The School of Dance
Merrilee Hodgins A.R.A.D., Artistic Director.
Jean Grand-Maître’s notable career as an internationally acclaimed dance maker, having created over 100 ballets across North America and Europe, was launched in 1994. Reid Anderson, then Artistic Director of The National Ballet of Canada commissioned a new work, “Frames of Mind”, which was nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore Award and which also toured extensively world wide. In doing so, Anderson opened many doors and within a few years, Grand-Maître was receiving major commissions from Europe’s leading opera houses. He has been hailed as one of the most outstanding Canadian choreographer and Artistic Director of his generation. After a decade creating contemporary ballets for such leading companies as Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, the National Ballet of Canada, the National Norwegian Ballet, Ballet Jorgen, the Stuttgart Ballet, the Paris Opera Ballet, Ballet British Columbia, the Munich Opera Ballet, the Hartford Ballet, The National Ballet of Cuba and the Teatro alla Scala, he was appointed Artistic Director of Alberta Ballet from 2002 to 2022. Under his leadership Alberta Ballet was transformed into one of Canada’s most exciting and acclaimed dance companies. He made ballet relevant to Albertans and played an instrumental role in showing a different side of their culture to the world.
In 2009, he was appointed Director of Choreography for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Vancouver Winter Olympics. In 2007, he launched a new series of acclaimed Portrait Ballets, inspired by the greatest singer-songwriters of our time. Close collaborations ensued with Joni Mitchell, Sir Elton John, k.d. lang, Sarah McLachlan, Gordon Lightfoot, The Tragically Hip and with the David Bowie Estate.
In 2020, he became a Member of the Order of Canada, a recognition specifically highlighting his advancement of dance in Western Canada.