A Glimpse Behind the Creation of Joni Mitchell’s The Fiddle and the Drum

© Photo: Andrea Thomson

On Wednesday, May 15, NAC Foundation supporters spent an inspiring afternoon watching Alberta Ballet dancers engage in a working rehearsal of Act 1 of Joni Mitchell’s The Fiddle and the Drum, which would open that evening in the NAC’s Southam Hall. Prior to the rehearsal, donors were invited to an exclusive pre-rehearsal chat with Alberta Ballet’s Artistic Director and choreographer Jean Grand-Maître.

Jean shared that when he began collaborating with Joni she told him that she didn’t want a ballet about her life, she wanted to explore environmentalism and the war in Iraq. Joni prepared a selection of songs, most of which came from her album, Dog Eat Dog, which received new life and energy through the ballet. Joni also designed the sets, the video installation, and the libretto. The result is a ballet filled with hope and beauty.

Jean revealed that “The creative process for The Fiddle and The Drum renewed my faith in my relationship between art and life. Joni’s selfless and gentle participation will most likely be the highlight of my entire career.” He warmly thanked the NAC Foundation supporters who were about to attend the working rehearsal, inviting each one to “Imagine yourself bowing on stage with the dancers,” because none of this would be possible without their generosity.

A special thank you to our Open Rehearsal and Preview Sponsor, Rob Marland, Royal LePage Performance Realty who makes these sessions possible for NAC Foundation donors.

Join more than 6,500 champions of performance, creation and learning by supporting Canadian artists, educators and students through the NAC Foundation.


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