The Alberta Ballet Presents Fumbling Towards Ecstasy.
Alberta Ballet (Jean Grand Maître, Artistic Director) presents Fumbling Towards Ecstasy, choreographed by Jean Grand-Maître with music by Sarah McLachlan for one night only, January 24, 2015 at Royce Hall, UCLA. I am thrilled that I will be there to report back to you all about this magical evening of dance & music.
Following Alberta Ballet’s triumphant tributes to the music of Canadian legend Joni Mitchell and England’s international superstars Sir Elton John and Bernie Taupin, Fumbling Towards Ecstasy features the music of Canadian singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan. This Grammy, Juno and Gemini Award winning artist, who has sold more than 40 million recordings worldwide and raised more than $7 million for charities, is the perfect continuation to the company’s exciting series of portraits of living music icons.
Fumbling Towards Ecstasy traces the deeply spiritual odyssey of a woman’s life from first romantic encounter to mature love. With the participation of Sarah McLachlan as a consultant during the creation of this show, the Alberta Ballet dancers have been offered the unique chance to inhabit both the musical and spiritual world of one of Canada’s most celebrated artists.
I was fortunate enough to nab Alberta Ballet company dancer Taryn Nowels, from the show, for a quick Q&A:
Mary: Prior to this production, were you a Sarah McLachlan fan?
Taryn: Before being in the production I have to be honest and say that I wasn’t really familiar with Sarah McLachlan music. The only song I really knew was “Angle”, because of a popular television commercial that is played in the United States. I have really grown to love her music, though. She has an amazing voice.
How does this show differ from others you’ve performed in?
This show is different for me because of the music and set design. In most ballets, there are no words. You find your self question what emotion you are supposed to portray or what character you are supposed to be. In this ballet, Sarah is singing the emotions that the dancers are then bringing to life. It gives a new intent and feeling to my dancing. Also, this ballet uses projections, which help the audience to understand further what is happening in the story. It adds such a neat and different element to the ballet. The back drop literally dances with us.
What do you find most challenging, & most rewarding, about Fumbling Towards Ecstasy?
The most challenging part for me in Fumbling Towards Ecstasy is portraying my different roles. At one point I am a “sister” empowering my fellow dancers, and in another song I am a seductive mistress, luring the male lead into my arms to betray his love. So, it is very challenging for be to portray those two different characters, but it is a challenge that I also find rewarding.
What do you hope the audience takes home from the show?
I hope that the audience is able to see a different side of ballet from this show. It is not all buns and classic tutus! I hope we are able to expand the audiences’ horizons and hopefully convince them to come to the ballet more often!
How long have you been dancing, where did you study?
I have been dancing since I was 3 years old, and professionally since I was 19.
I am so excited to be attending this ballet on behalf of the blog, this weekend! xo