Vesak, Norbert

Norbert Vesak, choreographer (b at Port Moody, BC 22 Oct 1936; d at Charlotte, North Carolina 1990). Controversial because of his penchant for flashy choreography, trendy subjects and lavish visual effects, Vesak was resident choreographer at VANCOUVER PLAYHOUSE Theatre in 1964 before founding Western Dance Theatre (1969-71). He created 2 popular works for the ROYAL WINNIPEG BALLET - The Ecstasy of Rita Joe (1971), a multimedia work featuring Dan GEORGE which was commissioned by the Manitoba Indian Brotherhood and based on George RYGA's play, and What to Do Till the Messiah Comes (1973), whose "Belong" pas de deux became ballerina Evelyn HART's signature piece and won a gold medal for choreography at the Varna International Ballet Competition in 1980. An official choreographer with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet for a short time in the 1970s, Vesak later directed the Metropolitan and San Francisco Opera ballets while creating dances for many companies in Europe and the US.