Fonds - Norbert Vesak fonds

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Norbert Vesak fonds

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  • Graphic material
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3 cm of textual material + 1 photograph

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Name of creator

(1936 -1990)

Biographical history

Norbert Franklin Vesak was born in Port Moody, British Columbia on October 22, 1936. His professional dance training began as a scholarship to Jacob’s Pillow in 1960 and the spent several years serving as a guest artist with symphony orchestras and colleges, and also choreographed for television and musicals. He was the Resident Choreographer for the Vancouver Playhouse Theatre from 1964 to 1969. He cofounded the Pacific Dance Theatre in 1964 and founded the Western Dance Theatre in 1969, the first professional modern dance company and school. The Western Dance Theatre folded in 1971 and he moved to San Francisco to become the Director of Ballet for the San Francisco Opera, at the same time serving as the Director of the Modern Dance Program, resident choreographer and director of Interdisciplinary Arts Development at the Banff School of Fine Arts. He served as the director of the Metropolitan Opera Ballet from 1976 to 1980 and later served as its Resident choreographer.
In 1971, he choreographed The Ecstasy of Rita Joe for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. He served as one of its official choreographers from 1975 to 1979. Evelyn Hart and David Peregrine’s performance of the Belong Pas de Deux, earned Norbert two gold medals at the 1980 World Ballet Concours in Osaka, Japan, and in Varna, Bulgaria. Norbert Vesak also choreographed What To Do Till The Messiah Comes, In Quest of the Sun and Meadow Dances, which are also in the Royal Winnipeg Ballet repertoire. Norbert Vesak passed away on October 2, 1990 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Custodial history

The records of Norbert Vesak came to the Royal Winnipeg Ballet archives as several transfers of records from the RWB and were also collected by members of the Alumni Association. The medals and certificates were donated to the RWB by Robert de la Rose in 2004 and brought to the archives on August 3, 2022.

Scope and content

The Norbert Vesak fonds includes the following series: biographical information (1971-1990); other ballets (1981-1990); correspondence (1971-1990); The Ecstasy of Rita Joe (1971-1977); Belong (1981); photographs (1971) and programmes (1983-1985).

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No restrictions on access.

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The responsibility for conforming with copyright, libel and privacy legislation lies with the researcher.

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File level inventory is available.

Associated materials

Dance Collection Danse also houses material pertaining to Norbert Vesak.

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No further accruals are expected.

Accompanying material

See also the textual and audio-visual records of his ballets housed at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet archives.

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