With the intention of celebrating two important benchmarks: Alberta Ballet's 50th Anniversary and Canada's 150th Birthday, Artistic Director Jean Grand-Maître selected an iconic Canadian folk and country musician to inspire the creative choreography and design, Gordon Lightfoot.
Featuring a company of 30 Superb dancers the show was supplemented by young dancers of the School of Alberta Ballet, a host of local square dancers, and well known local writer Eugene Stickland playing the character of Gordon Lightfoot.
The creative inspiration for the stage setting was the fact that when writing much of his iconic music Gordon Lightfoot was said to have removed himself from his regular setting and simply rented a room for a time. It turns out, that in these isolated, solo, rooms is where he came up with so much of his great Canadian songbook. With this notion, under the direction of Jean Grand-Maître, his stellar design team was able to bring his vision to life by bringing the walls of the room to life with images and colour that created the perfect setting for every piece.
- Video: Adam Larsen
- Lighting: Pierre Lavoie
- Set: Scott Reid
- Wardrobe & Costume: Raven Hehr
- Sound Design: Dewi Wood
In a recent interview in the Edmonton Journal Jean was quoted as saying, “You can’t represent the whole country in one ballet. You couldn’t do it in 10 ballets. I hope I was respectful of Gordon Lightfoot’s impressions of the country because it’s not about my view of Canada, but his view. And honestly, there was enough there for me to do 10 ballets.”
From my perspective with Jean's Creative Genius and the amazing dancers, Our Canada was more than respectful to Gordon Lightfoot great musical legacy, and it was a privilege to be able to contribute to this stellar show. Wishing Alberta Ballet a happy 50th Anniversary and Canada an outstanding 150th Birthday Celebration year.