the Ballet
Ballet Encyclopedia

Rex Harrington

born: 1962

"As a choreographer’s muse he is without equal."
-James Kudelka, Artistic Director, National Ballet of Canada

A native of Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, Mr. Harrington was fourteen years old when he entered the National Ballet School in Toronto. He graduated seven years later and joined the National Ballet of Canada in 1983 - then the fun really began.

In his first year with the National Ballet the resident choreographer, Constantin Patsalas noticed his exceptional partnering abilities. Patsalas partnered him with Karen Kain in Oiseaux Exotiques, starting an incredibly successful partnership which lasted until Ms. Kain’s retirement in 1997.

Mr. Harrington’s strength as a partner played a large part in the development of his career. Ballerinas from around the world have sought his company on stage. This has lead him to dance with dancers such as La Scala’s Carla Fracci, the Bolshoi Ballet’s Ekaterina Maximova, Susan Jaffe, Alessandra Ferri, Evelyn Hart, and, of course, Karen Kain. This, combined with his good looks and “face that reads to the back row," as well as his sensual movement quality, made him very desirable both for principal roles with the National Ballet and as a guest artist worldwide.

His artistic excellence has not gone unnoticed. Mr. Harrington was made an officer of the Order of Canada in February of 2000 and was awarded a Gemini award for the film version of The Four Seasons in 2001. Mr. Harrington even performed for Queen Elizabeth II in her Jubilee year.

With his retirement at the end of the 2003/2004 season ballet will lose a dancer with a “natural gift for grasping and conveying the emotional centre of any role.” His ability to share a character with both the audience and his partner, while maintaining his technique, will be sorely missed.