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Love Lies Bleeding Review


I hope you don't mind that I put down in words how awesome Love Lies Bleeding was!

These weren't just jesters playing Shakespeare!

Looks like the spotlights hitting something that's been known to change the weather, though...

And my attempt to sum up this whole show entirely in Elton John quotes ends there.

In a city where the finer arts and gay culture are both wildly sung of it was no surprise to see the huge turn out the Alberta Ballet's performance raked in, but it was great to see so many of our young and fashionable milling around the lobbies of Place des Arts.

The show opens with our young "Elton Fan" watching a little boy spin circles on a bicycle. The enduring and awe inspiring Yukichi Hattori threw himself all over the stage as the lead role throughout the entire performance. As with any ballet it has a loose narrative of the aspiring artist becomes the glorified rock star who descends into has-been status and rises from the ashes in the end as a legend.

Adam Larson was the genius video designer behind a huge crooked screen that made up the only ever-shifting set piece. Projections of media images summing up the freedom movements of the 60s, layers of Warholian and cartoon patterns fly about but you can never take your eyes off the tiny dancers beneath it.

Revamped versions of John's classic anthems Rocket Man and Bennie and the Jets are sewn artfully into the hope inspiring ballads like Goodbye Yellow Brick Road and Someone Saved My Life Tonight. The greatest act of dancing was when "Elton Fan" is being tormented by four or five "demons" dressed in Clockwork Orange-inspired harnesses and bowler hats just torture him and bring him up only to throw him down again to the harrowing beats of Have Mercy On The Criminal.

The real star of the show would have to be Martine Bertrand who's costume designs bear such details you can't even see from the audience but sparkle under every light. Great big shirtless tranny Marie-Antoinettes with great big french skirts and wigs shuffle by a few times, the space suits duringRocket Man are complete with goggles, which you need if your ballet tights have rockets booster sparklers firing you forward on roller skates.

Love Lies Bleeding really displayed what the future of ballet could look like, more than a tribute act to a legend but also a moving painting brought to pulsing life by beautiful bodies.

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