Monday, April 30, 2012

Preview: Agwa/Correria

This week in the city, Compagnie Käfig (France/Brazil) comes to Harbourfront Centre as part of World Stage with Agwa/Correria from May 2-5, 2012 at the Fleck Dance Theatre. This marks the company’s return to Harboufront since 2004 with their sell-out production of Corps est Graphique.

 Hip hop prodigy Mourad Merzouki brings France and Brazil together to create poetic urban dance with exuberant and explosive power. In 2006, Merzouki invited 11 young dancers from Rio de Janerio to the Lyon Dance Biennial to create Agwa/Correria. These dynamic Brazilian performers demonstrate a passion for dance, mixing complex hip-hop with capoeira, samba, electronic music and bossa nova.

In this inventive double-bill, Agwa takes place between tight corridors of little cups of water. This athletic and acrobatic piece examines the vital resource of water and it’s symbolism of renewal. Correria is a stylized endurance piece that lunges into a whirlwind of the frenzied modern world.

 By avoiding all the social stereotypes, Compagnie Käfig has managed to assert a unique style all its own. While honouring its origins, the company has heralded the hip hop movement, winning over audiences as diverse as those of the dancers. With hip hop dance, the members of the company have, each in their own way, progressively trained themselves and have enriched a vocabulary. Merzouki's endeavor to engage urban youth extends beyond choreographic creations, introducing hip-hop and contemporary dance culture to the public through their performances and in workshops and master classes.

 Born in Lyon, France, Mourad Merzouki is the artistic director of Compagnie Käfig, which he founded in 1996. Merzouki started learning martial and circus arts when he was seven-years-old. As a teenager, his discovery of the hip hop culture led him towards the dance world. He soon decided to develop his hip hop movements with more professional goals. Merzouki blends his experience in circus and martial arts with hip hop dance and culture to create works that have earned him choreographic awards from the International Dance Festival in Wolfsburg, Germany, La Société des Auteurs et Compositeurs Dramatiques and Lyon’s Lumières de la Culture.

 Performance details:
Wednesday, May 2, 2012: 8pm
Thursday, May 3, 2012: 8pm
Friday, May 4, 2012: 8pm
Saturday, May 5, 2012: 8pm

 Fleck Dance Theatre, 207 Queens Quay West.

Tickets: $45, $36 (seniors and artsworkers), $15 (CultureBreak – children and youth 13 to 25 years-old) available at Harbourfront Centre’s Box Office. Call 416-973-4000,email or visit!

May 3 performance will be followed by a free talkshow for ticket holders. Hosted by The Dance Current's Kathleen Smith, the talkshow is an opportunity for audience members to engage in conversation with Mourad Merzouki and dancers from the company.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Review: Paris 1994/Gallery

Mesmerizing, is the best way to describe Paris 1994/Gallery,  the latest dance show featured in the Harbourfront Centre's World Stage season.  From the moment the dancers, Danielle Baskerville and Tyler Gledhill,  sat on stage, to the moment they left, a weighty intensity griped the audience at the Enwave Theatre during opening night, lat night.

At times the show is overwhelming and uncomfortable but also compelling, preventing you from turning away.   Perhaps it should not be a surprise.  Paris 1994/Gallery  is about death, and the beauty that lives beyond death.  Ms. Baskerville, an alumni of the Toronto Dance Theatre School is breathtaking in her movements.  But she does not overshadow her partner, Tyler Gledhill, who is both masculine and graceful.  Fluid and strong yet delicate, the pair's chemistry captivates and carries the piece.  For just over an hour the two literally wrestle with themes of love and loss, memory, and how we perceive those memories.  It is a sight to behold and I for one found myself having to catch my breath as the lights came up in the house.

 The bare set, by Jordan Worth, and inventive staging complimented TDT School alum and Director/Choreographer D.A. Hoskins' vision.  And while her intentions were not always clear, as when a sand bag hanging from a hook obstructed the view of a video installation behind it, the sensations and emotions behind the movements were.  At times the choreography highlighted the pedestrian, or everyday movements, but quickly gave way to some of the most inventive and intricate pas de deux work we've seen, as if to say, we are all, in our most primal, always choreographing and creating a dance out of life.  

The show was accompanied by original sound/music by Robert Kingsbury.  A score almost transcendental in quality.  At times you'd forget that anything was playing at all, only to be jarred back to the moment seconds later, as the dancers shouted at one another or a eery creaking suddenly interrupted the melody.  In many respects the score perfectly symbolized the very shocking nature of life and death, at times so beautiful and serene and at others so horrifying as to not be believed.

This is not a piece for the dance skeptic.  If dance doesn't move you, don't bother.  Instead this piece speaks to those who can relate to the powerful way dance can convey what words and music alone cannot.  The way grief manifests itself in the body, and the way joyous and exuberant movement can combat the weight of loss. Powerful feelings are at play in Paris 1994/Gallery.  Even if you are unsure, trust me, seeing these two performers is worth the price of admission.

Paris 1994/Gallery  plays at the Enwave Theatre until Saturday.  Click here for tickets.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Preview: The COC presents Semele

The Canadian Opera Company’s 2011/2012 season closes with the company premiere of George Frideric Handel’s Semele in a production directed by famed Chinese visual and performance artist Zhang Huan.  Joining Mr. Zhang to present Handel’s sparkling and seductive opera about the pitfalls of love affairs between gods and mortals is Italian Baroque opera specialist Rinaldo Alessandrini, who leads the COC Orchestra and Chorus.  Sung in English with English SURTITLES™, Semele runs for eight performances at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts on May 9, 11, 13, 16, 19, 22, 24 and 26, 2012.

The COC’s presentation of Semele is the first opportunity for audiences to experience Zhang’s production of Semele outside Brussels, Belgium, where it premiered in 2009, and Beijing in 2010, where it was China’s first major staging of a Baroque opera.  Zhang made his directorial debut with Semele, conceiving a work that blends a Baroque aesthetic with the splendour of China in a production the New York Times called “scenically stunning, theatrically absorbing, musically rewarding” and “a feast for the eyes.”

Zhang’s Semele takes the world of classical music and presents it through the lens of a contemporary Chinese artist, drawing on parallels between Greco-Roman mythology and Chinese legends, as well as Buddhist concepts of karma and reincarnation, to create a true interaction of Eastern and Western cultures.  He weaves together many elements of Chinese culture, incorporating dazzling and innovative visual effects involving mirrors, puppetry, a Chinese dragon and artists who sing while moving suspended through air.  Zhang also incorporates traditions reflective of Japanese and Tibetan cultures through the inclusion of sumo wrestlers and a traditional Tibetan singer.  The production’s centerpiece is a 450-year-old Ming Dynasty ancestral temple salvaged by Zhang from a small town in China.  The temple’s own history, with an adulterous story that eerily parallels Semele’s plot, makes its way into the production in the form of a black-and-white documentary projected during the overture.

Han Feng, sought-after for her fashion as well as costume and exhibition designs, plays with Zhang’s concept to create a fusion of Chinese theatre and European Baroque in the costumes enhanced by the magical lighting design originally conceived by Wolfgang Göbbel.

Rinaldo Alessandrini, founder and conductor of the Italian early music ensemble Concerto Italiano, makes his COC debut conducting Semele, the first Handel opera performed at the Four Seasons Centre.  He leads the COC Orchestra and Chorus through a score that showcases Handel at his most expressive and inventive with sparkling music that evokes both a sensual tone and vividly dramatic sound.

In the opera, a love affair between the god Jupiter and the princess Semele goes horribly awry when Semele sets her mind to become immortal.  Canadian coloratura soprano Jane Archibald, who dazzled audiences and critics with her vocal dexterity and dramatic presence in the COC’s Ariadne auf Naxos last spring, returns to sing the flighty and narcissistic, but innocently naïve, Semele.  American tenor William Burden, highly praised for a wide-ranging repertoire showcased at the major opera houses of Europe and North America, makes his COC debut as Jupiter.  Cast as both Jupiter’s jealous wife, Juno, and Semele’s sister, Ino, is Canadian mezzo-soprano and COC Ensemble Studio graduate Allyson McHardy.  Last with the COC in 2009’s Madama Butterfly, McHardy returns to the company on the heels of acclaimed debut performances with Opéra national de Paris, Opéra Comique in Paris and Château de Versailles and Pacific Opera Victoria.

Canadian soprano Katherine Whyte, last with the COC as Iphigenia in 2011’s Iphigenia in Tauris, returns to sing the role of Juno’s messenger, Iris.  American bass Steven Humes makes his COC debut portraying Semele’s father, Cadmus, and the god of sleep, Somnus; and young countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo, a 2009 winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, makes his COC debut as Semele’s jilted suitor, Athamas.

Handel’s Semele offended many at its premiere in 1744.  It was shocking in both its subject matter and style.  While Handel had great success composing Italian operas for the London stage for much of his career, by 1738 public taste began to change and he made writing and producing oratorios the main business of his career.  In composing Semele, however, the work took shape as an opera.  When it was performed in London, pious oratorio purists who expected a high-minded religious work were insulted by Semele’s sexuality and opera aficionados were put off because it was in English rather than the then-accepted proper language of opera – Italian.  Cast aside after its initial performance, Semele experienced a renewed enthusiasm in the mid-20th century that has not since diminished.

The COC’s Semele is a co-production of Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie, Brussels and KT Wong Foundation.

A special presentation of the opera by the COC's Ensemble Studio is scheduled for May 23rd.  at 7:30. The Ensemble is also under the direction of Mr. Zhang and the creative team behind Semele.  This is the last opera of the season and is definitely not to be missed.

Click here for ticket information.  And click here for an audio preview.  As always great deals for opera lovers under 30 and rush seating is available.  There are also $12 standing room tickets for those with  extra endurance.

Preview: Pantheon

Harbourfront Centre’s unique performing arts residency programme HATCH, concludes its 2012 programme with Pantheon by Toronto cult queer band, Kids On TV. Pantheon takes place Saturday, May 5, 2012 at 8 pm in the Studio Theatre.

Combining bouncy house music, old-school hip hop, Liberace piano drama, mutant super-hero roller-disco battles, love songs between closeted 20th-century artists and epic choral arrangements, Pantheon celebrates the historical and fictional figures of Kids on TV’s personal and collective mythologies. This brand new work explores inspiring, strange and obscure figures of resistance and sexual revolution. Pantheon is a new focus on performance with reference to queer history, struggle and culture through music, dance, film, performance and politics.

Kids On TV emerged from the Toronto party Vaseline in the spring of 2003.  John Caffery, Minus Smile, and Roxanne Luchak are the core artists and together they have collaborated with musicians such as Boy George, Man Parrish, Shunda K, Julie Faught, Gentleman Reg, Katie Stelmanis of Austra, Diamond Rings and Bruce Benderson. Kids on TV transform environments with projections of their film and video work.  Over the years the party starting band has played in clubs, warehouses, schools, festivals, and bathhouses.

Pantheon aims to conceptualize and foster new material including choreography, photography, music and video and integrate the elements within their performance. “HATCH gives us the opportunity to further explore the mythology we’ve created,” says Kids On TV band member, Caffery, “And to develop innovative ways in which to bring the stories of those personalities within their myths to our audiences.” Since inception the group has focused on personalities that exist and thrive within the intersections of queer/trans, arts, academic, and activist communities.

Check out a snippet of the band below:

And click here for ticket information.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Fringe Needs You

Hello Friends,

We here at EAP love celebrating theatre in "The Big Smoke" and we know you do too.  That's why we are bringing you this very important message from the Toronto Fringe Festival's Gideon Arthurs.
The Fringe needs your loose change to continue bringing new theatre to the local public.  Check out how you can get involved below:

If you want to make a donation click here.  See you at the theatre!

The Block Party is Tonight

Last we heard there are still tickets available to THE spring theatre event TONIGHT!  Studio 180 and Canadian Stage's much anticipated Block Party and production of Clybourne Park.

Here is what Director Joel Greenberg has to say about the production.

The show runs until April 28th, so even if you can't make it for the party tonight click here for tickets.   

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Preview: The Game of Love and Chance

Justin and I are super excited to see the official opening night performance of The Game of Love and Chance at CanStage this evening. This super fun boy-meets-girl romp has been thrilling audiences in Montreal, and now it has arrived in Toronto.  The play, in a new translation by award winning playwright Nicolas Billon and directed by Canadian Stage Artistic & General Director, Matthew Jocelyn runs at the Bluma Appel Theatre until May 12th.

The Game of Love and Chance follows Silvia (Trish Lindström) whose aristocratic father, Monsieur Orgon (William Webster), has arranged for her to marry a nobleman named Dorante (Harry Judge). Skeptical about love and marriage, and having never met Dorante, Silvia decides to trade places with her maid, Lisette (Gemma James-Smith), to get a sense of his true self. Her father agrees to play along but doesn’t tell her that Dorante has the same idea and plans to meet Silvia disguised as his servant, Arlequino (Gil Garratt). Monsieur Orgon tells his son Mario (Zach Fraser) of the plan
and they both delight in the ensuing hilarity. An abstract, mirrored set designed by Anick La Bissonnière enhances the illusions created by each of the characters, and magnifies the farce and confusion surrounding love, identity and intentions.

 Marivaux’s Le jeu de l’amour et du hasard (The Game of Love and Chance) was first performed close to 300 years ago in Paris. It was originally written for the troupe of Italian actors known as “les comédiens-italiens”, whose theatrical tradition was based largely on commedia dell’arte techniques of Italy in the 17th century. Jocelyn’s contemporary retelling of this builds on the gymnastic and exceptionally theatrical performance style of this group of actors, peppered with comedic moments highlighted through the witty banter and emotion of the text and Billon’s translation.

Check out this video below for a sneak peak.  And click here for ticket information.  See you at the theatre!

VIDEO: The Centaur Theatre presents The Game of Love and Chance

Preview: Paris 1994/Gallery

World Stage continues at Harbourfront Centre with the mesmerizing dance installation Paris1994/Gallery by Toronto’s The Dietrich Group. This show is Choreographed by D.A. Hoskins.
"Intellectual rigour with emotional wallop, resulting in works that engage hearts and minds." - Toronto Life

“[Hoskins’ choreography is] hugely scenic, sculptural and forcefully pictorial.” – Toronto Star

This triple Dora-Award-nominated show takes the physicality of dance into a space of interactive play where two lovers move from the lull of their shared history to the immediacy of the present in a rumination of longing, desire and our reconstructed pasts. Paris1994/Gallery explores memory through the reflection of time, looking at how memory is a constantly changing perspective through highlighted moments between lovers. Set in an arena similar to an art gallery, the players become extensions in this installation that explores time and space. Directed/ choreographed by D.A. Hoskins, starring Danielle Baskerville and Tyler Glendhill, spoken word by Jill Battson, and film by Nico Stagias.

Grounded in dynamic and intimate physicality, The Dietrich Group challenges the viewer’s perceptions of live performance, bringing dance in Canada into the realm of contemporary art. Launched in January 2008 as a platform for the creation and production of multidisciplinary dance works, The Dietrich Group is designed specifically to facilitate exchanges in art. Other works created by The Dietrich Group include THE LAND OF FUCK (a fable), LADY: Images in a Melodramatic Setting and PORTRAIT.

D.A. Hoskins is artistic director of The Dietrich Group and a visual artist working in dance. Hoskins moved to Toronto in the early 80's to pursue a career as a dance artist, soon after focusing his attention on choreography. Since the beginning of his career has joined  forces with a variety artists, including composer Gilles Goyette, spoken word poet Jill Battson and the filmmaker Nico Stagias, to name a few. Hoskins founded The Dietrich Group in 2008 as a platform focused on exploring a non-conformist aesthetic and a forum for interactive exchange. Hoskins has created commissions for theatre, opera, symphony and multiple professional dance training programs, as well as independently producing a series of his own projects. Hoskins has drawn inspiration from new media, conceptual art, as well as film and video, and he incorporates visual projections, text and voice into his dance performances.

Danielle Baskerville performs and teaches across Canada and on occasion in France, Austria and Belgium. Founding member and artistic associate of The Dietrich Group, Danielle has worked with many of Canada’s finest creators as both an independent and company member. Danielle has played a pivotal role in the performance of new work and revisal of past repertoire for Dancetheatre David Earle from its inception, recently returning from the premiere of Earle’s Ode To Michelange in Burgundy, France. Particularly formative creative periods include working with Roxanne Huimand, Thierry Bae and David Hernandez in Brussels and Jan Burkhardt and Renate Graziadel in Berlin. Along side The Dietrich Group Danielle continues to explore with artists Toronto Heidi Strauss, Michael Sean Marye and Jonathan Osborne.

Tyler Gledhill trained at The National Ballet School, Het National Balletacademie in Amsterdam, and The Pacific Northwest Ballet School in Seattle. Gledhill’s professional career began in The Netherlands with Intordans, touring throughout Europe and Asia. He danced with The Göteborg Ballet and Cullberg Ballet in Sweden. As an independent artist, Gledhill has worked with Hit & Run Productions, Opera Atelier, The Chimera Project, ProArte Danza and The Dietrich Group. For his role Paris1994/Gallery in 2010, he was nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore Award for outstanding performance in a dance production. Gledhill has also starred in two short films by director Rocco Barriuso, The Providential Lack of Anything and Swimming.

 Paris1994/Gallery runs April 25-28, 2012 at the Enwave Theatre, 231 Queens Quay West, Toronto.
 Performance details:

Wednesday, April 25, 2012: 8pm
Thursday, April 26, 2012: 8pm
Friday, April 27, 2012: 8pm
Saturday, April 28, 2012: 8pm

Tickets: $35, $28 (seniors and artsworkers), $15 (CultureBreak – 13 to 25 years-old) available at Harbourfront Centre’s Box Office. Call 416-973-4000, or click here to order online.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Preview: Paper Laced with Gold

Harbourfront Centre’s performing arts residency programme, HATCH 2012, continues with Paper Laced With Gold on Saturday, April 28 at 8 pm in the Studio Theatre. Paper Laced Productions, the creative team behind the Rat King Rock Opera, unite in the creation of a new musical. Paper Laced With Gold features writer/co-director Maggie MacDonald and producer/co-director Stephanie Markowitz, with music composed and performed by Stevie Jackson of Belle and Sebastian.

Paper Laced with Gold is a new musical about two of these lost characters, living on the banks of the once thriving St. Lawrence Seaway. For 10 years, Betty has been waiting tables at a truck stop, day-dreaming her life away. One night, Kevin, a young thug with a familiar face, tries to steal her car. While awaiting the police, Kevin recognizes Betty as his old babysitter, and she recognizes him as a frightened, closeted teen. Slowly they reveal their mutual recognition, and Kevin tells the story of what brought him to the truck stop. Paper Laced with Gold is a folk-rock musical that pays tribute to the storytelling style of forgotten dramas of the silver screen, and the golden sound of the AM radio waves that drew Glenn Gould to the North Shore of Lake Superior, in “The Search for Petula Clark.”

Paper Laced Productions is writer/co-director Maggie MacDonald and producer/co-director Stephanie Markowitz. They focus on themes of gender, physical difference, class, and environmental issues, pursuing social justice through art that communicates passionately, and without irony. Their choice to work with artists from a mix of disciplines as performers is one of the ways they achieve a raw and innocent performance style that minimizes the feeling of separation between audience and performer.

Maggie MacDonald is a novelist (Kill the Robot), musician (Betty Burke, The Hidden Cameras, Barcelona Pavilion, Republic of Safety) and environmental campaigner. MacDonald grew up along the banks of the mighty St. Lawrence River, a stone’s throw from the now defunct Domtar paper mill.

Stephanie Markowitz is a filmmaker, theatre artist, producer and musician (The Phonemes, Vag Halen). She recently produced a series of ten short films titled Little Films About Big Moments. Stephanie has produced a number of other short films and is currently developing a film adaptation of Zoe Whittall’s novel Bottle Rocket Hearts.

The original music for the show is performed by Scottish guitarist and songwriter Stevie Jackson, acclaimed Canadian singer-songwriter Lisa Bozikovic (named one of the CBC’s “10 Artists to Watch” in 2010). The show features a cast that includes members of The Organ (Katie Ritchie), The Bicycles (Drew Smith), and all-lesbian, all-classic rock, cover band Vag Halen (Vanessa Dunn, Ritchie).  Installation artist Bojana Stancic makes her musical theatre debut as the owner of the truck stop, and performance artist Liz Peterson (Express Yourself) plays Betty, a waitress from Cornwall who stopped for coffee, and stayed for ten years. Amy Siegal is stage managing the production, and performer Stancic doubles as set designer.

For ticket information click here.

Preview: Oil and Water

Opening this evening in Toronto is show that has us at EAP very intrigued. It is being described as "a story told with incredible skills and soaring gospel music…” - CBC Radio. Let's just say Liza and I have a thing for gospel music and we love a good Canadian piece so this piece, Oil and Water is on our radar. For more info see below and for tickets please click the header!

Show Description:

Oil and Water is a theatrical retelling of the incredible true story of Lanier Phillips. Shipwrecked in 1942, Mr. Phillips was the only African-American survivor. He was saved and openly embraced by the “people of St. Lawrence” and his life was forever altered. This legendary story still resonates with relevance and power. A ten-person cast sings an a cappella score that blends the Newfoundland folk tradition with African-American gospel.

Artistic Fraud of Newfoundland’s Oil and Water is another superb creative collaboration by Siminovitch Award-winning director Jillian Keiley and Governor General Award-winning playwright Robert Chafe. Their work has played across the country and abroad to critical and audience acclaim, and includes Fear of Flight, Afterimage and Under Wraps. Founded in 1995 and based in St. John’s Newfoundland, Artistic Fraud specializes in large-scale chorus-based work, where spectacle meets story.

Artistic Fraud of Newfoundland
April 18 – May 6, 2012
Mainspace Theatre
Directed by Jillian Keiley
Written by Robert Chafe
Music Written/Arranged by Andrew Craig
Additional arrangements by Kellie Walsh
Musical Direction by Kellie Walsh

Monday, April 16, 2012

Preview: Dancing Queen

Opening this week in the village is the exciting new piece from Sky Gilbert! We are checking it out on Wednesday and we will let you know what we think. For tickets or more info please click the header!! The show runs until the 29th.

Show Description:
A beautiful young man moves to the big city. There, he falls in love with an older man, while at the same time another man falls in love with him. Dancing Queen plays on gay culture's fear of aging to ask scandalous questions about sex, love and monogamy. Buddies founding Artistic Director, Sky Gilbert, collaborates with notorious performance artist Keith Cole to tell the story of an inter-generational love triangle through dance and theatre.

Buddies in Bad Times Theatre proudly welcomes
a Cabaret Company production
Written and Directed by Sky Gilbert
Choreographed by Keith Cole in collaboration with Sky Gilbert
Featuring Nick Green, Ryan Kelly and David-Benjamin Tomlinson
Set and Lighting Designer Andy Moro
Costume Designer Sheree Tams

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Preview: The Sheets, The...

HATCH 2012 presents THE SHEETS, THE… by Salvatore Antonio.  An Inaugural new work by The Empty Whole Group

The Empty Whole Group, a new multi-disciplinary theatre company in Toronto, launches on April 21st, 2012 at 8pm, with their first project, THE SHEETS, THE ..., as a part of Harbourfront Centre’s HATCH 2012.

THE SHEETS, THE... is written and directed by Governor General Award-nominated Salvatore Antonio. As part of the HATCH programme’s mandate of highlighting original, exciting and fresh voices in creation, Antonio offers a one-night-only experience of a new and challenging multi-disciplinary work-in-progress, that explores the expression (or lack thereof) of intimacy in all its modern day banality, disconnectedness, and solitude. Set in a hotel room, and centered around the role of the bed as witness, THE SHEETS, THE… unfolds as a revealing and unsparing foray into the depths of the physical and psychological core of the human need for emotional connection, sexual release, and simple tactile contact.

Salvatore Antonio, an established actor (Léo, Hosanna, Refugee Hotel) and writer (In Gabriel’s Kitchen, for which he was named a G.G Finalist 2007), has brought together a group of progressive performers and collaborators—both established and emerging—to breathe life into this creation that flirts with the boundaries of conventional theatre, performance art, dance and visual art. Artists include Aviva Armour-Ostroff, Greg Gale, Thomas Olajide, Jason Jazrawy, William Christopher Ellis, David Christo, Zion Forrest Lee, Amy Lee Lavoie (assistant director and dramaturge) and multi-award-winning Beth Kates (designer) have joined forces to build this charged and challenging piece.

THE SHEETS, THE... marks the first production from The Empty Whole Group. Under the artistic directorship of Antonio, The Empty Whole Group gathers like-minded artists to build around a central theme for each future production. The Empty Whole Group’s mandate is to produce  original performances that remain vital, while blurring the lines of what is considered theatre, dance, music or visual art.

HATCH 2012 runs from April 14 – May 5, 2012. Patrons can purchase a HATCH pass (includes tickets to all four productions) for $40, individual tickets for $15, or students/seniors/arts professionals $12. Visit the website here or call the box office at 416-973-4000 for more information.  Following each HATCH presentation, there is a Q&A, where the audience can engage with presenting artists.

Now in its ninth year, HATCH is a key initiative in Harbourfront Centre’s mission to develop local artists and their unique practices. HATCH mentorship provides resources and professional assistance to contemporary artists looking to explore a new element of their practice. By giving the space and time for this to happen, Harbourfront Centre hopes to develop and grow the best new work coming out of Toronto. This season’s guest curator is Toronto-based performance artist, Jess Dobkin.

HATCH has produced many projects which have gone on to presentations around the world and have garnered awards and professional accolades, including Hannah Moscovitch’s The Russian Play and Aluna Theatre’s Nohayquiensepa.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Preview: Dancemakers Presents THE ADAPTATION PROJECT

Dancemakers presents
"Confronting our past, with love. A re-imagined performance by Michael Trent based on Mitchell Rose's Following Station Identification. (1974)"

For the Dancemakers' 2012 Spring Home Season, Artistic Director and Resident Choreographer Michael Trent re-imagines a dance from the Company's 100-plus repertoire, a body of work amassed over its 38-year history and created by noted Canadian and international artists.  We have been talking about this one for awhile, and we are so excited that it is almost here.

For this work Trent is returning to the company's infancy, coming to new terms with Mitchell Rose's Following Station Identification - working from historical rehearsal videos and the recollections from early Dancemakers performers of the work and pioneers of independent dance in Toronto including Carol Anderson, Peggy Baker, Pat Fraser and Pat Miner. Trent also conducted Skype conversations with Rose himself.

Wanting something other than a traditional remount where original intention, choreography and design are re-created as faithfully as possible, Trent and the company, including composer Christopher Willes and musician Thom Gill, will re-imagine Rose's 1974 Following Station Identification, a 'satirical dance on middle-American values', for today's Dancemakers.

"We all face looking back at our past and wondering what to make of it. We face it as individuals, as families, as communities, and, not surprisingly, as dance companies," explains Trent. "I am curious about this dance in particular because, although my work broadly addresses the way we are in the world, it has never done so through the lens of satire. I am also curious about confronting the status quo and its relationship to social values from the 'middle'."

Former choreographer and performance artist, Ohio- based Mitchell Rose is now an award-winning comedic short filmmaker. Over the course of his dance career, 1973-1991, he created 75 works, set pieces on 20 repertory and university dance companies, was awarded five Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and was referred to as the "dance world's Woody Allen."

Confronting our past, with love.
A re-imagined performance by Michael Trent
based on Mitchell Rose's Following Station Identification (1974)

Performed by Robert Abubo, Amanda Acorn, Kate Holden, Benjamin Kamino and Simon Renaud

The Distillery Historic District, 55 Mill Street, The Cannery, Bldg. 58, Studio 313
April 19 -29, 2012, Preview April 18, 2012
Wednesday - Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 4pm o Tickets $25, Student/Senior, CADA, Artsworker $20
For ticket information please call 416.367.1800 or book online here.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Preview: Was Spring

Cylla von Tiedemann photo

One of our favourite playwrights Daniel MacIvor is premiering one of his pieces midtown at the Tarragon Theatre. The show runs until May 6 at the Tarragon Extra Space, 30 Bridgman Ave. For tickets or more info please click the header!

Show Description:


Three women clash over a tragic event in their past. Somewhere in the pain there is love, but when you've been betrayed by your own dreams and a lifetime's worth of guilt, can you still find it?

written and directed by Daniel MacIvor
set and lighting design by Kimberly Purtell
costume design by Shawn Kerwin
sound design by Verne Good
Clare Coulter
Caroline Gillis
Jessica Moss

Studio 180 invites you to the Clybourne Park Block Party

Join Studio 180 for a fun neighbourhood-themed party and fundraiser.

Friday, April 20, 2012
Starting with the performance of the play, at 8PM

Enjoy a lively evening of great theatre, food and music. Help celebrate while supporting a critically acclaimed theatre company: watch a performance of the Pulitzer Prize–winning play Clybourne Park, then join the STUDIO 180 team and members of the cast for a special reception.

Food graciously provided by Herrera’s Fine Dining and Catering, drinks by Stratus Wines and Steam Whistle Brewing, and music by DJ Joe G. Plus look forward to fantastic door prizes!

Make it a group event or part of a special evening out.

Tickets for the BLOCK PARTY are on sale at the Canadian Stage Box Office. Please call 416-368-3110 or book online here.

$65 • Balcony seating
$75 • Orchestra seating

STUDIO 180 is a not-for-profit charitable organization. You will receive a tax receipt for a portion of each BLOCK PARTY ticket that you purchase.

Hope to see you there!

Acting Up Stage announces 2012/13 Season

Fresh on the heels of a stunningly successful year, Acting Up Stage is thrilled to announce their ninth season featuring two Mainstage productions, the Toronto premiere of a West Coast hit, a Canadian commission, a new performance venue, a prize for emerging artists, and 45 new young-artists in-training.

All of the programs in 2012-2013 explore 'connections': making connections in an isolating online world; losing and rebuilding connections with those we love most; celebrating connections between long-standing collaborators; fostering connections between young artists.

Musical Productions:

Do You Want What I Have Got? A Craigslist Cantata
By Veda Hille and Bill Richardson
Directed by Amiel Gladstone

A hilarious and surprisingly poignant song cycle that sets actual Craigslist ads to music.
February 2-March 3, 2013
Factory Studio Theatre
Co-produced with Factory Theatre

Music and Lyrics by William Finn
Book by William Finn and James Lapine
Directed by Robert McQueen, Music Directed by Reza Jacobs, Choreographed by Tim French

The first major Toronto revival of this Tony Award-winning masterpiece in 18 years, presented in the city's newest arts & cultural centre!
April 23-May 12, 2013
Regent Park Arts & Cultural Centre
Produced in association with Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company

Tapestries: The Music of Carole King and James Taylor
Music Direction, Vocal Arrangements and Orchestrations by Reza Jacobs
Directed and Dramaturged by Elenna Mosoff

Some of Canada's finest musical theatre artists re-conceive this iconic music in an astonishing evening that blurs the lines of folk, cabaret and musical theatre.
November 17-18, 2012
Jane Mallet Theatre

Education & Outreach:

The Syd & Shirley Banks Prize for Emerging Musical Theatre Artists

An inaugural prize that gives two emerging musical theatre artists the opportunity to advance their careers through financial assistance, mentorship and increased exposure.

One Song Glory

The seventh year of our musical theatre training program, nurturing 45 emerging artists aged 13-19; the only local program of its kind, One Song Glory is free of charge for all.

November 10-December 2, 2012.

New Musical Development:

Book and lyrics by Andrew Kushnir
Music by Reza Jacobs
Co-Commissioned by Acting Up Stage Company and The Belfry Theatre

Our first musical commission will receive a reading in Summer 2012 and a workshop in Fall 2012 in preparation for a full production in a future season.

NoteWorthy Phase 1

A new round of NoteWorthy begins in June 2013 with six established composers and playwrights paired in different combinations to explore musical collaborations.

New Musical Development:

Book and lyrics by Andrew Kushnir
Music by Reza Jacobs
Co-Commissioned by Acting Up Stage Company and The Belfry Theatre

Our first musical commission will receive a reading in Summer 2012 and a workshop in Fall 2012 in preparation for a full production in a future season.

NoteWorthy Phase 1

A new round of NoteWorthy begins in June 2013 with six established composers and playwrights paired in different combinations to explore musical collaborations.

Summer at the Harbourfront

We received the Harbourfront Summer calendar in our email and wanted to share the goings-on with all of you.  If you haven't been down to the Harbourfront during the warm months of the summer then don't miss another great season of fun!

Harbourfront Centre’s Summer Season lineup

HarbourKIDS: The Toronto International Circus Festival (May 19-21)
Harbourfront Centre partners with Zero Gravity Circus to bring you the 10th annual Toronto International Circus Festival, a three-day cultural experience for children and families featuring world-class acrobats, fire masters, jugglers, clowns and more!

NXNE – North by Northeast (June 16-17)
One of the most anticipated music and film festivals in Canada! The 18th annual event will bring some of the world's most exciting and innovative artists to Harbourfront Centre!

Franco-Fête, Co-produced by la Franco-Fête de Toronto (June 22-24)
For its 30th anniversary, la Franco-Fête de Toronto offers a unique occasion to gather and celebrate the diversity of francophone culture.

TD Toronto Jazz Festival (June 22-30)
One of North America's premier jazz festivals, TD Toronto Jazz Festival is an event for lovers of music of all kinds.

Canada Day: Going Global presented by CIBC (June 29-July 2)
Canada’s biggest and best four-day birthday celebration features dance, music, culinary arts, comedy, family activities, storytelling, games and film that highlight the contributions of Canadians.

Expressions of Brazil, Co-produced by Southern Mirrors and Puente (July 6-8)
A three-day event showcasing the diversity of Brazilian arts and culture through music, dance, film, cuisine, workshops and family activities.

SoundClash Festival (July 13-15)
Harbourfront Centre’s annual SoundClash Music Award has morphed into a genre-bending music festival that showcases the award’s shortlisted acts, as well as other artists who are pushing the envelope on contemporary music and culture.

Hot & Spicy Food Festival presented by CIBC (July 20-22)
For 15 years, Harbourfront Centre has tempted Toronto's senses, and this year’s event cranks up the heat as we redefine the intersections between food, music, dance, film and more!

Classical IV: Strings (July 27-29)
Discover how ancient stringed instruments from across the globe can create bold contemporary intersections of sound, with a twist!

Calypso Stars Showcanse (July 31)
Experience the sounds, rhythms and cadences of Toronto's vibrant calypso community! Featuring calypso, steelpan and mas' (masquerade) – the three core disciplines of Caribbean festivals.

Island Soul presented by CIBC (Aug. 3-6)
Harbourfront Centre’s wildly popular Caribbean festival commemorates the 50th Anniversary of the Independence of Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago.

Planet IndigenUS, Co-produced by Woodland Cultural Centre (Aug.10-19)
This massive 10-day event, book-ended by two weekend-long celebrations, is the largest multidisciplinary, contemporary, international Indigenous arts festival in the world, celebrating the future while honouring the rich cultural past of the world’s Indigenous peoples.

TELUS TAIWANfest, Co-produced by the Asian-Canadian Special Events Association
(Aug. 24-26)
A three-day culinary arts, music, dance and film fest that sparks a new dialogue on Canada's multifaceted lifestyles between new immigrants and Canadians who have been here for generations.

Ashkenaz Festival (Aug. 28-Sept. 3)
North America’s premier festival of Jewish and Yiddish culture, featuring the best of the global Jewish culture scene with music, theatre, film, visual arts, literature and more.

Caribbean Tales (Sept. 4-15)
Canada's one and only forum showcasing the best of Caribbean cinema locally and globally, classic and Creole, digital and celluloid.

Vegetarian Food Fair (Sept. 7-9)
The largest event of its kind in North America offers an unparalleled opportunity to enjoy a diverse cross-section of vegetarian cuisine.

Vietnamese Lantern Festival presented by CIBC, Co-produced by the Vietnamese Women's Association of Toronto (Sept. 15)
Explore the meaning of the Mid-Autumn Lantern Festival through the perspective of the Vietnamese community with a full day of food, entertainment and family activities.

Fortune Cooking presented by CIBC (Sept. 16)
Explore the crossroads of Pan-Asian cuisine and its influence across the globe. Taste the trends, witness the wizardry and savour the sounds!

HarbourKIDS: Folk (Oct. 6-8)
A three-day children’s festival that brings artists, kids and grownups together in a warm, friendly environment, offering endless possibilities for self-expression, cultural exchange, and artistic inspiration.