As a superstar athlete, Guillaume Côté’s return from injury should be headline news. A year ago, the principal dancer of the National Ballet of Canada fell while performing a solo in the company’s annual production of The Nutcracker. Since then, he’s become a father. His wife Heather Ogden, a fellow principal dancer with the company, delivered their baby girl Emma a year ago, mere weeks after Côtés fall.
Côte had surgery to repair a torn ACL and is now ready to take the stage once more. Tonight he will dance the lead role in Romeo and Juliet.
What happens to an artist when they stop performing for a spell? When they become a parent? Côte’s passions have already extended to music composition, film and choreography. Perhaps the most anticipated dance event of next year is the National Ballet’s world premiere of his first full-length ballet, an adaptation of the classic children’s book, Le Petite Prince. Tonight, however, will have no shortage of suspense.
The story of star-crossed lovers may be well-worn. Not so the dramatic backdrop of Cote’s return to the spotlight.