A visionary; a choreographer, performer, an artistic director and teacher who has performed a modern miracle in forging the art-form of tap' dance onto the Canadian dance and theatre scene and consciousness: This is William Orlowski. His hallmarks were; authenticity of premise, daring realization, and exuberant quality of execution. Such impressive credits; creatively, intellectually, historically, and progressively all the more so for the personal herculean challenges that he tackled with untold wisdom and courage.
I had the privilege of working as a dancer guest artist, in Bill's National Tap Dance Company - with memories of the experience - as stretching my abilities - and - as sheer Fun! Also, Bill and I shared adjudication duties at the Kiwanis Festival in Stratford. I was struck with his talent in communicating lessons in tap technique and performance. I watched the rapt faces of the students to his every word and demonstration, and I too learned so much!
Most exceptional was the example that Bill set of his breadth of work, and his determined insistence that there be a future for the Canadian story and execution of tap-dancing - as a flourishing and respected choreographic form.
He was a man of soul, the soul of gentleness and generosity. I wish to salute and cheer Bill Orlowski's daring and profound ability to inspire all generations of dance-lovers, not only with his work, but with his own example of how to turn life's blows into challenges met with bravery. I left the ballet in 1989 and have always said; once a dancer always a dancer' - for no-one is this a more apt description - than for William Orlowski, a dancer for all time.
VERONICA TENNANT, C.C.