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June 16th, 2012 · Leonard Cohen  




Dance, Dance, Dance


Allison Crowe  has been featured several times on this site as a singer-songwriter of prodigious talent performing in concerts,. making music videos, releasing albums, and generally doing those things musical icons in training do.


Today’s post, however, focuses on a new aspect of Allison Crowe’s career: Dance.


Allison Crowe, Leonard Cohen & The Royal Winnipeg Ballet

The Doorway - Photo by Bruce Monk

Many readers may know that Crowe collaborated with The Royal Winnipeg Ballet for a May 9 – 13, 2012 run of “The Doorway – Scenes from Leonard Cohen,” a contemporary dance piece based on the words and music of Cohen, choreographed by Jorden Morris, and featuring Crowe performing Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”1

Scene from The Doorway - photo by Tim Fennell

The  version of “The Doorway” performed in Winnipeg and, more recently, Northern Manitoba2 is a precursor to the full-scale hour-long project planned to debut in the 2013-14 season.3


Morris explains why Cohen’s music fits so well with dance:


He’s [Cohen is] such an amazing individual — his ideas, his beliefs, the way he can so eloquently express anything, and put a shape and texture and colour onto it. If he’s just talking about his hat, it sounds fabulous.


The video below not only gives a sense of the dance itself as performed by the members of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet company, but also captures Crowe’s energy and enthusiasm when she talks about the ballet and her role in it.



Allison Crowe has, of course, long been known as a premiere performer of Hallelujah.  This performance, captured on video, clarifies why her work in in demand.


Allison Crowe – Hallelujah


Allison Crowe & Dance – The Future


The key takeaway point, however, follows: the connection Allison Crowe made with The Royal Winnipeg Ballet and the dance world is not a fleeting infatuation nor is her association with ballet likely to be a one-off.


Working with the RWB proved stimulating, exciting, and – well, there’s no other word for it – fun.

Witnessing the professionalism and creativity of the dance company was, unsurprisingly, stimulating and inspirational.


Functioning in the dance universe, however, an environment that operates according to a system of artistic physics unlike those that govern the work of a singer-songwriter could have been awkward and frustrating; instead, it proved an intriguing, enlightening, and productive experience for Crowe.

Allison Crowe self-portrait

Asked if it would be legitimate to say that she now views ballet as potentially a major aspect of her musical career, Allison replies


Yes, that would be legitimate to say, for sure. :)


It’s a major gift to me, as well as being a whole lot of fun, so I feel lucky to even get to be a part of it.

Adrian du Plessis, Allison’s personable manager, adds


It’s one step at a time, but, in essence, the dance tribe is one in which Allison feels most comfortable and inspired. Those in the company possess an energy and vitality very akin to her own, and, the combination, and further potential, is hugely exciting.


If you want to keep up Allison Crowe’s career, you have to pay attention.  Thankfully, it’s a task that rewards the effort.


  1. To view scenes from the World Premiere of “The Doorway,” see Ballet Set To Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” Music Performed By Allison Crowe. []
  2. Because the Northern Manitoba venues are fairly remote, recorded versions of the music were employed. []
  3. Setting dance to Cohen like poetry in motion by Alison Mayes. Winnipeg Free Press, 05/5/2012 []







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