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Brian Macdonald, Virtuoso Eclectic

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Brian MacDonald began his dance career by getting into tights and hiding it from his parents. "I loathed, LOATHED sports...” he says. “But I found myself hanging onto the barre, and doing 32 double Rond De Jambe Écouter and thinking my legs would fall off." After studying dance in New York City, where he was deeply influenced by the pared down aesthetic of choreographers George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins, MacDonald returned home determined to create a similar style on the Canadian stage. "Spare but national," he says. Framed against archival stills from MacDonald's considerable career, Tim Southam's film is a testimony to the eclecticism and brilliance of MacDonald's creative vision. As a dancer, director, choreographer, and teacher, Macdonald has worked with The Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, and The National Ballet of Canada, helping to shape the careers of many of Canada's most celebrated dancers. In this most fleeting of art forms, his work endures. "You have to surrender to a part of your brain...that's leading you somewhere you haven't been before," he says. "And if you do that, you're choreographing."

2008, 05 min 27 s

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