ROCKING THE BOAT
CELEBRATING QUEER CONTENT IN CANADIAN CONCERT DANCE
At the artistic helm of Alberta Ballet since 2002, choreographer Jean Grand-Maître has made four of what he calls “portrait” ballets using the music and life stories of singer-songwriters as a creative departure point. His latest one, entitled Balletlujah! (2013), is set to 17 songs by K.D. Lang. Grand-Maître set out to make a ballet about love, romance and the Canadian prairies rather than a “homosexual ballet”. However, the storyline parallels Lang’s real life narrative – growing up on the prairies, falling in love with a woman, moving together to “the big city”, losing that woman, and finally moving back to her beloved prairies to find herself and true love.
Another of Grand-Maître’s recent ballets, Love Lies Bleeding (2010), celebrates the music of Elton John. The ballet unfolds in a series of Broadway-style sections reflecting different aspects of Elton John’s life, including his fondness for flamboyance, excess and his struggle to accept his own homosexuality.
Photo Credit (above): Trudie Lee
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