Alberta Ballet Company

Sometimes it takes a few days for the effect of an experience to fully sink in. Case in point, Love Lies Bleeding, performed last Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at the Queen E Theatre, presented by Ballet BC.

Yes, the Alberta Ballet production has left the Queen E and moved on since its enormously popular three day run, and the reviews have been positive. I like this review by Kristen McKenzie in particular, written for Vancity Buzz.

What struck me the most about the performance however, were the costumes and stage sets. I was only able to secure a few costume images for this review, but if you look closely at the photos below, you’ll notice a gold picture frame in the background. This enormous frame provided ongoing digital imagery ranging from peace protests to acid coloured pop art, set in tandem to 14 dance numbers featuring Elton John and Bernie Taupin’s songs.

Yukichi Hattori and Kelley McKinlay
[Yukichi Hattori and Kelley McKinlay]

The frame was an effective use of the stage, and set at the back. The red curtains also played a part in this production. Towards the end of the show, they moved up and down to create a moveable stage. Set against the dramatic lighting, the resulting folds of the red curtains were beautiful to watch in motion.

The costumes were fantastic, and again, I’m lacking a few of the more outrageous ones in an ever-changing lineup. Large, oddly shaped trees appeared during one of the numbers, causing much laughter from the audience as they inched across the stage.

Yukichi Hattori and Company Artists

Although many reviews mention the obvious homoerotic undertones of this piece, what exhilarated both me and my husband was the opening number’s costumes for “Benny and the Jets“.

Bennie and the Jets

Watching two scantily-clad men kiss in an enduring embrace is one thing; seeing dancers in skin-tight ultra-shiny white leggings that showed off every bit of their toned physique was a pleasure to watch for both sexes. Many of the low-cut costumes in other numbers contained belts and chains suggestively wrapped around parts of the dancers’ bodies, beckoning an S/M theme.

This production was a treat to have been able to attend in Vancouver, one that I hope many of my readers were able to enjoy during its very short run. I’ve still got “Yellow Brick Road” and “Someone Saved my Life Tonight” going through my head, days after this smash hit. And I’m not the biggest Elton John fan on the block.

All images courtesy of Charles Hope.


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