Dear all friends of mine, of Susana and Antonio! I want to greet you all and tell you how much I would have loved to be part of this weekend, Be there, remember all the hot summers of teaching character and flamenco, and the times together with Susana and Antonio. I would have loved to see some of you with flamenco shoes, dancing away to Antonio’s and Trevor’s beautiful music. And meet with all staff collegues and once more be part of your beautiful school! I also very much wanted to be part of the ceremony dedicated to Bev Miller. But volcano ashes and really bad luck with ticket timing made that imposible! So I wish you all the best, and hope we will meet another time – maybe at the 60th??? LOVE Jannie

Norma Sue Fisher-Stitt & James Kudelka

Norma Sue Fisher-Stitt & James Kudelka

Hello everyone!

It’s hard to believe that the 50th anniversary alumni weekend is less than two weeks away. Tess McLean and I, along with many volunteers, have spent the past few years meeting regularly and making plans for the upcoming reunion. Our goal was to offer a range of activities to suit a variety of interests.

We know that seeing past classmates and teachers is the top priority for many, so there is lots of time in the schedule to walk around the beautiful new facilities, look at the archival displays, and reminisce with your friends.

If you want to stop talking for a while, there is a film festival as well as panel discussions, where you can hear from alumni and current students. Of course, class photos will be taken and there will be tours of the Celia Franca Centre and the new residence (a far cry from 410 Jarvis Street, for those who lived there!).

Saturday night promises to be a fun-filled party Continue Reading »


Susana, the Spirit of Flamenco

January 2010 brought a sad note to NBS, as we said farewell to a beloved former teacher, Susana Audeoud. Known to everyone at NBS as “The Spirit of Flamenco”, she passed away on January 1 at the age of 93.

For almost twenty years Susana, and her partner in life and music, Antonio Robledo, brought magic to the school with their inspired teaching and passion for the art of Flamenco.

Susana’s artistry was immortalized in the Oscar winning short film Flamenco at 5:15 which is available to view online at the National Film Board of Canada’s website.

The 1995 NBS Spring Showcase performance included “Jardin de Alegrias”, a tribute to Susana and Antonio.

On January 14th the NBS community celebrated Susana’s life by watching Flamenco at 5:15 in Mona Campbell Square, introducing a whole new generation to Susana’s creative spirit. Continue Reading »

Betty Oliphant & Celia Franca

Betty Oliphant & Celia Franca

As part of the celebrations marking NBS’ 50th anniversary, a display of archival photography, Reflections, was mounted in the Celia Franca Centre. Constructing the display allowed NBS to spend time sorting and organizing its archives.

Archives are important to NBS for many reasons. For an art form as ephemeral as dance, developing a sustainable archival system is important for the continued growth and succession of the art form and its practitioners. NBS’ archives demand preservation because NBS is part of Canada’s cultural heritage and history. As NBS moves into its next fifty years, consolidating and recording that history will be a crucial part of establishing its archives.

Beverley Miller

Beverley Miller

It is with great sadness that we report the death of Beverley Miller, one of the longest serving teachers at the National Ballet School. She passed away peacefully at home on Sunday, February 21, 2010, after a courageous battle with cancer at the age of 71.

Beverley was born January 22, 1939 in Edmonton, AB, the daughter of George Andrew Barnhouse and Dorothy Mildred Paul. She studied ballet from the age of three and also became very involved in the Edmonton theatre scene. After winning the Elizabeth Sterling Haynes award and using it to study in Europe for a year, Bev graduated from the University of Alberta with a BA in drama in 1961. She was married in 1963 and moved to California with her husband, where she performed with and obtained a Master of Theatre Arts degree from the Pasadena Playhouse in 1965. On moving to Toronto in 1966, she became involved in the Toronto theatre scene but also in a small way with the National Ballet School, an association which rapidly developed into a full time career and the centre of her life. Continue Reading »

Historic Assembly

Historic Assembly

On Monday, September 28, 2009, NBS staff, students and alumni gathered for a ceremony to acknowledge the anniversary of NBS’ Opening 50 years earlier. Held in Currie Hall, the ceremonies brought together staff and students from NBS’ first years with the staff and students of today. Norma Sue Fisher-Stitt, class of 1970, treated the audience to an excerpt from her forthcoming history of NBS, The Ballet Class: A History of Canada’s National Ballet School 1959 – 2009.

The day was all the more special by its synchronicity. It was exactly 50 years ago to the day, on September 28, 1959, that Canada’s National Ballet School first opened its doors and admitted a class of 24 students.