Friday, November 30, 2012

NuDance Festival 2012: Dec 6 to 8 at the Riverside Theater Harlem

From a media release:

The Riverside Theatre Harlem
NuDance Festival
December 6 to 8 2012

Three Exciting Evenings  *  Nine Fierce Dance Companies
Dance Iquail, Dash Ensemble, Forces of Nature, Janusphere, Maverick Dance Experience, MoralesDance, Neville Dance Theatre, R.E.D. and Sarah Council Dance Projects.
Tickets online or call 212 870 6784

Each performance evening starts with Choreographers in Creation, an intimate dialogue about their process. 

Join Riverside Theatre's rich history of presenting new and emerging choreographers in this year's NuDance. Nine choreographers over 3 days will present their latest work. Returning companies include "standout performance" Dance Iquail!, the "beautifully enlivened" Dash Ensemble, and "comic yet poignant" Sarah Council Dance Projects. Don't miss this year's NuDance, a showcase that Jennifer Dunning of the NY Times calls "impressive" and "unusually good."

The NuDance Festival presents up-and-coming choreographers who will show new, original choreography. The dance works are innovative, cutting edge and definitely thrilling to watch. We are on an exhilarating journey of exploration as we discover and experience the next generation of pioneering dance artists.

Maverick Dance Experience
Founding Artistic Director, Toni Renee Johnson
Reference Point        
Performed within dance-theater modalities, Reference Point uncovers processes of regaining control when things fall apart - processes such as love addiction, escapism, drug use and/or religious guidance. The reference point is one or all of these coping mechanisms, the literal "how" behind adapting to change or adversity. It is the internal, familiar place of arrival resulting from a basic need to survive and carry on through the irresolvable.  The piece follows four characters as they latch onto coping strategies, choosing definitive paths but continually wrestling for control over their distress and confusion. Live video and spoken word accompany an urgent, arresting movement vocabulary.

R.E.D. - Rhapsody En Dance
Artistic Director, Rhapsody James
R.E.D (Rhapsody En Dance), an artistic commercial contemporary dance company that continues to break boundaries of traditional concert dance. By blurring the lines between Hip Hop, Jazz, and Contemporary, R.E.D brings a raw eclectic vision to the stage. With a mission to inspire their audience to greater heights in movement, R.E.D strives on being the new vision of dance. A vision that will captivate and illuminate your mind, body and soul.

Artistic Director, Tony Morales
Pleased 2 Meet U
MoralesDance is a throwback to the days of classical modern dance based on the aesthetics of choreographer and artistic director, Tony Morales. A mixture of classical modern techniques lends the company a fluid yet strong air as seen in the choreography of several of the company's repertory pieces. Based in NYC, MoralesDance was created in 1998 by Choreographer and Director Tony Morales. Most recently the Company was honored to perform @ Summerstage NYC, The Downtown Dance Festival and is very honored to participate in this years NuDance Festival here @ The Theater of The Riverside Church where we have performed many times and hope to continue this coming October 2013.

Dance Iquail!, Inc.
Executive Artistic Director, Iquail Shaheed
The Order
For the oppressed to be able to wage the struggle for their liberation, they need to perceive the reality of oppression not as a closed world from which there is no exit, but as a limiting situation which they can transform." Believing this statement to be a fundamental truth, choreographer Iquail Shaheed was inspired to create his newest work, The Order.

Sarah Council Dance Projects
Artistic Director, Sarah Council
Staring at Stones
Staring at Stones explores at the culture of the Appalachia mountains by taking a look at the lives of women who lived there. It is inspired by traditional ballads, the work of female poets native to the area and personal family stories.

The Dash Ensemble
Artistic Director, Gregory Dolbashian
Sleight of Hand
The DASH Ensemble was founded in December of 2009 by Gregory Dolbashian. Combining unique and exciting contemporary dance with an urban flair, The DASH is a New York based company made up of diverse contemporary dance artists. The DASH has performed all over New York City at venues such as Joyce SoHo, The Skirball Center, New York Live Arts, Summer Stage, and The JOYCE Theater. Through his work with The DASH, Dolbashian has won several choreographic competitions which included commissions from Ballet Austin, Northwest Dance Project and most recently Hubbard Street 2.

NEVILLE Dance Theatre
Artistic Director, Brenda Neville
Under the Bridge
Under the Bridge is a powerful presentation about the human spirits' fortitude and determination to persevere in the face of adversity.


Janusphere Dance Company
Artistic Director, Darion Smith
Shift and Tangle of Wings
In Darion Smith's most recent work Shift, the powerful bond between a man and his muse are challenged when temptation and curiosity take him out of her spell.

Forces of Nature Dance Theater
Artistic Director, Abdel Salaam
Oscillatory in the design of it's language ... B Flowin' .. B Smoove! seeks to be a visual metaphor for the elliptical movement of life in the heavens and here on Earth. Inspired by the dynamic , fluid, never ending flow of energy from Supreme Being that animates all, the mythical Damballah and Aida Ouedo, and Earl "Snakes Hips " Tucker. The work honors the spirit and desire within the human family to move smoothly or " smoove " through the obstacles and pit falls or our lives, thus striving to be and remain constant, fluid and whole. We dedicate this season's voyage of  .. B Flowin'.. B Smoove!  as a prayer in movement for " family " and especially President Obama to continually evolve as he completes his first term in office, calling upon the essence of cool, calm and smoove!

Thursday, December 6th at 7:30 PM
Friday, December 7th at 7:30 PM
Saturday, December 8th at 7:30 PM

Ticket Price
$20/General Admission
$15/Senior and Students

The Riverside Theatre
91 Claremont Avenue (120th St)
Take the 1 to 116th or 125th
Box Office: (212) 870-6784

• Iquail Shaheed by Rachel Neville

• Dash Ensemble
• Janusphere Dance Company

Holiday Concert: Michael Ciufo & Ashleigh Semkiw Dec 12 2012 in Toronto

From a media release:


WHO: Captivating vocalists Michael Ciufo & Ashleigh Semkiw
WHAT: Traditional Holiday classics & original works
WHERE: Glenn Gould Studio, 250 Front St. W. Toronto / (416) 703-6371
WHEN: Wednesday, December 12, 2012 @ 8:00 pm (other area dates below)
TICKETS: $40 CDN (+ applicable taxes) online

TORONTO – Pizza Pizza proudly presents two of Toronto’s finest young vocalists at the Glenn Gould Studio on Wednesday, December 12, 2012 @ 7:30 pm. Holiday cheer will abound as traditional classic carols merge with original music in a new seasonal show with a twist, as shining stars MICHAEL CIUFO and ASHLEIGH SEMKIW share the iconic stage co-headlining a one-night-only performance. With new Xmas EP PERFECT GIFT in hand, Ciufo brings his signature classically-infused, cross-over style – an explosive musical medley set to dazzle audiences of all ages during this festive season – while songwriter, performance artist, and operatic soprano Semkiw brings her internationally acclaimed voice and collaborative style to a captivating program of celebrated holiday classics.

Both performers are already well-established vocalists and have enjoyed acclaim from colleagues, fans and media alike. This concert is an exclusive collaboration which will showcase the multiple facets of each artist’s diverse musicality, as both are professionally trained vocalists with stylistic urban-pop flare. Ciufo and Semkiw will perform both solo music from their respective repertoires and will enchant audiences with intimate duets. Included in the evening will be such holiday classics as “Little Drummer Boy” and a showstopper performance of “Oh Holy Night.”

Ciufo will be performing throughout Southern Ontario in December (tour dates listed below), and promoting his newly released holiday 4-track EP PERFECT GIFT, now available on iTunes and can be purchased directly at The EP, produced by Juno award-winning Michael Phillip Wojewoda (Barenaked Ladies, Great Big Sea), includes four delightful, passionate and unique takes on classic carols and originals. The title track “Perfect Gift” is an original and “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” “Oh Come All Ye Faithful” are the English traditional pieces plus he adds a beautiful rendition of an Italian traditional piece “Tu scendi dalle stelle,” (meaning “You Came Down from the Stars.”)

Michael Ciufo gratefully acknowledges the generous support of Pizza Pizza Limited. The newly established relationship with Michael Ciufo is in line with Pizza Pizza’s launch of a new gourmet pizza line of 10 inch, whole grain, thin crust gourmet pizzas.

Dec 8: @ 8:00 pm – Niagara Falls Centre for the Arts – Niagara Falls, ON
Dec 12: @ 7:30 pm – Glenn Gould Studio – Toronto, ON
Dec 22: @ 7:30pm – The Centre In The Square – Kitchener-Waterloo, ON
Dec 23: @ 3:00pm  – The Oakville Centre For The Performing Arts – Oakville, ON

Moonhorse Dance Toronto Presents Older & Reckless Nov 30 - Dec 2 2012

From a media release:

Award-winning performers Paul-André Fortier and Alon Nashman
headline MOonhORsE Dance Theatre's
2012/13 Older & Reckless season kickoff
November 30 - December 2, 2012 in Toronto
Toronto (October 29, 2012)
Older & Reckless, MOonhORsE Dance Theatre's celebrated series curated by Artistic Director Claudia Moore, opens its 2012/13 season with ALL MEN / ALL SOLOS featuring four male dance artists in four evocative solos. Paul-André Fortier, Alon Nashman, Tom Brouillette and BaKari I. Lindsay take the stage from November 30 to December 2 in Edition #27 of Older and Reckless.

Older & Reckless, an informal performance series, features work from OLDER artists who continue to grow more RECKLESS as time goes by. Older & Reckless provides an opportunity for seasoned dance artists to perform short works and a chance for the audience to see some of Canada's most celebrated senior choreographers.

Conceived by Claudia Moore, artistic director of MOonhORsE Dance Theatre, Older & Reckless is "an intimate exchange for both the performer and the observer; exciting, terrifying, and lots of fun. The performances are followed by a party with music, refreshments, and a chance to talk with the artists about work, process, and whatever else comes up!"

Governor General Award winner Paul-André Fortier brings Box, L'homme au carton. The origin of this new work, premiered in 2011, was solo 1x60 - a garden of objects, created in Japan in 2006. In the work, a man is dancing with a box. In the hands of this remarkable dancer, the box is transformed into a poetic object and opens a breach into the imagination of the ones witnessing the dance: the solo becomes a duet.

Fortier, one of Canada's foremost dance creators, was recently named as a laureate of the Governor General's Performing Arts Awards for Lifetime Artistic Achievement. The awards, created in 1992, are presented annually to "Canadians whose accomplishments have inspired and enriched the cultural life of our country. The Awards are regarded as the ultimate recognition in Canada's performing arts." In 2010, he was appointed the Chevalier dans l'ordre des Arts et des Lettres by France.

Additionally, at 3pm on Saturday December 1, Fortier will present a free screening of his documentary 30x30, Diary of a Nomadic Dancer. Directed by Yannik B. Gelinas with a score by Martin M. Tétreault, the film follows the adventures of Fortier as he presents his 30x30 solo in five cities on three continents.

Performer Alon Nashman, who recently received rave reviews for his one-man show Hirsch at the 2012 Stratford Festival, will bring an excerpt of another one-man show, Kafka and Son. Described as a blistering, often hilarious, dissection of domestic authority, and a revelatory visit with one of the architects of the modern psyche, Kafka and Son is a monologue, but one conveyed with a rich physical expression - and truly belongs in a series devoted to how physical expression can take the audience to realms beyond what can be achieved with just words. "Nashman's fully committed, physical performance traces its emotional path from caged frustration to the desperate final flight towards arts timeless promise of freedom." (Matt Radz, Montreal Gazette, June 11, 2007).

Rounding out the program is Tom Brouillette in a Danny Grossman classic, Transcendence, with music by the late Ann Southam; and BaKari I. Lindsay, co-founder of COBA (Collective Of Black Artists), in his solo work Ancestral Calling.

And the public doesn't need to just stand on the sidelines - they can sign up for a Nia workshop with Martha Randall, 5:30pm on Saturday, December 1 ($10). And they are invited to join in a gentle and rejuvenating audience warm-up prior to each performance; and to stay for an after-party and a chance to talk one-on-one with the artists.

About the Artists:

Tom Brouillette started dancing at the age of thirty in intensive training with Mary Wigman disciple Til Thiele. He was a lead dancer with both Desrosiers Dance Theatre and the Randy Glynn Dance Theatre, and has performed regularly with independent choreographers such as Peter Chin, Marie-Josée Chartier and Holly Small.

Paul-André Fortier
entered the world of dance in the 1970s via one of Quebec and Canada's most innovative choreographic companies, Le Groupe Nouvelle Aire. Even before Fortier became known for his choreography, he had already earned a reputation as a dancer for his elegant, refined and commanding stage presence. In 1979 he created his own company, which later became Fortier Danse-Création.

Alon Nashman
is an award-winning actor, director and producer who was named Number One Theatre Artist in 2008 by Toronto's NOW Magazine. With the creation of THEATURTLE ten years ago, Nashman initiated new work such as The Song at Theatre Passe Muraille and Kafka and Son for the Ashkenaz Festival, World Stage Festival and Al Green Theatre.

BaKari I. Lindsay was born on the sunny isle of Trinidad, West Indies. Perfecting his craft for the past 25 years, BaKari is a dancer, choreographer, researcher, singer, musician, costume designer/maker and father. He studied at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, The School of Toronto Dance Theatre on scholarship and with various teachers from the Caribbean and the African Continent, and holds a Masters Degree in Dance Ethnology, and Bachelors of Education degree from York University.

Older & Reckless - Edition #27 - ALL MEN/ALL SOLOS
featuring works by Paul-André Fortier, Alon Nashman, Tom Brouillette and BaKari I. Lindsay

November 30-December 2, 2012
Performances: Friday & Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 2pm
Free Screening of Paul-André Fortier's documentary 30x30, Diary of a Nomadic Dancer: Saturday December 1 at 3pm

Dancemakers Centre for Creation in the Distillery Historic District, 9 Trinity Street, Studio 313
Tickets $25/$22 CADA, students and seniors

For tickets Subscriptions and information:
• call 416-504-6429 ext. 30
• or visit

CD Release: Singer/Songwriter Avi Katz 'Ground Level Portraits' Nov 30 2012 in Toronto

From a media release:

Avi Katz releases New Cutz – “Ground Level Portraits” CD Release
Release of “Ground Level Portraits” delivers on a Higher Plane
Fri November 30, 2012 - 8:30pm
The Rivoli, 334 Queen St W, Toronto

"You have a gift for the pen. From a lyrical perspective it doesn’t get much better than this!... [we] listen to a lot of songs and read tons of lyrics and it’s good for you that the cream does rise to the top! This is wonderful and worthy work!" Great American Song Contest
[Toronto ON]  With accolades like this, plus the respect of top industry players such as acclaimed producer Maury LaFoy (Kat Goldman, The Monkey Bunch) and Russell Broom (Jann Arden/Chantal Kreviazuk) on the mixing board, you’d think Avi Katz had been honing his songwriting craft for years.

Not so. While always a creative spirit and eternally drawn to playing music (incl. clubs in Toronto, Montreal, Greece, & New Orleans), as well as guesting on fellow musician CDs, he never set pen to paper until just a few short years ago. Instead his imagination took root in the fertile ground of the film industry as the go-to creative tek-man in the world of animation and visual effects (some feature works include Everyone's Hero (Christopher Reeves), "9" (Tim Burton), and Gnomeo & Juliet (Elton John/Miramax).

But the early days of listening to his parents’ vast record collection painted an indelible visual effect on his singer-songwriter heart.  With the steadfast encouragement of musical peers, Katz finally decided to give voice to the characters, stories and melodies that played as soundtracks to his daydreams. The result?  Ground Level Portraits, an intimate collection of smoky, whisper-voiced tales set to blues, folk, country, Americana, even funk.

Add to the mix a top-flight roster of Toronto’s best musicians including LaFoy on bass, guitar, organ and percussion, guitarist Jason Fowler, drummer Jorn Anderson and guest spots by Kurt Swinghammer on lap steel, Ron Korb on flute, Lyle Molzan on percussion, and Mia Sheard on backing vocals, and you have no ordinary album.

These lucky 13 songs defy any narrow categorization, merging seamlessly a myriad of musical styles and covering the scope of human experience. From lost souls, misguided fools and the curse of mortality, each song is rendered with Katz’s distinctive voice and exceptional musical excursions.

Securely invested in storytelling and insightful lyrics, there is a universal resonance from tales of people caught up on the treadmill of life, unable to change or buck gravity (“Ordinary Day”) to a twist on the notion of Child is Father to the Man (“Is It Free”).

From the Johnny Cash-like bluster of “Goin’ Home” or the fear and longing for something better that percolates through “Pack Up and Run”, Katz has crafted something that may have started at ground level -- but delivers on a higher plane.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Alpha Omega Theatrical Dance New York City: 40th Anniversary Nov 30 to Dec 2 2012

From a media release:

Alpha Omega Theatrical Dance Company
Enrique Cruz DeJesus, Artistic Director
40th Anniversary Celebration!
Ailey Citigroup Theater - New York City
Nov 30 thru Dec 2, 2012

Company classics, fan favorites and new works commemorate four decades of AOTDC's existence and pay homage to its founders, directors, and mentors. Join the festivities and celebrate this milestone with AOTDC!

NEW YORK CITY - Alpha Omega Theatrical Dance Company celebrates its 40th Anniversary this concert season with performances at Ailey Citigroup Theater in NYC – November 30 through December 2.

In celebration of this Ruby Anniversary milestone, the company under the artistic direction of Enrique Cruz DeJesus treats its audience to a passionate, theatrical, thought-provoking and thoroughly entertaining program. Company classics, fan favorites and new works commemorate four decades of Alpha Omega Theatrical Dance Company’s existence and pays homage to its founders, directors, and mentors – Ronn Pratt, Dolores Vanison-Blakely, Andy Torres, Martial Roumain, and Eleo Pomare.

In acknowledging the past and presenting the future Alpha Omega Theatrical Dance Company’s season includes a world premiere tribute to founder Ronn Pratt. This newest work “ICU” choreographed by artistic director, Enrique Cruz DeJesus reflects on caring for a friend in need through a crippling moment in life, and after all is lost but not forgotten, the meaning of life is revealed.

In Andy Torres’ “Three Looks at Love” the classic love story takes three spins – sweet, sour and funny! This throw back never grows old.  The female cast of “Essence” by Martial Roumain is a portrait of four very different but all together strong women who have equally important stories to share. Audiences relate to them one and all.

The powerful abstract “Tabernacle” by Eleo Pomare based on James Baldwin’s Fire Next Time gets your heart and thoughts racing and the pace and intensity fill the room.

From then and there, to here and now…Enrique Cruz DeJesus rounds out the program with 21st Century wit, passion and flair.“Crossroads to Hathaway” by Cruz DeJesus performed with live music by Ty Stephens and the SoulJaazz Band set the tone for the evening. This journey is high flying, easy come and easy go, with real stories from a sack of dreams found in the ghetto.  And all to the soulful sounds of Donny Hathaway. Also by Cruz DeJesus with Angel Garcia is the all time favorite “Pegao.” This contemporary saucy Salsa is hot, hot, hot and you are guaranteed to be on your feet.

The company of ready-to-go dancers include Donna Clark, Shauntee Henry, Elise King, Lilka Mimbella-Lopez, Jinah Parker, Jude Perry-Evans, Juan Michael Porter II, Ashely Race-Whelan, Or Reitman, Brandi Stewart, and apprentice Nicolle White. They are joined by alumni Bernadette Baptiste-Hageman, Monte Choctaw, Diarra Cummings, Wendy Dann-Marcel, Larry Johnson, Wendy Mejia, Tyrone Monroe, and Roberto Villanueva.  Musical Director of SoulJaazz, Richard Cummings, Jr.

Join the festivities and celebrate this milestone with AOTDC!

40th Anniversary Celebration!
November 30 & December 1 @ 8PM & December 2 @ 7PM
Ailey Citigroup Theater, 405 West 55th Street (at 9th Avenue)
Tickets: (11/30) Opening Night & Reception $35; (12/1-12/2) General Admission $25; Students & Seniors $20

CD Release & Live Dates: Super Hi-Fi's Dub to the Bone

From a media release:



You might not associate the trombone with the classic dub reggae sounds of Lee “Scratch” Perry, King Tubby, and Scientist. Super Hi-Fi, the Brooklyn-based ‘Afro-Dub’ band led by songwriter-producer-bassist Ezra Gale, is about to change that.  Dub To The Bone, the band’s debut album, uses not one but two trombones to create sonic tapestries drenched in the warmth of analog tape. “Trombones are like violas,” says Gale. “They’ve always been under-appreciated instruments and even the butt of a lot of band jokes.  But when you blend the tones of two trombones with the space of dub you get a deep, full sound that is both soothing and striking.”

The album’s imagery is as striking as the music. The album cover- an antique-looking photo of a trombone on a chair in front of a massive stack of speakers- conjures the modern-retro vibe that embodies Super Hi-Fi.  Gale elaborates, “The cover art and design reflects the music by using vintage/antique/analog media to express new content. Kevin Irby, using his 1908 camera, took the photos from the album shoot.  The stack of speakers in the background belong to my friend Quoc Pham from the Sound Liberation Front.  They’re this gigantic tower of soundsystem speakers he’s been building himself over the last year.”

Pham’s house was not only the location of the photo shoot, but also the birthplace of Super Hi-Fi back in 2010, when Pham asked Gale to put a band together for a house party. The pair’s production company, the Sound Liberation Front, then hosted the popular “Afro-Dub Sessions” monthly party at the now-defunct Rose Live Music venue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The gathering featured Super Hi-Fi as the house band joined by an array of top-flight DJ’s and producers- some of whom, like Victor Rice, Subatomic Sound System, and the Beverley Road All-Stars- are featured with remixes on Dub To The Bone. That party’s mix of African and Jamaican sounds is reflected in the band’s name, with “super” a popular word for African bands and “Hi-Fi” representing Jamaican soundsystem culture.

African music and specifically Afrobeat is no stranger to Gale, who founded and released four critically-acclaimed albums with his band Aphrodesia that were rooted in traditional Afrobeat (with such high reverence that the band traveled to Nigeria and played at Femi Kuti’s Shrine), but with a modern signature sound that was all their own.  Similar to Aphrodesia, Super Hi-Fi respects the influence and legends of Dub music greats, but adds their own unique take. Recorded onto analog tape by noted dub engineer Prince Polo, the classic dub sound shines through with the use of vintage tape delays like the Echoplex, the Space Echo and others, but the music, all composed by Gale, is new. Dub To The Bone mixes original tracks with remixes, reflecting the malleable nature of dub. “Dub music is all about re-forming original recordings into something different,” says Gale, “so the remixes here have their own identity and can stand on their own.”

Thursday, November 29 @ Tropicalia - Washington, DC
Friday, November 30 @ Ballicaeux - Richmond, VA
Saturday, December 8 @ Bishop's Lounge - Northampton, MA

The Royal Conservatory of Music Toronto: Concerts for December 2012

From a media release:

Chick Corea returns with Gary Burton
Christmas Concerts with Collegium Vocale Gent, Quartetto Gelato, John McDermott, and the Canadian Brass
Notable Koerner Hall debuts by Horacio Gutiérrez, La Bottine Souriante, and Javier Limón

TORONTO - The Royal Conservatory gets into the Christmas spirit this holiday season with four very different concerts. The first, on December 14, features Johann Sebastian Bach's Christmas Oratorio (Parts 1, 2, 3, and 6) performed by Collegium Vocale Gent, led by Maestro Philippe Herreweghe. Specialists in historically authentic performances of vocal Renaissance and Baroque music, the group's performances have been described 'breathtaking as one could wish.' (The Independent). Quartetto Gelato brings an exotic blend of musical ingenuity and especially-curated Christmas program (including Pietro Yon's Gesù bambino, Irving Berlin's White Christmas, Leroy Anderson's Sleigh Ride, Mel Torme's Christmas Song, and Pyotr Iliyich Tchaikovsky's Dance of a Sugar Plum Fairy) to Koerner Hall on December 15. For this special concert they are joined by guest vocalist Alejandra Ribera who impressed the Koerner Hall audience as part of the Art of Time's Abbey Road project. Canadian tenor John McDermott celebrates the holidays on December 16 with an all-star line-up of special guests, including Guido Basso (trumpet & flugelhorn), Erica Goodman (harp), The Mistletones, and Michael Peter Smith (guitar). Canadian Brass comes home for the holidays on December 23. The group has invited Toronto's young star brass students from The Glenn Gould School and University of Toronto to join them for the Christmas Vespers by Monteverdi and all of their other holiday favourites.

The Montréal á Toronto concert series continues with La Bottine Souriante on December 8 and the ¡Qué Rica Cuba! Series, with Horacio Gutiérrez on December 9. For La Bottine Souriante, music, celebration, pulsating rhythm, and exuberant spirit have been inseparable for over 25 years. During that time they have released 13 albums, four of which are certified gold and three platinum, won dozens of awards, and headlined festivals around the world. Also part of the Invesco Piano Concerts series, Horacio Gutiérrez's concert will feature Franz Joseph Haydn's Piano Sonata No. 60; Robert Schumann's Fantasie in C Major, Op. 17; Ernesto Lecuona's Danza negra, Ante el Escorial, and Danza lucumi; and Fryderyk Chopin's 24 Preludes, Op. 28. Best known for his interpretations of the Romantic repertoire and considered by many piano connoisseurs to be one of the great pianists of the second half of the 20th century, the Cuban-American virtuoso returns to Toronto for the first time in over a decade.

The remainder of the Koerner Hall concerts include Amanda Martinez with special guest Javier Limón on December 1 and Chick Corea & Gary Burton with the Harlem Quartet on December 5. Canadian-Latin singer-songwriter Amanda Martinez is currently collaborating with multiple Grammy Award-winning Spanish producer Javier Limón on this concert, which will mark Limón's Canadian debut, as well as on her next album, scheduled for release in spring 2013. Martinez's first two albums, Amor and Sola, have garnered numerous accolades including rising to No. 1 on the iTunes World Music charts, and Limón's many composition and production credits include major albums by renowned artists such as Paco de Luca, Bebo Valdes, Diego El Cigala, Enrique Morente, Wynton Marsalis, Anoushka Shankar, Yasmin Levy, and the acclaimed Spanish singer Buika (who will be performing in Koerner Hall on January 25). Described by the Los Angeles Times as 'one of jazz's most celebrated collaborations,' Chick Corea and Gary Burton perform material from their new album Hot House, which explores their unique take on standards by composers from Kurt Weill and Antonio Carlos Jobim to Thelonious Monk and Lennon & McCartney. The multiple Grammy-winning duo also adds the Harlem Quartet, expanding their legendary chamber-jazz repertoire on Chick's composition Mozart Goes Dancing and classic Chick & Gary tunes.

December also includes five performances in Mazzoleni Concert Hall, located in historic Ihnatowycz Hall. The all-Canadian Afiara String Quartet celebrates their new position as The Glenn Gould School Fellowship Quartet on December 4 with a program of Brett Brett Abigaña's String Quartet No. 2, and Ludwig van Beethoven's String Quartet No. 5 in A Major, Op. 18, No. 5 and String Quartet No. 9 in C Major, Op. 59, No. 3. Anagnoson & Kinton, Canada's foremost piano team consisting of James Anagnoson (Dean of The Glenn Gould School) and duo partner Leslie Kinton, celebrate Beethoven's birthday on December 16 by performing his complete 4-hand repertoire, including Piano Sonata in D Major for Piano 4-hands, Op. 6, 3 Marches for Piano, 4-hands, Op. 45, 8 Variations on a Theme by Count Waldstein in C Major, for Piano 4-hands WoO 67, 6 Variations on Ich denke dein in D Major, WoO 74, and Grosse Fuge in B-flat Major, (Op. 133), Op. 134. Discovery Series concerts consist of two free events: Academy Chamber Orchestra, comprised of string students from the Young Artists Academy of The Royal Conservatory, performing on December 8 and The Glenn Gould School Concerto Competition Finals, where the talented solo performers of The Glenn Gould School compete for the opportunity to perform a concerto with the Royal Conservatory Orchestra during the 2013-14 season, on December 13. The third concert takes place on December 6 with conductor and award-winning composer Brian Current leading The Glenn Gould School New Music Ensemble. As part of a city-wide celebration of Korean music, the Ensemble presents works by composers Sukhi Kang and Unsuk Chin. Mr. Kang, a widely influential figure in Korean music, will be in the audience to hear his work Mosaicum Visio for chamber orchestra, as well as Unsuk Chin's Acrostic Wordplay, which features soprano Lucy Fitz Gibbon. Other works performed are the piano concerto Trame IV by Martin Matalon (performed by Ryan McEvoy McCullough) and Canadian composer Chris Paul Harman's playful reconstruction of the Bach Chorale Der Tag mit seinem Licht.

The Conservatory Theatre will once again be the setting for the popular Bluebird North series, starting on December 22. During these entertaining evenings, top Canadian songwriters come together with host Blair Packham to perform their music and tell us about the inspiration, the songwriting process, and the stories behind the songs. The artists for this concert will be announced soon. Bluebird North is presented in partnership with the Songwriters Association of Canada (S.A.C.). The S.A.C. gratefully acknowledges the support of The SOCAN Foundation and the Government of Canada through the Creators' Assistance Component of the Canada Music Fund.

With the Christmas season approaching, The Royal Conservatory Gift Cards and concert tickets are a great gift idea. The gift cards are available for purchase in any denomination and can be redeemed for concert or event tickets at The Royal Conservatory in person or by phone. They are also reloadable in any denomination.

•  Gift Cards can be purchased in person at the Weston Family Box Office, by phone at 416.408.0208, or by visiting

December Performances at The Royal Conservatory
Amanda Martinez with Javier Limón (World Music, Pop): Saturday, December 1, 2012 at 8pm (KH); starting at $30
Afiara String Quartet (Mazzoleni Masters): Tuesday, December 4, 2012 at 7:30pm (MCH); $32
Chick Corea & Gary Burton with the Harlem String Quartet (Music Mix): Wed., Dec. 5, 2012 at 8:00pm (KH); starting at $45
The Glenn Gould School New Music Ensemble (Discovery Series): Thursday, December 6, 2012 at 7:30pm (MCH); $15
Academy Chamber Orchestra (Discovery Series): Saturday, December 8, 2012 at 7:30pm (MCH) *
La Bottine Souriante (Montréal á Toronto , Folk, Pop): Saturday, December 8, 2012 at 8pm (KH); starting at $30
Horacio Gutiérrez (¡Qué Rica Cuba!, Invesco Piano Series): Sunday, December 9, 2012 at 3pm (KH): starting at $40
The Glenn Gould School Concerto Competition Finals (Discovery Series): Thurs., December 13, 2012 at 10am (KH) *
Bach Christmas Oratorio - Collegium Vocale Gent (Vocal): Friday, December 14, 2012 at 8pm (KH); starting at $45
Quartetto Gelato (Music Mix, Classical): Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 8pm (KH): starting at $35
Anagnoson & Kinton (Mazzoleni Masters): Sunday, December 16, 2012 at 2pm (MCH); $32
John McDermott & Friends (Music Mix, Pop, Folk): Sunday, December 16, 2012 at 8pm (KH); starting at $35
Bluebird North (Music Mix, Pop, Folk): Saturday, December 22, 2012 at 8pm (CT); $25
Canadian Brass Christmas (Music Mix, Classical): Sunday, December 23, 2012 at 3pm (KH); starting at $45
KH: Koerner Hall; MCH: Mazzoelni Concert Hall; CT: Conservatory Theatre

• Tickets are available online at, by calling 416.408.0208, or in person at the Weston Family Box Office
• A limited number of $10 BMO Rush Tickets are available starting 90 minutes before all performances presented by The Royal Conservatory.

All concerts take place at The Royal Conservatory
TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning, 273 Bloor Street West, Toronto

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Review: Cheri Maracle & Trinity Mpho in Hamilton Nov 24 2012

Matapa Music & Arts Organization Presents
Cheri Maracle and Trinity Mpho
November 24, 2012 in Hamilton

'Botswana Meets Six Nations' was the tagline for this concert and a very literal description of what went down last night at the Art Gallery of Hamilton. Canada is a place of many nationalities it's true but when it comes to the expression of culture, we tend to stay in our separate solitudes. We can co-exist peaceably but we don't really mix too often when it comes right down to it.

Matapa Music & Arts wants to change all that, beginning with this series of concerts that ingeniously pairs two contemporary artists of musical traditions that are separated by geography and ethnicity and all that implies. Those separations melted away by the time the show reached its third act; but first both bands performed a set.

Cheri Maracle began with only the accompaniment of Jani Lauzon and a hand drum to punctuate their sweetly hypnotic vocals. With each song the band grew to include an impressive line up of Walter Maclean on drums and Marc Nadjiwan on guitar along with piano and bass.

Cheri's music is rhythmic contemporary rock with the harmonic and stylistic flavour of her Mohawk heritage. Her voice is compelling and goes from sugar sweet to a bluesy growl. She sings about a range of subject matter including social commentary like 500 Missing Women, about the growing number of Aboriginal women who go missing or are murdered. When did we become the hunted? she sings. Other songs touch on the personal or childhood memories.

Trinity Mpho arrived in Canada a mere two months ago after a successful career in his home of Botswana and the Matapa concert was his first show on Canadian soil. His background includes gospel and jazz and both those musical influences come out in a powerful vocal style and his upbeat take on Southern African music.

His songs involve layers of driving polyrhythms underneath strong vocals and rhythm guitar, with keyboards and horn to add to the melodic mix. While Trinity and his two back-up singers/dancers come directly from Botswana, the remainder of his band consists of Hamiltonian musicians - another Mapata initiative. He had the audience obediently to its feet and dancing on the second song.

After the two sets, the musicians joined forces for a couple of jams. Each band took the stage in turn with the singers from the other joining in - not that it was that cut and dried. The results, a jazzy and then a bluesier jam each, prove that music really is a universal language and the evening far from an interesting experiment.

Matapa Music & Arts Organization is an incorporated Canadian non-profit organization located in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. MATAPA aims to celebrate cultural diversity through the presentations of world music and arts, festivals and education. Keep an eye out for their upcoming concerts:

• Aline Morales (Brazil) & Wesli (Haiti) - December 15, 2012
• The Roberto Lopez Project (Colombia) & Emma Rush (Canada) - January 26, 2012

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Big Band Jazz from Sao Paulo: Banda Urbana at Joes Pub NYC Nov 25 2012

From a release:

Banda Urbana
Sao Paulo Big Band Jazz
at Joe's Pub, New York City
November 25, 2012

Imagine when you put together thirteen of the youngest generation of Brazilian musicians to play Brazilian Jazz, what you get is Banda Urbana, a big band that plays with great energy and property.

Originally formed in 2006, Banda Urbana is drawing attention in the Sao Paulo music scenario since, playing in Jazz festivals such as the Savassi Jazz Fest and Brasil Instrumental, also been a part of the innovative Movimento Elefantes. Influenced by great big Bands such as; Thad Jones, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Banda Savana, and Banda Mantiqueira, Banda Urbana involves the audience with its unique sound.

On it's first CD, the band brings us compositions by artists such as; Charlie Parker, Lea Freire, Guinga, Djaven, Gilberto Gil and original compositions by Rubinho Antunes, Joao Lenhari, and Bruno Mantiqueira, members of the band. Powerful sound, beautiful melodies, and great solos, this is what you hear when you listen to this band from Sao Paulo.

Venue:     Joe's Pub
Concert Start Time: 9:00 PM
Venue St. Address: 425 Lafayette St.
Venue City, State: New York, NY
Ticket Price(s): $6.00

Free for the Kids in Toronto: Chris McKhool & Friend November 24 2012

From a media release:

Celebrate:  Holidays of the Global Village
Fundraising Family Concert for The Daily Bread Food Bank & ArtsCan Circle
Chris McKhool JUNO Nominee & 3x Parents' Choice Award Winner
& Special Guests: Suba Sankaran, Aviva Chernick, Shannon Thunderbird, Maryem Hassan Tollar, Ernie Tollar, Jordan Klapman, & more!
St George the Martyr (home of the Music Gallery)
197 John St N (in Grange Park) Toronto

Saturday, November 24, 1:00pm
Free Public Event  - Kids of all ages welcome
Monetary donations and non-perishable food items are greatly appreciated!

[Toronto ON]
  On Sat Nov 24, JUNO Award Nominee, 3x Parents' Choice Award winner & Canadian Folk Music Award winner, Chris McKhool, celebrates the multicultural mosaic at St George the Martyr along with Suba Sankaran, Aviva Chernick, Shannon Thunderbird, Maryem Hassan Tollar, Ernie Tollar, Jordan Klapman, & more.

All funds (and non-perishable food items) raised at the concert are being donated to The Daily Bread Food Bank & ArtsCan Circle (information about both charitable organizations below). 

"Celebrate! Holidays of The Global Village" is an interactive and playful musical journey into the myriad of holidays, customs and festivities enjoyed in the North-American Fall and Winter. Children will learn traditional and original songs encouraging them to share our diversity with neighbours and friends.

Inspired by travels across Canada and around the world, "Celebrate!" is a groundbreaking collaboration with musicians from diverse cultures. It features songs about holidays from across the globe that are celebrated here in Canada, including Bodhi Day (Buddhist), Carnival (Quebec), Chanukah, Chinese New Year, Christmas, Diwali, Eid, Indigenous traditions, Kwanzaa, Ramadan and Winter Solstice.

"Celebrate!" was developed as a response to the lack of programming for young audiences and families that integrates diverse cultures and holidays into one coherent vision.  While there are many worthy public concerts and programs that take place in the fall/winter holiday season that celebrate specific holidays such as Christmas, Chanukah, Diwali etc, there is no concert program in Toronto that aims to bring so many holidays together under one roof in this way.

Hailed as a “Children's musical star” (National Post) and “Canada’s greatest eco-troubadour for young people” (Mississauga Living Arts Centre), Chris McKhool is one of Canada’s greatest musicians for young audiences. He has been touring across Canada with his family concerts for over ten years, reaching almost 1 million youth, and has appeared on Mr. Dressup, YTV’s Treehouse, TVOntario’s Crawlspace and the CBC. Chris is also a 3x Parents’ Choice Award (U.S) and Green Toronto Award of Excellence recipient.

Thanks to our ongoing supporters: Prologue to the Performing Arts, Toronto Arts Council, Long & McQuade, Music Manufacturing Services

PRESENTED BY: Earthworks Community Music & Small World Music

Tarragon Theatre Toronto Presents the Smash Hit A Brimful of Asha Nov 25 to Dec 16 2012

From a media release:

A Brimful of Asha
November 25 to December 16, 2012


"Why do you need to choose your wife?"

TORONTO - After a sold out run in January, Tarragon Theatre proudly presents a return engagement of the smash hit A Brimful of Asha. A Why Not Theatre production, written and performed by real-life mother and son Asha and Ravi Jain and directed by Ravi Jain, A Brimful of Asha runs November 25 to December 16 in Tarragon Theatre's Extra Space (with media night November 27).  Tickets range from $21-$53 (inclusive of HST) and are available by calling the box office at 416.531.1827 or by visiting

Asha and Ravi Jain share the stage and tell the tale of how Ravi's parents planned a surprise trip to India to intercept him on his vacation and arrange his marriage. Ravi resents the intrusion but, as far as his parents are concerned, it's time for him to get a wife!

Ravi knows what he's up against: a whole way of life cherished by his mother's generation and those before her. Can he remain true to himself and bring Asha some peace?

Nightly sold out shows and critical accolades greeted this laugh-out-loud (and very Canadian) true story. A Brimful of Asha has just been published by Playwrights Canada Press and is available for sale in the Tarragon Theatre lobby.

Ravi Jain is a multi-award-winning actor, director, producer, educator, arts-activist and Artistic Director of Why Not Theatre. Along with his extensive acting and directing credits, Ravi is engaged in many different arts organizations and creations across the city and the globe, including the programming committee for the Daniels Spectrum as well as the Artist Advisory Committee for ArtReach Toronto. He was recently awarded the 2012 Pauline McGibbon Award and is the Artistic Director-in-Residence at the Theatre Centre for 2013.

Asha Jain grew up in New Delhi, India. Upon completion of her Master's Degree, she married in 1974, which led to her immigration to Canada. While supporting her husband Ramesh in the founding of his own business, she raised two boys, Anurag and Ravi. She is a wonderful mother, wife and now a very funny actor. She is excited to be sharing this story with the world, in order to finally prove her son wrong.

Tarragon Theatre presents
Why Not Theatre's A Brimful of Asha
Written by Asha and Ravi Jain
Directed by Ravi Jain
Starring Ravi Jain and his mom, Asha Jain
Set and Costume Designer: Julie Fox
Lighting and Projection Designer: Beth Kates
Stage Manager: Jenna Turk
Sunday, November 25 to Sunday, December 16, 2012 (Media Night: Tuesday, November 27)
Tarragon Theatre's Extra Space, 30 Bridgman Avenue, Toronto, M5R 1X3
Tuesday-Saturday at 8pm; Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2:30pm
Tickets range from $27-$53  (Discounts for students, seniors and groups)
AND a Pay-What-You-Can 2:30pm matinee on Sat. Dec 15
- $13 Rush Tickets available at the door for Sunday matinees  (on sale at 1pm) -

Tickets can be purchased through the box office at 416.531.1827 or visit

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Latin in Toronto: Lula Lounge Concerts Nov 22 & 28 and CD Release

From a media release:


November 22, 2012 - Hector Buitrago & Lido Pimienta
November 28, 2012 - Alain Perez with Iyá Iré, DJ Bernal, Afrolatino Dance

TORONTO – Lula Music Arts Centre continues to mark Lula’s tenth year with a three-part fall series that brings together two international guests, HECTOR BUITRAGO and ALAIN PEREZ, with groundbreaking, Toronto-based artists. Lula hosts the Latin lovefest concerts Nov 22 and 28 and then concludes at the end of November with the launch of Lula Records and the first volume of Lula Lounge - Essential Tracks.

HECTOR BUITRAGO of Aterciopelados and Conector
(direct from Bogata, Colombia with Lido Pimienta)
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22 Doors @ 8 PM / Show @ 9 PM
TICKETS: $15 Adv. /  $20 @ the door. Limited number of $10 early bird tickets

Lido Pimienta launches Bridges, a series of concerts at Lula that will make connections between local and international alternative and nuevo Latino artists. Grammy award-winner, Hector Buitrago, known for his work with the hugely popular Colombian rock/pop band Aterciopelados, is Lido's first guest in the series. A legend of Colombian music, Buitrago joins series curator Pimienta to collaborate, experiment and interpret the compositions of both artists – building new spiritual and aural soundscapes. Buitrago and Pimienta create a vibe of mystic tribalism that takes the audience on a musical journey through a whole chromatic circle of sound.

Hector Buitrago
As part of one of Colombia's most popular groups, Buitrago fused socially-conscious rock with a variety of Colombian musical styles, receiving accolades from Rolling Stone, NPR and Vibe Magazine. In 2006, Hector released his first solo work Conector which featured guest vocal appearances by an array of platinum-selling artists, including Julieta Venegas, Alex Ubago and Echeverri. The album is a musical and spiritual journey with Buitrago forming connections between different cultures, ways of thought and life through music. 

Lido Pimienta
Colombian-born Lido Pimienta's international reputation is based on her work as an innovative composer, vocalist, writer, illustrator and most of all as creative collaborator. She has previously performed or recorded with almost everyone in the alternative Latin music scene including Buitrago, Liliana Saumet of Bomba Estereo, El Hijo de La Cumbia, Natalia Lafourcade, Isa GT, Javiera Mena, Capullo and Quantic.

ALAIN PEREZ  w/ Iyá Iré, DJ Bernal, Afrolatino Dance
Bassist for Paco de Lucia and Jerry Gonzalez - direct from Madrid, Spain
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 28 Doors @ 7 PM / Show 8 PM
TICKETS: $18 Adv. $25 @ the door. Limited number of $15 early bird tickets

Madrid based, multi-instrumentalists, composer and band leader Alain Perez appeared at Lula earlier this year as part of the Lulaworld festival. His breathtaking performance inspired us to invite Perez back to perform with fellow Cuban artists living in Canada.

The night will begin with a performance by the traditional Afro Cuban ensemble Iyá Iré who recently appeared with Jane Bunnett and Chucho Valdes at Koerner Hall.

Perez's contributions to the evening commence with an exploration of his Latin jazz material in a sextet formation. Audiences can expect a fuller version of the repertoire that Alain introduced in a trio format during his concert in May. Local players include Ahmed Mitchel, Roberto Linares Brown and Luis Deniz.

A full-fledged Cuban dance party gets underway during the second set, when Alain treats us to the first Canadian performance of his timba repertoire. A leader in the style of Cuban timba, Perez is the subject of four volumes of Beyond Salsa Bass, by Kevin Moore. Moore calls Perez “one of the most talented bassists, composers and arrangers of modern Cuban music.”

With Toronto’s favourite timba DJ, Bernal and dance lesson by Afrolatino.

ecstasy: Based on the Novel by Irvine Welsh Opens in Toronto November 23 2012

From a media release:



ecstasy opens in Toronto November 23, 2012 at Projection Booth East + Metro

Toronto) Based on Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh’s controversial book, ecstasy: Three Tales of Chemical Romance, ecstasy offers yet another angle on lives lived in a chemically-altered reality and questions whether love itself can be merely another “drug experience.”

Rob Heydon’s twisted tale explores the euphoric highs and the devastating lows of a chemical romance.  Lloyd (Adam Sinclair) is on top of the world – beautiful girls, great club sounds, and a neverending supply of the “love drug” Ecstasy, courtesy of his smuggling sideline for the local drug boss Solo (24’s Carlo Rota).  But when he meets Heather (Kristin Kreuk) he is forced to question if the love he feels is real or just another chemical high.  As cracks appear in his world he realizes he wants out.  If he can just pull off one last trip for Solo, he’ll be free.

ecstasy also features Billy Boyd (Lord Of The Rings) as DJ and e-prophet Woodsy, cameos from John Digweed and Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson, and a pulsing soundtrack from some of the industry’s biggest names, including Tiesto, Coldplay, Orbital, Primal Scream, Bonjay, The Mahones and Hawksley Workman. Directed by Rob Heydon, ecstasy was shot in 2011 on location in Scotland, Amsterdam and Canada.

“I set out to shoot ecstasy using a docu-drama style to make the story more realistic, to convey a sense of events unfolding before the eyes of the audience,” says director/ producer/writer Rob Heydon, a fan of camera-verite techniques from the French New Wave. “Our goal was to have the audience ‘see’ ecstasy; to have them ride the contagious, compelling tactile experience; to have them fully experience the character’s energy and electricity, so that they leave the theatre high on life.”

Following its Toronto run, ecstasy will screen in Montreal, Vancouver and other Canadian markets.

Chai Tea & a Movie - the Canadian Premiere of Policeman/ Ha’Shoter Nov 25 2012 in Toronto

From a media release:

Sunday November 25, 2012

Toronto Jewish Film Festival presents the Canadian premiere of
Policeman/ Ha’Shoter
Directed by Nadav Lapid

Hebrew with English Subtitles
Israel / 2011   -  RT: 100 minutes
Cast: Yiftach Klein, Yaara Pelzig, Michael Moshonov, Menashe Noy

Cineplex Odeon Sheppard Cinemas -  4861 Yonge Street (Sheppard subway station)
Tea – 4:00pm  |  Film – 5:00pm
Tickets:  $15 can be purchased in advance at or by calling 416-324-9121 (please leave message)
Tickets are also available at the door (cash only, subject to availability) $15

TJFF presents the Canadian premiere of Policeman, an explosive Israeli film directed by Nadav Lapid, which received critical acclaim as one of the best films of 2011 by Film Comment and The Village Voice. The film also earned three awards from the Jerusalem Film Festival, and a special jury prize at the Locarno Film Festival.

Lapid’s film centres on Yaron (Yiftach Klein) part of an elite Israeli anti-terrorism unit that is pitted against a group of young anarchists. Tackling Israeli machismo, as well as the country’s growing economic inequalities, Policeman has gained much international attention and controversy for its subject matter and characterizations, as well as its bold cinematic approach.

"An experiment in tone that posits a new direction for Israeli cinema, Policeman is bathed in cool emotional detachment deliberately juxtaposed against its operatic story.” (National Centre for Jewish Film)

The film speaks to the global Occupy movement. But in Israel, the film had a particular resonance. Two days after the film’s first public screening in the summer of 2011, large social protests began in Israel.

“During these months of protests I witnessed scenes on the streets of Israel that reminded me, in an unbelievable way, of my film,” describes Lapid. “It’s as if reality has interpreted scenes from my script, and the streets of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem had become the shooting set.” All this forced the esteemed Israeli film critic Uri Klein to suggest that compared to the other Israeli films produced that year “which seemed to me outdated and divorced from their times, in Policeman I felt the beat of the present historical moment.”

Born in 1975 in Israel, Lapid studied history and philosophy in Tel Aviv, then film at the Sam Spiegel Film & Television School in Jerusalem.  His graduation film Emile’s Girlfriend screened at the Cannes Film Festival in 2006. He participated in the Festival de Cannes Residence, where he wrote the script for Policeman, which is his feature debut.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Life and Death of Marina Abramović: A North American Debut at Luminato 2013 - Tix on Sale Nov 30 2012

From a release:

The Life and Death of Marina Abramović
A North American Debut

With Antony & Willem Dafoe
Part of LuminaTO 2013 - June 14-17, 2013
Tickets go on sale November 30, 2012

Commissioned by Manchester International Festival and Teatro Real Madrid with Theater Basel, Art Basel, Holland Festival, Salford City Council and deSingel.

Dear Friends of Luminato,

It was about five years ago, when I was working with Robert Wilson at the Watermill Center, that Marina Abramović called me and said she wanted Wilson to stage her life. She said that in her work
she has total control, but wanted to give up control of her biography and have someone else examine it.

A bit over a year ago, The Life and Death of Marina Abramović premiered at the Manchester International Festival with Willem Dafoe as the narrator, Antony Hegarty writing the music and performing portions of it, and Marina playing her mother and herself. It then travelled to the Teatro Real in Madrid, the Holland Festival, Theater Basel and deSingel in Antwerp. Throughout the tour not a single seat was unoccupied, often with long lines of potential ticket buyers left disappointed. Journalists frequently found themselves unable to find the proper words to describe the theatrical miracles that Robert Wilson unfolded on stage.

It will be Luminato’s second Robert Wilson production and, to me, a bit of a counterpart to this year’s Einstein on the Beach : an equally experimental and equally stunning collaboration among four major artists, but highly personal at the same time, about the life, the suffering and the tragedies, sometimes hilarious, behind being a great artist. Marina Abramović, the self-titled “grandmother of performance art,” is one of the leading artists of our time. Indeed, she is the woman who single-handedly added performance art to the canon of contemporary art. In 2010, a MoMA retrospective of her work welcomed more than one million visitors, the acclaimed HBO documentary Marina Abramović: The Artist is Present enjoyed a landmark six-week run at Toronto’s TIFF Bell Lightbox, and Marina continues to attract commissions from all corners of the globe.

Next June, with The Life and Death of Marina Abramović making its North American debut at Luminato (marking the only chance you will get to see the incredible work on this side of the Atlantic in its original form), this astounding artist will make Toronto her home.

–Jorn Weisbrodt, Artistic Director, Luminato

The Life and Death of Marina Abramović Advance Ticket Purchase Opportunity

The North American premiere of The Life and Death of Marina Abramović will be presented at the Bluma Appel Theatre during Luminato’s opening weekend, for four performances only:
Friday, June 14, 7:30PM
Saturday, June 15, 7:30PM
Sunday, June 16, 2:00PM
Monday, June 17, 7:30PM

Tickets Available:
Wednesday, November 28, 2012 12:00PM
Visa Infinite® Cardholders and Luminato Friends

Friday, November 30, 2012 12:00PM
General Public

For more information, visit

Monday, November 19, 2012

Botswana Meets Six Nations: Trinity Mpho & Cheri Maracle Nov 24 2012 in Hamilton ON

From a media release:

Matapa Music & Arts Organization Presents
Botswana Meets Six Nations
Featuring Trinity Mpho & Cheri Maracle
November 24, 2012
Art Gallery of Hamilton

• Please note that this series was previously announced at a different venue - it will now take place at the AGH.
• Ticket available at the door: Regular $25 / Student & Senior $22 / Volunteers & Members FREE
• To exchange previously purchased tickets, please contact

HAMILTON, ON - Matapa Music & Arts Organization is proud to re-announce the first concert in our World Music Series, “Botswana Meets Six Nations,” featuring Trinity Mpho and Cheri Maracle. This concert will take place on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 7:30 pm the Art Gallery of Hamilton (AGH).

Trinity Mpho
Trinity Mpho, is a songwriter, composer, recording artist, entertainer and stage performer born and raised in Botswana.  Trinity started his music life about a decade ago when he teamed up with a colleague Joel Rebaone ‘Ntsoro’ Keitumele, the then presenter of the Botswana TV program Melodi ya Kgalaletso (Local Gospel show), the musician and comedian.

2011 saw him record his debut album titled “Theohang”. The album has a traditional afrojazz feel and most lyrics he written and sung in his native Sebirwa mother tongue. The album which was released one year ago has been met by a highly  receptive fanbase and is doing very well in the market. This is definitely a collector’s item and certainly something new and fresh our market much needed. Debut performance in Canada.

Cheri Maracle
Cheri Maracle is a multi-award nominated actor/singer/songwriter of Mohawk ancestry. Her debut cd 'Closer to Home', a compilation of jazz, rock & roots infused originals, garnered her 7 nominations within the Aboriginal Music Awards' scene. Cheri is currently penning a follow-up album, and frequently indulges her passion for jazz, performing at various clubs & events within Canada. When not performing music, she can be found acting for stage, film and television. Cheri has performed all across Canada, the U.S and in Europe.

About Matapa
This is just the beginning of a long journey. Our commitment is to bring the best in the world to Hamilton and southern Ontario more broadly. Everyone is welcome to get involved in Matapa as a volunteer or a member.

• Matapa Music & Arts Organization is an incorporated Canadian non-profit organization located in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
• The World Music Series will run from November 24th, 2012 to March 30th, 2013 with a focus on celebrating creative connections in Hamilton by bringing artists from nine different cultures and musical traditions together in one series.
• All upcoming dates for the remainder of the series will be announced shortly.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

NY Premiere Screening: La Playa D.C. Nov 24 & Dec 3 2012

From a media release:

NY Premiere
Special Presentation - Sat, Nov. 24 2012 @ 6PM - Thalia & Mon, Dec. 3 2012 @ 8PM - Chapel - Teachers College

Tomas, an Afro-Colombian teenager who fled the country's Pacific coast pushed out by the war, faces difficulties of growing up in a city of exclusion and racism. When Jairo, his younger brother and closer friend disappear, Tomas is forced to leave his home to look for him. Official Selection, Cannes Film Festival 2012.

"Three decades after unknown film-student Spike Lee unveiled Joe's Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads, writer-director Juan Andrés Arango emerges straight outta Bogotá with his own auspicious, tonsorially-themed debut La Playa D.C. Focusing on a teenage apprentice barber coping with the city's forbiddingly mean streets, it's a minutely-observed peek into hardscrabble lives that pours intoxicatingly fresh aguardiente into a rather dusty old bottle."  ~ Hollywood Reporter

Directed by Juan Andres Arango, 2012, 90 min, Colombia, Drama, Spanish with English subtitles.

Tickets $12 / $10 
Sat, Nov. 24 2012 @ 6PM 
Mon, Dec. 3 2012 @ 8PM    

La Playa D.C - Official Trailer with english subtitles

Dance at Harbourfront Toronto: Sampradaya Dance Creations Presents Alchemy Nov 22-24 2012

From a media release:

Sampradaya Dance Creations presents Alchemy
A triple bill of international contemporary work that redefines Indian dance
3 Shows Only - November 22-24, 2012!
- a world premiere from Natasha Bakht and choreographies by
Akram Khan, Russell Maliphant, Aakash Odedra, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Santosh Nair -

Toronto -
Sampradaya Dance Creations, renowned for its innovative productions under award-winning artistic director Lata Pada, proudly presents Alchemy, an imaginative triple bill of international contemporary work that promises to redefine Indian dance. Alchemy runs November 22-24 at 8pm nightly at the Enwave Theatre, as part of Harbourfront Centre's Next Steps national dance series.

Alchemy features dance works by Canada's Natasha Bakht (with the world premiere of Bridges); the UK's Akram Khan, Russell Maliphant and Aakash Odedra; Belgium's Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and India's Santosh Nair. Showcasing the diversity of Indian dance through groundbreaking bharatanatyam, kathak and chau-based choreographies, Alchemy is performed by Sampradaya and guest artists including Odedra and dancers from Sadhya, one of the leading contemporary dance companies of India.

Alchemy reflects a paradigm shift highlighting creative transformation and an adventurous exploration of the 'here and now' in contemporary Indian dance. In programming this eclectic evening, Pada notes, "Indian classical dance forms are often seen as fixed and archaic, discounting their ability to be fluid and modern expressions of contemporary thought and design. Indian dance, like all world traditions, constantly expresses itself in new ways. That newness is not fusion; it is a way each form speaks to its own journey of re-discovery."

The evening features:

Bridges - World premiere choreographed by acclaimed Canadian choreographer Natasha Bakht
Commissioned by Sampradaya Dance Creations, and dedicated to her father, Natasha Bakht says of Bridges: "Steel-free bridges defy corrosion. Choreography is architecture, a structure supporting movement and shaping space. Dance is a vehicle - we enter, surrender and experience the journey. Bridges balances an underlying continuity with a vast diversity of movement, unfolding in waves of action, stillness and integration." This bharatanatyam-based piece features five female dancers.

Stealth - Toronto premiere choreographed by celebrated martial dance form artist Santosh Nair of Sadhya (India)
The stage ignites with a dynamic and provocative physicality in this new spin on Indian dance. Stillness and rapid-fire rhythms colour this kinetic work for five dancers (including Nair), charging it with oppositional energies - female and male, soft and powerful, grounded and aerial. Created in the distinctive movement vocabulary of the martial art form of mayurbhanj chau from Eastern India, this edgy contemporary work speaks of harmony and dissonance. Stealth is a remount of Sampradaya's 2010 Canada Dance Festival commission, created by Santosh Nair for two female, three male dancers.      

Rising - Toronto premiere - 4 international choreographers create works for Aakash Odedra, a rising star of British South Asian dance
Showcasing four pieces created by renowned international choreographers Akram Khan, Russell Maliphant, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui (all associate artists at London's Sadler's Wells) as well as a piece of Odedra's own creation, Rising explores different processes and aesthetics to create new flavours of contemporary dance. Each of these individual works calls on Odedra's background in the classical Indian dance disciplines of kathak and bharatanatyam       

"It's the dance equivalent of a red-carpet event to get Akram Khan, Russell Maliphant and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui as choreographers on the same programme. And it says much for talent of the south Asian dancer Aakash Odedra that all three have created solos for his new show." - The Guardian, U.K.

Sampradaya Dance Creations presents Alchemy
A triple bill of international contemporary work that redefines Indian dance
Choreographed by Natasha Bakht, Akram Khan, Russell Maliphant, Aakash Odedra, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Santosh Nair.
November 22 - 24, 2012 at 8pm
part of Harbourfront Centre's NextSteps series at Enwave Theatre, 231 Queens Quay W., Toronto ON
Tickets: $25-$35 - TICKETS ON SALE NOW at Harbourfront Centre Box Office: 416.973.4000 OR online at

Montreal's Third Eye Ensemble Presents: The Exonerated Nov 21 - Dec 2 2012

From a media release:

Directed by Kent McQuaid

November 21 – 25 and November 28 - December 2, 2012

Tickets: $15
Reservations at (514) 710-4109 or

What does it truly mean to be exonerated?
Literally, it is to be proclaimed innocent after having been convicted of a crime.
But what effect does it have on a person, a soul, a life?
To have one’s freedom and self-respect stripped away and then, ostensibly, returned years later, after decades of incarceration?

THE EXONERATED, as interpreted by Third Eye Ensemble, attempts to answer this question through the words of six innocent men and women who emerged from years on death row to try to reclaim what is left of their lives.

Featuring: Bineyam Girma, Raphael Grosz-Harvey, Chris Hicks, Kyle McIlhone, Anne-Marie Saheb, Jaa Smith Johnson, Bernice Bentley, Mikaela Davies, Yanik Ethier, Daniel Franck and Devin Swift. Stage Managed by: Béata Groves

Third Eye Ensemble will be donating a percentage of their proceeds to the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted, a non-profit organization dedicated to identifying, advocating for, and exonerating individuals convicted of a crime that they did not commit.
Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter was AIDWYC Executive Director for over 10 years.

“If you're not harboring any kind of malice, any kind of stuff like that in your heart, there really ain't too much to be afraid of.” -Delbert Tibbs

Montreal, November 2012. In this remount of Third Eye Ensemble’s inaugural production of The Exonerated, we hear the words of six innocent men and women who emerged from years on death row to reclaim what is left of their lives. What does it truly mean to be exonerated? Literally, it is to be proclaimed innocent after having been convicted of a crime. But what effect does it have on a person, a soul, a life; to have one’s freedom and self-respect stripped away and then, ostensibly, returned years later, after decades of incarceration?

Culled from interviews, letters, transcripts, case files and the public record, The Exonerated tells the true stories of six people sent to death row for crimes they did not commit.  In this 90-minute play we meet Kerry, a sensitive Texan brutalized on Texas' death row for 22 years and Gary, a Midwestern organic farmer condemned for the murder of his own parents.  We are introduced to Robert, an African-American horse groomer who spent seven years on Florida's death row for the murder of a white woman. We hear from David, a shy man with aspirations to the ministry, bullied into confessing at 18 to a robbery/murder he had nothing to do with, and from Sunny, a bright-spirited hippie who spent 17 years in prison, along with her husband, for the murder of two police officers. And finally, Delbert, a poet who serves as the play's central character, convicted of a rape/murder in the Deep South of the 1970s. These six interwoven stories paint a picture of a criminal justice system gone horribly wrong and of the six brave souls who persevered to survive it.

For Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen, “the work we do together is grounded in asking audiences to empathize with people who they might not normally empathize with.” For director Kent McQuaid, “One of the most compelling things about this piece is the diverse psychological reactions of six people that have suffered through a comparable trauma.”

The Exonerated was first presented in 2011 for four days as an introduction to Third Eye Ensemble and sold out every night. This being the play’s 10th anniversary, Third Eye Ensemble is proud to present it to you again, for a full run. For director Kent McQuaid “a remount is a rare opportunity to revisit a character that has been allowed to settle. We’ve found that the path to the heart of the character is much clearer and as a result, the impact of the play is stronger.”
Espace 4001 Space, 4001 Berri
Wednesdays to Sundays at 8:00pm
Tickets: $15
Reservations at (514) 710-4109 or

An interview with the playwrights: