It was probably the most heavily hyped Alberta Ballet show ever. People were writing about it in New York and London, even Toronto!
And deservedly so. What a great collaboration. Joni Mitchell’s songs and her artwork (projected on either side of the stage as well as on a circular screen suspended above the dancers) worked well with the choreography, which was spirited and athletic. The highlight for me was the last piece, where the dancers got to loosen up a little, a joyous freedom after the other works which were anti-war, anti-capitalism and environmental themed. And the encore of Big Yellow Taxi was fun too.
But the big WOW for me was the George Balanchine piece, Serenade. Gorgeous! Masses of dancers in long, sheer tutus– they reminded me of the jellyfish room at the Vancouver Aquarium. Jellyfish: Nature’s Lingerie Party!
Boy does Balanchine know how to use space. The configurations were complex, groups of dancers would dash on, form intricate patterns and whirl off stage. Brilliant!