Joni Mitchell's The Fiddle and The Drum - Join us for the portrait ballet that started it all

For Immediate Release - Alberta, Canada

April 8, 2019 – Ten years ago, Joni Mitchell’s The Fiddle and The Drum launched Alberta Ballet into the international spotlight, garnering attention from news agencies like the BBC and The New York Times. And so began an era of new work for Alberta Ballet and Artistic Director Jean Grand-Maître that resulted in collaborations with some of music’s biggest stars including k.d.lang, Sir Elton John, Gordon Lightfoot, The Tragically Hip and Sarah McLachlan.

“Wherever it tours, Alberta Ballet’s The Fiddle and the Drum garners serious buzz because of the star power of Joni Mitchell, the legendary singer whose music inspired the production. But make no mistake: the real highlight is the dancing. Choreographer Jean Grand-Maître doesn’t just make contemporary ballet accessible. He makes it thrilling,”

-         The Georgia Straight, Jan. 25, 2010.

As we prepare to remount the production again to wrap up our 52nd season, in this, the year Joni Mitchell celebrated her 75th birthday with a star-studded lineup of tribute artists in LA, the excitement is building again.

“These portrait ballets challenge us in many ways artistically as they continue to take us to the world stage,” Grand-Maître said. “After 10 years, we know the moment Joni’s music plays, and the curtain rises on our powerful dancers surrounded by Joni’s exquisite artwork, the audience will get chills.”

The legendary singer/songwriter threw her support behind Grand-Maître and his talent as a choreographer in 2006 after he approached her with the idea of using her music in a ballet to mark Alberta Ballet’s 40th anniversary. She became heavily involved in all aspects of the production, even creating new songs to debut on the stage. The pair worked closely for two years creating the costumes, the artwork and the choreography.

What they created was a masterpiece for the ages – an evocative ballet about environmental neglect, war and fascism, that Mitchell herself called one of the most satisfying projects of her career. 

Don’t miss the anticipated return of Joni Mitchell’s The Fiddle and The Drum May 1-4 in Calgary and May 9-11 in Edmonton.

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About Alberta Ballet

Alberta Ballet, under the direction of Artistic Director Jean Grand-Maître, connects audiences with dance that excites and inspires. The company reaches thousands of Albertans over the course of its September to May season and has toured across Canada and internationally.  Through both the originality of its programming and the talent of its classically-trained dancers, Alberta Ballet has earned a passionate following in its twin home cities, Calgary and Edmonton, and abroad.

Media Inquiries:
Kim Jackson
Communications Manager
Alberta Ballet
m: 587.999.0306
0: 403.245.4222 ext. 710 

Kim Jackson