Alberta Ballet to Bring FUMBLING TOWARDS ECSTASY to UCLA in January

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Alberta Ballet 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.

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.

Katie Snedeker of Ballet-Dance Magazine said, "The production, which blends McLachlan's memorable music, Jean Grand-Maître's choreography, Pierre Lavoie's lighting, and Adam Larsen's stunning projections, is a feast for the senses." Bob Clark of The Calgary Herald said, "High praise for a production, masterminded by choreographer Jean Grand-Maître, that ambitiously sets out to capture the emotional and spiritual essence of the ever-changing life's journey of women today."

Alberta Ballet's Fumbling Towards Ecstasy will perfom on January 24, 2015 at 8:00pm at UCLA's Royce Hall, located at 340 Royce Dr. Los Angeles, CA 90095. Tickets, priced from $25-$75 with premium seating available, can be purchased at www.ticketmaster.com or by calling the UCLA Central Ticket Office at 310-825-2101.

About Alberta Ballet
Alberta Ballet is Western Canada's largest ballet company and is renowned around the world for the contemporary and classical productions that encompass its repertoire.

The organization's roots were planted in the early 1950s by the late Dr. Ruth Carse before taking its official name of Alberta Ballet in 1966 in Edmonton, Canada. In 1990, Alberta Ballet and Calgary City Ballet merged into the company it is today.

In 2014-2015, Alberta Ballet performs its 48th season and boasts a company of 34 classically trained professional dancers from as far away as Japan and as close to its home-base of Alberta.

Jean Grand-Maître, the company's Artistic Director, joined Alberta Ballet in 2002 and has elevated the profile of the organization to a global position. Recently, the company has caught the world's attention for its 'portrait ballets' - collaborations with popular music icons including Joni Mitchell, Sir Elton John, Sarah McLachlan, and k.d. lang. Excerpts from Joni Mitchell's The Fiddle and The Drum were performed during the Opening Ceremonies of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, where Grand-Maître also acted as Director of Choreography.

Alberta Ballet reaches thousands of Albertans each season from September to May, as well as performs across Canada and internationally. The company invites leading and world renowned conductors, choreographers, and other guest artists to take part in its seasons, as well as presents the best of Canada's ballet companies including the National Ballet of Canada, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal, and Ballet British Columbia, as well as leading foreign companies, such as Houston Ballet, Pilobolus, Helios Dance Theater, and Ailey II.

About Jean Grand-Maître (Artistic Director and Choreographer)
One of the most successful Canadian choreographers of his generation, Jean Grand-Maître assumed the artistic leadership of Alberta Ballet in 2002. Born in Hull, PQ, he began his dance training at York University in Toronto and continued at Montreal's L'École Supérieure de Danse du Québec. He later danced with Ballet British Columbia and Theatre Ballet of Canada. After working internationally for 14 years as an independent choreographer and director, he created and staged new works for many of the world's most prestigious ballet companies, theatre festivals, circus performers, opera companies, stage musicals, television specials, and films.

He has been commissioned by renowned ballet companies such as the Opéra National de Paris, the Teatro alla Scala, the Stuttgart Ballet, the National Norwegian Ballet, the Bavarian State National Ballet, The National Ballet of Canada, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal, Ballet British Columbia, the National Ballet of Cuba, Ballet Jörgen and the Hartford Ballet. He has staged and choreographed large scale events and has collaborated with numerous renowned theatre directors such as Michel Lemieux for the street parade celebrating Montreal's 350th anniversary. He was Director of Choreography for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics.

Alberta Ballet, under Grand-Maitre's directorship, has enjoyed considerable success both artistically and financially. He has managed to build the company's national and international profile while maintaining a strong financial position and securing some of the highest surpluses in the company's history. He has acquired or remounted works by such renowned choreographers as George Balanchine, Agnes de Mille, Rudy Van Dantzig, Dominique Dumais, Christopher Wheeldon, Ali Pourfarrokh, Stanton Welch, Twyla Tharp, and Mikko Nissinen. He has commissioned new ballets by established and emerging choreographers from Canada and elsewhere such as Yukichi Hattori, Reid Bartelme, Flavia Vallone, Sabrina Matthews, Emily Molnar, Edmund Stripe, Lorraine Chapman, Margie Gillis, Magdalena Popa, Reginald Amatto, Alexandrous Ballard, Denise Clarke, and Kirk Peterson. No fewer than 33 one-act ballets, as well as 17 full length works have received their premiere with Alberta Ballet during his first eleven years as Artistic Director. He has also revived 21 one-act ballets and 10 full length ballets from the company's repertoire. Mr. Grand-Maître has taken the company on many highly successful national and international tours and festivals to China, Egypt, Russia, Thailand, the United States, and across Canada.

During his tenure with Alberta Ballet, he has set or choreographed numerous ballets of his own. All have received considerable public and critical acclaim, including Celestial Themes (2002), The Winter Room (2002), Carmen (2003), Cinderella (2004), Dangerous Liaisons (2004), Vigil of Angels (2005), Romeo and Juliet (2005), Joni Mitchell's The Fiddle and The Drum - co-created with Joni Mitchell (2007), Mozart's Requiem (2008), Bolero (2009), Love Lies Bleeding (2010) - created with the participation of Sir Elton John, Fumbling Towards Ecstasy (2011) - created with the participation of Sarah McLachlan, Chaconne (Bach) for the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique et de Danse de Lyon, France (2011), Balletlujah! (2013) - created with the participation of k.d. lang, and Class Acts (2014), a full length homage to the Hollywood musicals of the 1940's. He has also initiated Up Close - a studio series with amazing success, promoting young choreographers in an intimate performance setting.

Michael Crabb wrote in New York City's Dance Magazine: "Rapidly emerging as the Canadian troupe to watch, the originality of its programming combined with the passionate commitment of its dancing has earned Alberta Ballet a strong following at home and growing attention abroad".



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