Winnipeg Ballet

Return of the prodigal Adams

“In David Adam’s words, ‘we were a tits-and-teeth company — tremendous enthusiasm and vitality plus on the stage. Everything tended to be high powered — and that suited us fine, because that was what we were best at doing.’ when David Adams went to England in 146, the English thought his style of dancing brash. But, ironically, it was Adams who have the [Winnipeg Ballet] company its first real taste of pure classicism. After two years in England he came back laden with classical bits and pieces which he proceeded to mount on the company — Nijinsky’s Spectre de la Rose, London’s version of Petipa’s Swan Lake (the pas de trois from act one, the grand pas de deux from act two and the black swan pas de deux from act 3) and London’s version of Petipa’s Sleeping Beauty(Bluebird variations, the lilac fairy, the rose adagio and eventually the grand pas de deux from the finale).

“The fall season of 1948 opened with a two performance Winnipeg program featuring Adams as guest artists (his Swan Lake snippets with Jean McKenzie, Spectre de la Rose with company member Margaret Marple, and in late November the company undertook a tour of eastern Canada (London, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal). Adams was to stay with the company for eight months, performing as guest dancer and choreographing his first ballet, a neo-classical piece to music of brahms called Ballet Composite. While in Winnipeg he met visiting Vancouver teacher Mara McBirney, and in 1949 travelled to the west coast to join her group and make two works for her:Theorem A and l’Auberge Derangee. He returned to the Winnipeg company for the 1950-51 season, and created two more ballets for his collegues there before moving to Toronto to join Celia Franca’s fledgeling National Ballet Company in the fall of 1951.”

-Max Wyman,
The Royal Winnipeg Ballet: The First Fourty Years
Doubleday, 1978