Wednesday, March 25, 2009

"Elton" The Ballet Coming Soon

Alberta Ballet is creating a production based on the music of Elton John.

"We've put together an extraordinary team of designers to give birth to this world premiere that I think will attract the attention of the world," says Jean Grand-Maitre, the artistic director for Alberta Ballet.

Talk about the project began when John was performing in Calgary last fall.

He was so impressed with Alberta Ballet's production based on Joni Mitchell's music that he wanted a show of his own.

So just before his performance, at the Saddledome, he summoned members of the ballet to his dressing room.

"He was so nice and, I mean, it was before a show...he was so calm and just took as much time as you wanted and it was quite the experience," says Kelley McKinlay a dancer with the ballet.

Ballet officials say the announcement couldn't come at a better time.

While many in the entertainment industry struggle to fill seats, Alberta Ballet hopes the Elton production will attract a whole new audience.

"All I can say is this is the best recession proofing we can do. If we can't do it with the music of Sir Elton John then I'm not sure what we can do," says Darryl Lindenbach the executive director of Alberta Ballet.

Elton John is expected to visit Calgary several times while the show is in production.

Elton, the ballet, will debut in Calgary in May of 2010.

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