Alberta Ballet To Feature Music Of The Tragically Hip

A contemporary ballet inspired by the music of The Tragically Hip will be one of the focal points of the 2017-2018 season for Alberta Ballet.

Artistic Director Jean Grand-Maître and executive director Chris George announced the lineup for the 51st season this week.

It includes a new family ballet, three internationally acclaimed guest companies and the world premiere of “All of Us,” the Tragically Hip piece.

Grand-Maître has previously collaborated with artists including Elton John, Sarah McLachlan, k.d. lang and Joni Mitchell on ballets incorporating their music.

The proposal was first raised last fall with members of The Tragically Hip, which embarked on a cross-Canada trip widely expected to be the last with frontman Gord Downie, who was diagnosed with an incurable form of brain cancer.

In a statement, the band members shared their enthusiasm for the project, pointing to the successes of Grand-Maître’s past collaborations.

“We are thrilled to be part of this series of wonderful ballet portraits set to the music of some of the greatest musicians of our time,” they said. “We are excited to see how our music will be interpreted through the vision of a renowned dance company.”

Grand-Maître said he was honoured for the chance “to create a unique portrait to the music of one of Canada’s most beloved group of artists. I look forward to this journey and to exploring the music and the poetry of such profound humanists.”

The season also features the company’s first new family ballet in 10 years, “Cinderella,” using sets and costumes by the Cincinnati Ballet.

“Tango Fire” by Buenos Aires, Argentina, will make its first visit to Alberta, while the season will also include a contemporary production of “After the Curtain” choreographed by “So You Think You Can Dance” star Travis Wall.

There will also be a visit from American dancer-illusionists Momix with their show “Opus Cactus.”

The season will be rounded out with local productions of “Dangerous Liaisons,” “The Nutcracker,” and “Paquita and Other Works.”

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