Canada // Dance  

The Fiddle And The Drum

June 13 – 22, 2008

Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts

Presented by
BMO Financial Group

Additional Support From
In collaboration with Jean Grand-Maître, Choreographer and Artistic Director of Alberta Ballet, world-renowned singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell gives passionate expression to her lifelong concern with the issues of conflict, violence and humanity’s continuing devastation of the environment.

The contemporary follies of mankind, from our aggressive and warring nature to the seemingly unstoppable destruction of our environment, are studied through the interactive use of Joni Mitchell's music and visual art and Grand-Maître's semi-abstract choreography.

At times the dancers give life to some of the characters depicted in her lyrics and in her artwork. At other times they work in counterpoint, abstractly illustrating our fragile potential for the creation of beauty which, hopefully, mankind is still capable of.

Performed by the Alberta Ballet, Joni Mitchell's poetic metaphors – in her music and her artwork – serve as a setting for this ballet. Its primary inspiration is Mitchell’s 1985 album Dog Eat Dog, but the score also includes new songs.

The Fiddle and The Drum was performed as part of The National Ballet of Canada's mixed programme including the second detail & Five Brahms Waltzes in the Manner of Isadora Duncan & Etudes.
Produced by Alberta Ballet in association with The National Ballet of Canada

Creative Team

Joni Mitchell is one of the most influential, multi-faceted artists of this generation and her music remains as relevant today as when she began her career some 43 years ago. She has synthesized a diverse range of musical interests from folk, pop and rock and roll, to classical and jazz, producing many challenging and critically acclaimed works. Ms. Mitchell has received many accolades including her appointment as a Companion of the Order of Canada and a Lifetime Achievement Award presented to her at the Grammy Awards. Beyond her remarkable career in music, Ms. Mitchell is also a highly regarded visual artist.

One of the most successful Canadian choreographers of his generation, Jean Grand-Maître assumed the artistic leadership of Alberta Ballet in 2002 after working internationally for 14 years as an independent choreographer. He has been commissioned by renowned ballet companies such as the Opéra National de Paris, the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, the Stuttgart Ballet, The National Ballet of Canada, the National Ballet of Cuba, Ballet Jörgen and more. Twenty-one one-act ballets, as well as six full-length works, have received their premiere during the first six years of his tenure as Artistic Director.

Joni Mitchell

Jean Grand-Maître

Pierre Lavoie

Pamela Kaye after Jean Grand-Maître

Bryon Callaghan

Robert Ivison

Solid Green