Newspaper article The Canadian Press

A Prairie Love Story: Alberta Ballet Pays Tribute to Singer K.D. Lang

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

A Prairie Love Story: Alberta Ballet Pays Tribute to Singer K.D. Lang

Article excerpt

'Balletlujah! a tribute to singer k.d. lang


EDMONTON - Singer k.d. lang is so proud of the Alberta Ballet's artistic take on her prairie upbringing, she wants to see it performed outside the province.

"Balletlujah!" opened May 3 in Edmonton and is to close in Calgary on Saturday after eight shows.

The company's artistic director and choreographer, Jean Grand-Maitre, says the 51-year-old vocalist attended the premiere and loved it.

"She wanted it to really go out on tour," he says. "And her manager was there and he said he was very touched from the very beginning of the ballet and he would love to help us bring it out."

If the show ends up elsewhere, it won't be any time soon. The company is booked solid with other events for the next two years, says Harry Paterson, Alberta Ballet's director of production and touring.

He says presenters from California and Texas in the Calgary audience will be trying to determine whether a dance based on lang's life would be a hit south of the border.

Grand-Maitre says "Balletlujah!" is the first ballet he knows of with a gay love story. When he was crafting the piece and going through lang's music, he realized most of her songs were about love and so her ballet would be too.

"I said, 'OK, it can't be a man and a woman because it's k.d. lang, and I'm pretty sure when she's singing love songs she doesn't see Brad Pitt in her head,'" he says with a laugh.

"So, I said, 'OK, we're going to do a love story between two women and it was not about being gay, or becoming gay. It wasn't about that. It just happens to be two women and it's a pure love.'"

The story focuses on a young woman in a prairie town who falls in love at a barn dance. She moves with her lover to the big city but their relationship sours. Heartbroken, the heroine returns home and finds love again.

Grand-Maitre says lang consulted on the project and was initially nervous because she didn't know anything about ballet. …

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