The Music Of Joni Mitchell Meets Contemporary Dance
In 2007, the Alberta Ballet debuted The Fiddle and the Drum, a thrilling whirlwind of boundary-pushing dance and music inspired by Joni Mitchell's iconic war song of the same name. In the years since it has become one of the company's most beloved works whilst its semi-abstract-narrative-set-to-music format has influenced a whole hallmark series entitled Portrait Ballets.
When the company's Artistic Director Jean Grand-Maitre approached Mitchell, the pair spent two years creating a concept piece set to the songstress' music, with her artwork in prominent display behind the dancers. Fusing an almost Olympian sense of physicality with meticulously complex and imaginative steps, Grand-Maitre calls on 30 dancers to perform classical ballet's most demanding movements in double time with an explosive hip-hop flair. Fast-paced, relentless and sensual in a primeval, earthy way, the dancers weave together songs like 'The Beat Of Black Wings', 'Slouching Toward Bethlehem' and the title track with a purely propulsive energy that is simply mesmerising to watch.