrieved 2017.
  4. ^ "Ballet gaining as career for boys", Globe and Mail, 18 May 1971, p. 14
  5. ^ Neufeld, James (2011). Passion to Dance: The National Ballet of Canada. Toronto: Dundurn Press. p. 124. ISBN 978-145-970-1212.
  6. ^ Harris, Christopher. "Ballet Dancer Retires", Globe and Mail, 17 April 1995, p. C1
  7. ^ a b c "National promotes 5 male dancers", Globe and Mail, 22 March 1980, p. 16
  8. ^ Littler, William. "National Ballet changes the rules", Toronto Star, 12 August 1985, p. D2
  9. ^ Kisselgoff, Anna (23 February 1988). "Desrosiers in Calgary". New York Times. Retrieved 2017.
  10. ^ a b Gildiner, Alina. "Evil fairy bedevils Sleeping Beauty", Globe and Mail, 25 November 1982, p. E9
  11. ^ a b Gardiner, Alina. "Robust and comic, Don Quixote is a joy", Globe and Mail, 18 August 1983, p. 20
  12. ^ a b Crabb, Michael. "Tennant and Smith burn up ballet stage", Toronto Star, 5 May 1988, p. B2
  13. ^ a b Kelly, Deirdre. "Tennant bows out in a blaze of glory", Globe and Mail, 14 February 1989, p. A17
  14. ^ Currie, Rod. "New National Ballet pairing blends power and elegance", Montreal Gazette, 25 February 1989, p. H10
  15. ^ Littler, William. "As ballet, Cinderella's still a pumpkin and 4 rodents", Toronto Star, 12 May 1995, p. C11
  16. ^ Walker, Susan. "Witkowsky to leave ballet after years in Kain's shadow", Toronto Star, 9 May 1996, p. G8
  17. ^ Inwood, Damian. "New Ballet Master", Vancouver Province, 8 October 1997, p. B2
  18. ^ Spaner, Whitney (2 December 2002). "Ballet director turns tragedy to triumph". The Lantern. Retrieved 2017.
  19. ^ "Raymond Smith". Canada's National Ballet School. Retrieved 2017.
  20. ^ Wong, Julia (19 November 2013). "Plies and pointe: young ballet dancers dream big". Global News. Retrieved 2017.
  21. ^ Kisselgoff, Anna (22 November 1981). "Schaufuss' Bournonville in Canada". New York Times. Retrieved 2017.
  22. ^ Godfrey, Stephen. "Twin versions of Giselle a study in contrast", Globe and Mail, 23 November 1981, p. 20
  23. ^ Kelly, Deirdre. "Ballet a frilly postcard lacking spark", Globe and Mail, 15 February 1991, p. D4
  24. ^ Godfrey, Stephen. "Tennant's first flutter wins audience over", Globe and Mail, 7 March 1980, p. 15
  25. ^ Godfrey, Stephen. "2 Swans like night and day", Globe and Mail, 20 August 1981, p. 19
  26. ^ Gildiner, Alina. "Sleeping Beauty is awake at last", Globe and Mail, 14 May 1984, p. M11
  27. ^ Dunning, Jennifer (9 July 1979). "Augustyn as Florimund". New York Times. Retrieved 2017.
  28. ^ "Annual show wasn't always what it was cracked up to be", Toronto Star, 16 December 1989, p. J8
  29. ^ Scott, Michael. "Ballet overwhelms with intoxicating beauty", Vancouver Sun, 16 October 1992, p. C10
  30. ^ Littler, William. "National's mixed bill gets mixed report card", Toronto Star, 27 February 1987, p. D22
  31. ^ Testa, Alberto (23 March 1986). "'Romeo e Giulietta' davvero di gran classe". La repubblica. Retrieved 2017.
  32. ^ Godfrey, Stephen. "National's fall season had its ups and downs", Globe and Mail, 1 December 1980, p. 15
  33. ^ Kisselgoff, Anna (5 March 1979). "'Two Pigeons,' By Ashton, in Toronto". New York Times. Retrieved 2017.
  34. ^ Godfrey, Stephen. "Dancers faithful to old romance", Globe and Mail, 25 February 1980, p. 15
  35. ^ Littler, William. "New Juliet remarkably mature", Toronto Star, 29 April 1993, p. F7
  36. ^ Kisselgoff, Anna (18 June 1984). "Toronto Festival Offers National Ballet". New York Times. Retrieved 2017.
  37. ^ Kelly, Deirdre. "Tennant meets Onegin's challenge in a spine-tingling performance", Globe and Mail, 6 May 1988, p. C9
  38. ^ Kisselgoff, Anna (26 July 1988). "Canadians In 'Onegin' At the Met". New York Times. Retrieved 2017.
  39. ^ Citron, Paula. "National's Onegin right on the mark", Toronto Star, 24 February 1994, p. E3
  40. ^ Everett-Green, Robert. "Taking a holiday from seriousness", Globe and Mail, 15 February 1992, p. C6
  41. ^ Doruyter, Renee. "Cute's the word for this Taming of the Shrew", Vancouver Province, 15 October 1993, p. B36
  42. ^ Citron, Paula. "A star is born at the ballet", Toronto Star, 4 November 1993, p. E6
  43. ^ Citron, Paula. "Merry Widow showcases talented dancers", Toronto Star, 17 November 1986, p. D2
  44. ^ Dunning, Jennifer (9 April 1987). "Canada's 'Widow'". New York Times. Retrieved 2017.
  45. ^ Littler, William. "The Widow waltzes on with flowers of spring", Toronto Star, 30 April 1992, p. B13
  46. ^ "The Merry Widow". Arthaus Musik. Retrieved 2017.
  47. ^ Kelly, Deirdre. "Inventive La Ronde makes engaging debut", Globe and Mail, 7 November 1987, p. C3
  48. ^ Kelly, Deirdre. "New faces bring new vitality to dance demands", Globe and Mail, 20 February 1989, p. C9
  49. ^ Everett-Green, Robert. "Alice in the looking glass", Globe and Mail, 21 February 1992, p. C4
  50. ^ Kelly, Deirdre. "Alleyne hits the big league with a witty feast of imagery", Globe and Mail, 25 November 1988, p. D11
  51. ^ Littler, William. "National still renting Makarova's Paquita", Toronto Star, 28 February 1991, p. D1
  52. ^ Nicol, Wendy. "Ballet Group Puts On Enthusiastic Performance", Kingston Whig-Standard, 17 May 1989, p. 1
  53. ^ Neufeld, James (2011). Passion to Dance: The National Ballet of Canada. Toronto: Dundurn Press. p. 254. ISBN 978-145-970-1212.
  54. ^ Littler, William. "Tetley pulls second white rabbit from hat", Toronto Star, 26 November 1987, p. B5
  55. ^ Segal, Lewis (30 May 1988). "National Ballet of Canada Does Tetley's 'Alice'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2017.
  56. ^ Kisselgoff, Anna (24 July 1988). "New Cast in 'La Ronde' By the Canadian Ballet". New York Times. Retrieved 2017.
  57. ^ Hickman, Susan. "La Ronde highlights National Ballet show", Edmonton Journal, 5 October 1989, p. C4
  58. ^ Kisselgoff, Anna (17 May 1989). "In Toronto, an Experiment for the National Ballet". New York Times. Retrieved 2017.
  59. ^ Littler, William. "Choreographer says fears came true", Toronto Star, 20 November 1986, p. B3
  60. ^ Littler, William. "National Ballet in an autumnal mood", Toronto Star, 15 November 1990, p. B2
  61. ^ Godfrey, Stephen. "TV mixed blessing for Mad Shadows", Globe and Mail, 12 November 1979, p. 20
  62. ^ "Blue Snake". WorldCat. Retrieved 2017.
  63. ^ Kisselgoff, Anna (9 March 1981). "'Sylphide' Upstaged in Toronto". New York Times. Retrieved 2017.
  64. ^ Neufeld, James (2011). Passion to Dance: The National Ballet of Canada. Toronto: Dundurn Press. p. 280. ISBN 978-145-970-1212.
  65. ^ Littler, William. "Choreographer bound to travel", Toronto Star, 24 November 1988, p. C4
  66. ^ Reed Doob, Penelope. "Getting in on the act", Globe and Mail, 30 April 1991, p. C1

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