Quotations during the time at the National Ballet of Canada

Clippings marked with * are translated.


" Margaret Illmann was one of the best Olga's seen at the National Ballet ".

The Sleeping Beauty

"...she is a ballerina to the manor born"
(Michael Crabb, THE TORONTO STAR, MAY1991)

The Merry Widow

" Illmann was ravishing in her role… her lines of movement were as graceful as silk scarves in the breeze… (She) delivered some of the most esthetically pure movements in a company that excels in classical dance"


" …"exquisite", "her textbook-perfect clarity of line, startling balances and soft, unhurried elegance."
(Penelope Reid Doob, THE GLOBE AND MAIL, Feb 1994)

Jiri Kylian's " Forgotten Land"

"…in a sizzling solo variation Illmann nearly ran away with the Kylian work darting like fire through the moves of the red couple."
(Robert Everett-Green, THE GLOBE AND MAIL)


"Illmann is a polished performer… (Proved) to be an accomplished comedian"
(Penelope Reid Doob, THE GLOBE AND MAIL, 1994)

Swan Lake

" Illmann, a ballerina, who blends elegance and grace in a potent mix…(her) Black Swan is a study- a sensual marriage of form and technique that is nothing short of breathtaking."
(John Coulbourn, THE TORONTO STAR, NOV 7th, 1994)

" Technically superb, emotionally rich, their (Vladimir Malakhov/Illmann) "Swan Lake" was a triumph, a demonstration of how a great classic renews itself to live across generations. Illmann seemed born for the part. Her White Swan had a pristine beauty beyond words, while her black counterpart was a seductive, conspiring force that brought the innocent Prince to destruction…..the scene between them was electric"
(Lewis Hertzman, GLOBE AND MAIL, Nov7th, 1994 )

Romeo and Juliet (Cranko)

" Margaret Illmann …. was superb. Her performance combined purity of technique and clarity of line with emotional depth and verisimilitude. She danced fearlessly, hurling herself into the air with abandon. … who…was not uplifted by Illmann's enthusiasm? She was the evening's real star."
(Deirdre Kelly, THE GLOBE AND MAIL, FEB10th, 1995)

" It was a stunning debut, a performance so delicately wrought and delicately nuanced."
(Jennifer Fisher, THE GLOBE AND MAIL, Feb10th, 1995)

" In Margaret Illmann, the company has one of the most remarkable Juliet's to ever to grace it's stage and one of the most individual as well in the way she approaches the role. Her acting in the scenes of Juliet's anguish and despair reached towards a naturalism that sometimes transcended the stylized parameters of ballet, yet her dancing equally often projected a beauty of line and form that could only be called classical. … The eye refused to leave her."
(William Littler, THE TORONTO STAR, FEB9th,1995)

" (Margaret Illmann) is a totally captivating and heartbreaking Juliet. So young, so much in love, so passionate, so quick to embrace life and death. Her movements are so graceful that she actually seems to have no bones, and her facial expressions are worthy of our finest actresses."
(Richard Ouzounian, CBC RADIO'S "LATER THAT SAME DAY", Feb10th, 1995)

" Margaret Illmann's splendid performance as Juliet is the gem of the collection. She is an intelligent performer who uses her flawless technique and her sculpted lines to create her role. Illmann is Juliet. She is the 14-year-old child who must suddenly put away her childish games to marry Paris. Her 5-day maturation is evident. Yet when she succumbs to despair, one understands that she is still 14 and alone."
(Camilla Malashenko, THE GAZETTE MONTREAL, March11th, 1995)

" It's no small task uncovering the character's dramatic intensions and interpreting them as your own. When Margaret Illmann dances the role, she lets you understand that Juliet is not an innocent girl blindly in live, but a willful vivacious woman determined to transcend the constraints of her social station. Such an interpretation makes Juliet's desperate act of drinking poison believable; she sees no other alternative if she is to break from her parent's will and follow her own path. … Illmann's dancing, flawless in technique and perfectly controlled, is always alert, intelligent, and exuberant. One of Cranko's most delicate choreographic effects is the use of rapid toe steps to indicate Juliet's natural vitality, and Illmann performs them with thrilling rhythm and phrasing."
(Pauline Tam, THE OTTAWA CITIZEN, OCT22nd, 1995)

"(She) was brilliant and accountably stole the show. Illmann is not just a frighteningly good dancer , she's a remarkable actor."
(Eve Edmonds, THE OTTAWA SUNDAY SUN, OCT22nd, 1995)


" Margaret Illmann tackled the title role with commanding expressiveness, revealing the inner torment of a seemingly ambitious call girl at the mercy of social forces during Regency-era France. .. Illmann the makes the convincing transformation from passionate though weak-willed lover to professional coquette. .. (she) is called upon to portray a defeated woman who must grovel for mercy at the hands of a brutish gaoler. She does so with perfect realism, her rag-doll limp body conveying fatigue and humiliation."
(Pauline Tam, THE OTTAWA CITIZEN, MAY31st, 1996)