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Global Divas & Global Blues - LuminaTO June 19

Global Divas & Global Blues
LuminaTO - Queen's Park June 19

It was hot, the G20 preps are getting insane downtown and I had to eat here and there (although the
schmancy vendors that closed down Queen's Park Circle had an incredible risotto with osso bucco - I got the
last one!) - so you'll have to forgive the partial coverage of yesterday's incredible musical event. You'll also have to forgive the haphazard pics and their sometimes odd colours and quality, since my camera seems to have a haphazard way of capturing images - or not. Hopefully, the vid clips will help! At any rate, this is what I checked out.

Carmen Souza is a native of Cape Verde, and her 4 piece band hails from Portugal, Italy and Nigeria. They came from London on their way to Paris on tour to promot her latest CD, Protegid. Her music is a sinuous and melodic blend of modern jazz and Cape Verde polyrhythms. Her songs and the rhythm itself sometimes inspired by the traditions of home, like the one that used the rhythm of how women separate the corn, good and bad. Deceptively swingy, the songs carry you along so you forget the complexities of the music. Her warm, rich and flexible voice pulls it all together.

Next up and ending the afternoon programme was Katanen "Cheka" Dioubaté, a native of Guinea and hailing from a traditonal griot lineage. She was backed up by a band of local all stars, including Rich Brown (of Rinsethealgorithm on bass,) the perfect backdrop to her strong, griot style vocals. The music was lit up by the infectious vitality of West Africa, and her big voice and stage presence left a definite impression.

I caught up to the evening's line up with Razia Said, backed up by a band that included hometown blues hero Madagascar Slim. Both natives of Madagascar, Razia is now NYC based. She presented a sexy and glamourous version of the modern African woman in rhythmic and expressive songs that made the most of her strong and sometimes raspy alto. She's on the road promoting her CD Zebu Nation

The crowd was insane by the time Salif Keita hit the
stage. Approaching 61, he's on the top of his game, with a voice that's still nimble and backed up by a band of
superb musicians. There's not much you can say about the Golden Voice of Africa that hasn't been said already, and the crowd loved, loved them to two encores. Polyrhythms and melody, the kind of West African guitar work that I just adore, a guy who can play the kobo behind his back, it all came together with a crowd that was dancing the whole time. The traditions of Mali come alive in a new century in his music, and his new CD La Difference was just released earlier this month.


What Else Is Hot This Week?

Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company Spring 2013 Toronto Performances

From a media release:

The new season brings
Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company
to new heights and new audiences

March 20-24, 2013 - A Night in Madrid
April 25-28, 2013 - Annual Toronto Season - World Premiere of Portales

TORONTO : Following on the heels of Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company's (EESDC) 30th anniversary year where its production Aguas/Waters was named one of the top five dance shows of 2012 by NOW Magazine, the early months of 2013 are full of excitement and possibility for Esmeralda and the company, which brings the finest flamenco and Spanish Classical Dance to Toronto stages.

March 20-24, 2013 - A Night in Madrid
Company dancers Esmeralda Enrique and Paloma Cortés perform Spanish Classical dance with the celebrated Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir for A Night in Madrid featuring the Iberian flavoured music of composer Luigi Boccherini who made his home in Spain. His work is infused with the sounds of Spanish and gypsy folk music.

March 20-24 …

Polina Semionova to Appear as Guest Artist with American Ballet Theatre

From a media release:


New York - Polina Semionova, a principal dancer with Berlin State Opera Ballet, will debut as a Guest Artist with American Ballet Theatre for the 2011 Metropolitan Opera House season, it was announced January 14, 2011 by Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie. With ABT, Semionova will perform Kitri in Don Quixote at the matinee on Saturday, May 21, opposite David Hallberg as Basilio, and the dual role of Odette/Odile in Swan Lake on Saturday evening, July 2, opposite Hallberg as Prince Siegfried.

Born in Moscow, Semionova studied at the Bolshoi Ballet School before joining the Berlin State Opera Ballet as the company’s youngest principal dancer. Her repertoire with Berlin State Opera Ballet includes Odette-Odile in Swan Lake, Nikiya in La Bayadère, Marie in The Nutcracker, Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, Swanilda in Coppélia, Kitri in Don Quixo…

Harlem Stage Digital Event: A Drop Of Midnight October 13 & 15 2020

From a release:Harlem Stage Digital Event:
A Drop Of Midnight
October 13 & 15 2020A two-part conversation with Jason ‘Timbuktu’ Diakité and his creative team around the developmental process of creating his autobiographical theater project, A Drop of Midnight. In this conversation Jason will take us on his journey to becoming one of Sweden’s chart-topping hip-hop artists and a best-selling author. He’ll also share the story of how a mixtape from Brooklyn traveled across the waters to the tiny village of Lund, Sweden and altered the course of his life forever. We will examine the impact of hip hop music and culture on the globe. How has hip-hop united communities of color globally?  How do you translate a personal story into a universal truth? How do you build a creative team? How has the current climate of social justice informed your artistic practice? Jason will read excerpts from the play and share some of the music. October 13—Part IIn this conversation A Drop of Midnight author…

So You Can't Go: Six Ways To Travel Virtually

So You Can't Go:
Six Ways To Travel VirtuallyTravel is limited for most of us in the world these days. For Canadians, it depends on the province you live in, but with the border to the US still closed, and other options limited at best, virtual travel from the couch can provide at least a view with a difference at a time when you may well need it most. Google Cardboard – VR On A BudgetYou don't need a lot of cash to get into travel via virtual reality. Google Cardboard is a line of VR viewers that are, well, made of cardboard, and are priced starting at $12CAD.If you check out this link, you'll find out how to download the software to your smartphone.At this link, you can get yourself an actual Google Cardboard for a hands-free VR experience. Google Cardboard apps offer a variety of ways to experience our beautiful planet, including Google Earth itself, which can take you anywhere, along with apps to view museums and cultural artifacts, and more.Ascape VRAscape has a huge l…

Fall for Dance North Debuts 2020 Festival: Live + Digital Experiences Sept 29–Oct 18 2020

From a media release:Fall for Dance North Debuts 2020 Festival
Captivating Live + Digital Experiences on Newly Enhanced Digital PlatformToronto’s premier international dance festival launches curated collection of original content and proprietary programs on new custom-built websiteTORONTO, ON — Fall for Dance North (FFDN) proudly presents the 6th edition of its esteemed international dance festival, The Flip Side, from Sept. 29–Oct. 18, 2020
Featuring a new, Netflix-style digital platform, an enhanced line-up of free programming, and a ticketed signature livestream presentation featuring six world premieres by Canadian dancemakers, FFDN has reimagined the festival experience to offer audiences an intimate connection to the art form of dance during these extraordinary times.Starting on Sept. 29, free programs will be released at daily, including an original podcast, a quirky interview series in a bathtub, a poetry + music album, a new dance film featuring 46 Ryerson Schoo…