Thursday, January 21, 2010


For ballet fans who enjoy a mix of classical with contemporary, athleticism with fluid motion, unorthodox steps with multimedia, the Alberta Ballet delivers a wonderful performance (on dvd) of dance inspired by the artwork (projected in a large cyclopic eye during the show) and songs of Joni Mitchell. Fiddle and the Drum---a short, but energetic, ballet---laments the state of the planet and contemporary times (from war, to environmental disaster, to social issues), yet concludes with a hopefulness that mirrors in many ways the optimism of the young during the Obama campaign. The minimalist costuming (little more than body suits and briefs, with silky shirts in some scenes), the dancers are shaded in green with splotches of coloring in hair and on body to mimic the pictures and nature. A child appears in several scenes, dressed in white, representing innocence and hope. The dancers are uniformly toned, muscled, and cut. I especially liked the dances associated with "Sex Kills," "Three Great Stimulants," If I Had a Heart," and "If." I liked that in many parts there were three couples performing the exact same steps, in unison. I enjoyed the parts when the whole company danced together, with exuberance and joy. At times there seemed to be a possible influence (which might be disavowed by the choreographer) of Groupo Corpo.

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