Celebrating magnificent Mozart

The company of "Mozart's Requiem". Photo by Peter Cromers, Edmonton Journal.
The company of "Mozart's Requiem". Photo by Peter Cromers, Edmonton Journal.

Count on Mozart to bring out the elegance and classiness of cowtown! From March 21 – 23, 2013, the Calgary dance community enthusiastically gathered at the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium to attend Alberta Ballet’s production, Celebrating Mozart, as well as to mix and mingle with the ballet’s company and staff at the annual subscribers recognition event.

Celebrating Mozart featured two mesmerizing pieces, Pomp without circumstance and Mozart’s Requiem, both set to music composed by…you guessed it, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Pomp without circumstance, a world premiere choreographed by Alberta Ballet principal dancer, Yukichi Hattori, was a delightful and creatively ingenious piece that humourously poked fun of aristocratic life in 18th and 19th century France.

Alberta Ballet's world premiere of "Pomp without circumstance" featured delightful choreography, performances and conception. Photo by Codie McLachlan, Edmonton Sun/QMI Agency
Alberta Ballet's world premiere of "Pomp without circumstance" featured delightful choreography, performances and conception. Photo by Codie McLachlan, Edmonton Sun/QMI Agency

Mozart’s Requiem, choreographed by Alberta Ballet’s artistic director, Jean Grand-Maitre, provided us with a spectacular and spine tingling interpretation to Mozart’s work, enhanced by The Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus. The presentation was brilliantly powerful and allowed audiences to surrender to the married beauty and magnificence of music, dance and artistic visual beauty.

"Mozart's Requiem" captured the magnificence of Mozart through the stunning collaboration of Alberta Ballet and The Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus. Photo by Alberta Ballet.
"Mozart's Requiem" captured the magnificence of Mozart through the stunning collaboration of Alberta Ballet and The Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus. Photo by Alberta Ballet.

Following the performance, subscribers were treated to a delightful candy buffet in the lobby, where Grand-Maitre thanked subscribers and sponsors for their continued support while also inviting everyone to Alberta Ballet’s upcoming performance of Balletlujah! in collaboration with K.D. Lang in May.

Alberta Ballet artistic director, Jean Grand-Maitre, thanks subscribers and sponsors after the performance. Photo by Vince Kanasoot.
Alberta Ballet artistic director, Jean Grand-Maitre, thanks subscribers and sponsors after the performance. Photo by Vince Kanasoot.

I had the chance to chat with Grand-Maitre, who expressed how proud he was of his dancers, particularly twins Alexandra and Jennifer Gibson, who had once been students at the School of Albert Ballet and are now seasoned company members. The Gibson sisters wowed audiences with their featured duet in Pomp without circumstance.

Alberta Ballet company members, Alexandra and Jennifer Gibson, perform in "Pomp without circumstance". Photo by Codie McLachlan, Edmonton Sun/QMI Agency.
Alberta Ballet company members, Alexandra and Jennifer Gibson, perform in "Pomp without circumstance". Photo by Codie McLachlan, Edmonton Sun/QMI Agency.

Additionally, Grand-Maitre also poked fun at how impressive the female corps were in tackling the first section of Pomp without circumstance, as it required them to use their arms to support themselves on a hanging metal bar that was lowered from the ceiling, in order to give audiences the illusion that they were suspended in the air (a curtain was lowered the entire time to reveal only the legs and feet of the dancers).

“They all started to look like Sigourney Weaver,” joked Grand-Maitre, in reference to the muscles his dancers started to build in their arms and upper body.

"Pomp without circumstance" featured the legs and feet of a chorus of Alberta Ballet dancers. Photo by Codie McLachlan, Edmonton Sun/QMI Agency.
"Pomp without circumstance" featured the legs and feet of a chorus of Alberta Ballet dancers. Photo by Codie McLachlan, Edmonton Sun/QMI Agency.
I had the pleasure of meeting principal dancers, Hayna Gutierrez and Garrett Goat. From left to right, Hayna, myself and Garrett. Photo by Vince Kanasoot.
I had the pleasure of meeting principal dancers, Hayna Gutierrez and Garrett Goat. From left to right, Hayna, myself and Garrett. Photo by Vince Kanasoot.

I also had the pleasure of meeting principal dancers Hayna Gutierrez and Garrett Groat, who were exceedingly fun to chat with! Lastly, I would like to send props out to volunteer coordinator, Elizabeth Dolak, who relentlessly helped to ensure that the event was a success. It was definitely another en pointe event!

Alberta Ballet's volunteer coordinator, Elizabeth Dolak and myself strike a pose during the event! Photo by Vince Kanasoot
Alberta Ballet's volunteer coordinator, Elizabeth Dolak and myself strike a pose during the event! Photo by Vince Kanasoot

 See you at Alberta Ballet's upcoming production, Balletlujah!

"Balletlujah!" will feature music by K.D. Lang and be performed by Alberta Ballet.
"Balletlujah!" will feature music by K.D. Lang and be performed by Alberta Ballet.