Alberta Ballet returns with new season, including a Bowie-infused ballet

The Alberta Ballet announced their season Wednesday, which includes a new portrait ballet featuring the songs of David Bowie and a return engagement of Swan Lake, which they presented during the pandemic season of 2020-21

The Alberta Ballet hopes to put the pas de deux into the post-pandemic era.

The celebrated dance company announced its 2021-22 season with a release Wednesday that announced a traditional Alberta Ballet season, following a season lost to the pandemic.

There's a new portrait ballet, Phi, featuring the songs of David Bowie. There's a presentation of the Bejing Dance Theatre's Hamlet, in addition to a presentation of Cinderella, Swan Lake and the company's  holiday season staple,The Nutcracker.

All of it will be part of the company's final season under the leadership of Jean Grande-Maitre who is turning over the role of artistic director to Christopher Anderson in 2022-23.

“For this glorious reopening season and especially for you, we have selected ballets that will inspire hope and resilience. Soon, we will gather together once again to celebrate our common humanity,” said Grand-Maître, in a release. “From the noble, lush and passionate music of Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev to the innovative genius of the legendary David Bowie, our 2021-2022 season will strive to bring us back to a new life, filled with new beginnings and desires.”

(Alberta Ballet Dancer Jennifer Gibson from the upcoming world premiere of Christopher Anderson’s Swan Lake, held over from the 2019/20 season.Photo by Paul McGrath)

The announcement came as the province prepared to move to Stage 2 of the reopening, enabling live performance to resume, after a substantial absence from stages around the world.

"If I close my eyes, I can almost feel the cold rush of air that floods the stage as the curtain lifts," said  Anderson. "After more than 20 months, the stage is finally set for a euphoric return to live performance. I simply cannot wait to be back in our theatres, watching the brilliance of the Alberta Ballet dancers illuminate the stage."

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