Reviewed by Paula Citron
Alberta Ballet’s new production of Love Lies Bleeding is going to make buckets of money.
There’s the music of superstar Sir Elton John and Bernie Taupin, a non-stop parade of razzle dazzle costumes, eye-popping projections, sexy Broadway jazz dancing, and an overload of men in sequined jock straps. Canny choreographer Jean Grand-Maître has hooked his company up to one of the most successful song writing teams in history.
The production is not a biography of John. Rather, Grand-Maître was inspired by aspects of John’s life. Taken as a whole cloth, Love Lies Bleeding is a celebration of the homoerotic, particularly the outrageous and extravagant side of things. Everyone and everything is out of the closet.
But there is the genuine worry that Alberta Ballet is becoming formulaic. First there was The Fiddle and the Drum to Joni Mitchell songs. This season it’s Elton John. Next season is Sarah McLachlan. Does this mean AB is going to run through every songbook of note?
Love Lies Bleeding
Music by Sir Elton John
Lyrics by Bernie Taupin
Choreography by Jean Grand-Maître
Jubilee Auditorium, Calgary, May 6 to 9, 2010