Marrying the music of Elton John with the elegance of ballet is a great idea and the Alberta Ballet has finally managed to do it.
“Love Lies Bleeding,” is a tribute dedicated to the British glam-rocker that features 14 of his classic songs, with each being reworked as an elaborate production number. The show takes place on April 19 and 20 at 8 p.m. at the National Arts Centre’s Southam Hall Stage (53 Elgin St., Ottawa ON) and is a loose biopic and explores the trials, tribulations and sacrifices of Sir Elton’s life. Elton’s battles with homophobia, flirtations with drugs and ultimate salvation are explored.
The $1.5 million show is described as a “three-ring circus a la Elton John” and features aerialists, fire-wielding roller skates and dancers atop spinning turntables. There are more than 150 showstopper costumes included in the performances (including glittery Egyptian loincloths to a “Rocket Man” outfit complete with flashing lights and fireworks) and redefines traditional ballet.
“It’s more a dance spectacular than a ballet,” said Alberta Ballet Artistic Director Jean Grand-Maître. “Some of it [the movement] is Bob Fosse–inspired; there’s cabaret, contemporary, athletic movement. We weaved in Rollerblading and flying like Cirque du Soleil. The whole spectrum is there. It’s quite a hybrid,” he adds. “It’s like a Broadway-slash-Vegas show with ballet.”
While the show ultimately is about the British pop icon, it also is worth seeing because of the way that it offers a deep examination of the cult of celebrity and what being famous actually means. The main character is an obsessive fan of the musician and experiences the same highs and lows of his hero’s up-and-down career.
On opening night, a pre-show chat with the show’s Artistic Director Jean Grand-Maitre will take place that is included with your show ticket. The chat takes place on April 19 from 7 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. at Le Salon (off the National Arts Centre foyer).
For more information and to purchase tickets, check out nac-cna.ca
Please note that because of the sensitive subject matter, the show is intended only for adult audiences.