Love Lies Bleeding - A Brilliant Dance Show

Alberta Ballet interprets Elton John!
Debbie Blair
October 17th, 2011

At the main entrance at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, patrons have their tickets torn as they enter to see the Love Lies Bleeding, the Alberta Ballet performance.  Coming in, they pass a huge and beautiful flower arrangement of orchids. The accompanying card for the orchids reads:  “My thoughts are with Jean and the company of Alberta Ballet for this premiere performance in Vancouver.” Love Elton

In the lobby, are ladies and gentlemen, formally dressed with the oddest additions -feather boas and outrageous glasses - aka Elton John. Sales – if not brisk - are good for the boas, glasses and other fun goodies representing the show, as the sales clerks, boa – clad, encourage people to indulge. “Yes you too could look gorgeous! Try this!”

There is delightful laughter and amused smiles throughout the conservative crowd for those more adventurous souls who buy.

The preshow chat with Ballet BC Artist Director Emily Molnar and Alberta Ballet Artistic Director Head Grand-Maitre was fun and informative.  I learned that Sir Elton John basically gives all his royalties to charities. They have similar functions but service different areas of the world. He is currently performing Caesars Place in Los Vegas, raising monies for his charities. (www.ejaf.org)

When asked about Sir Elton’s accommodations at Caesars Place, Grand-Maitre laughed and said “Like the show you are about to see.” He tells us that Sir Elton John was very generous with his art and costumes in the performance that we are about to see. The preshow talk was fun, informative and highly worth the early trip to the theatre.  (It started about half an hour before the show.)

When I entered the main floor of the QE with my friend – an old hoofer, Bernie Boyd from PAL – it was packed.   We squeezed by others in our row, took our seats and after the gracious address by Ballet BC Artistic Director Emily Molar, the lights dimmed …

And down in front the curtained stage was the lead dancer Elton Fan (Yukichi Hattori).
A small framed man –and literally a fire cracker- quick, light, fast –with unending endurance. (He is on stage, throughout the whole wild ride of the ballet.) A spotlight hits him and he jumps up onto the stage.

The curtains open – a small boy circles a spotlight of light on the floor riding a tricycle. Over head is a tilted cracked picture fame hanging free … images start flashing on it…expressing comments on the ethos of the times.

The wild sexual, crazy world of super stardom starts churning …

Clockwork orange images, Fellini, the vibrant colors’ of the 1970’s, surrealistic imagery and  outpouring sexual liberation, drugs galore, political explosions are all elements alluded  to in this  intense ballet costumed packed visually stimulating and wonderfully danced show.  Do I need to mention the music?

 “Sir John Elton sang and danced his way into an esthetic that truly became a world unto itself”, writes Alberta Ballet Artistic Director Jean Grand-Maitre.

This brilliant show – that my friend and an old hoofer himself, Bernie Boyd called “The best dance show I have seen in 35 years!” ended it Vancouver run on Saturday.  On Friday evening, the main floor all spontaneously jumped up for a delighted long, long standing ovation. ( I didn’t look around... too busy clapping). Hope you caught the show!

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