Alberta Ballet has announced a 2008-09 season featuring a new version of The Nutcracker and a longer version of The Fiddle and The Drum, its groundbreaking ballet set to the music of Joni Mitchell.


The Fiddle and the Drum, the Alberta Ballet production set to the music of Joni Mitchell, has been selling out at festivals across Canada. ((Charles Hope/Alberta Ballet))

The season, announced Monday, also includes productions of A Midsummer Night's Dream, part of a three-year series of Shakespeare ballets, and Alice in Wonderland, as well as appearances by the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and Ballet British Columbia.

The Fiddle and the Drum, a collaboration between Mitchell and Alberta Ballet artistic director Jean Grand-Maitre, debuted in February 2007 in Calgary and Edmonton.

The piece went on to play to sold-out audiences at art festivals Canada-wide and was aired in a national television broadcast.

A new full-length adaptation, with more songs and imagery by Mitchell, debuts in February 2009.

At Christmas, Alberta Ballet will have a new version of The Nutcracker, with  choreography by ballet master Edmund Stripe and a rich Russian setting. Tchaikovsky's beloved score is to be performed by the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra.

The Royal Winnipeg Ballet opens the ballet season in September with its athletic and appealing Peter Pan, choreographed by the RWB's Jorden Morris.

The season closes in May with A Streetcar Named Desire, an adaptation of the Tennessee Williams play by Ballet British Columbia. The contemporary choreography by John Alleyne of Ballet B.C. is set to a jazz score.


The Alberta Ballet production of Alice in Wonderland is choreographed by ballet master Edmund Stripe. ((Alberta Ballet))

A Midsummer Night's Dream will feature choreography by New York's Christopher Wheeldon. The company staged Othello last season.

Alice in Wonderland has been choreographed by the Alberta Ballet's Stripe with music from Ravel and Debussy to set off Lewis Carroll's madcap tale.

Alberta Ballet, Canada’s third-largest ballet company, operates and performs in both Calgary and Edmonton.