Skip to main content

9th Annual Abilities Arts Festival & Tribute to Ahmed Hassan Oct 1 - 30 2011

From a media release:

Top Canadian artists collaborate on Gala celebrating Ahmed Hassan at
Abilities Arts Festival
showcasing artists with disabilities October 1-30 in Toronto

Toronto - Abilities Arts Festival Executive Director Rina Fraticelli has announced the dates and programming for the ninth annual festival, including the world premiere of a multidisciplinary tribute to musician Ahmed Hassan (1955-2011) featuring some of Canada's top artists. Showcasing works by and about artists with disabilities working within the visual and performing arts, film and integrated art forms, Abilities Arts Festival programming runs October 1-30, 2011 in various locations across the city.

Highlighting this year's festival is The Neat Strange Music of Ahmed Hassan, a celebration of the singular artistic vision of this influential Canadian composer and musician, running October 21 and 22 at the Betty Oliphant Theatre, presented in collaboration with Peggy Baker Dance Projects.

Beginning in 1981, Hassan made an important and thoroughly original contribution to the Canadian dance scene for two decades through compositions and live performances of music for a host of important choreographers including Peggy Baker, Serge Bennathan, Darcy Callison, Robert Desrosiers, Lola MacLaughlin and Tedd Robinson. In the late 1980s, he also emerged as an important presence in Toronto's burgeoning world music scene with the influential band Mother Tongue; but his socio-political beliefs found their deepest expression in 14 Remembered, a requiem for the women killed in the Montreal massacre, that Ahmed conceived, directed, performed, and ultimately recorded, in the mid to late 1990s.

Curated by award-winning contemporary dancer Peggy Baker, Hassan's wife and longtime collaborator, Neat Strange Music interweaves dance, music and film along with a reunion performance by ethno-music heroes, Mother Tongue.

Excerpts from the work of some of Canada's leading choreographers - Robert Desrosiers (groundbreaking Blue Snake made for the National Ballet of Canada in 1985), Serge Bennathan (Dora Award-winning Sable/Sand, with live vocals by Maryem Hassan Tollar) and Peggy Baker (Geometry of the Circle, Sanctum) - are performed by classical and contemporary dancers spanning three generations as well as senior students from the School of Toronto Dance Theatre where Hassan was a regular class accompanist in the 1980s.

The Neat Strange Music of Ahmed Hassan: October 21-22
at the Betty Oliphant Theatre, 400 Jarvis Street
$25 general; $20 seniors 65+, students <19, people with disabilities
Tickets and info available at 1-888-844-9991 or online at

Ninth Annual Abilities Arts Festival runs October 1-30, 2011 other highlights:
• I See What You Mean, an interactive installation featuring recent work by internationally acclaimed documentary photographer Vincenzo Pietropaolo in continuous "photographic dialogue" with works by gallery visitors. This installation runs October 1-30 at the Carlton Cinema Gallery, and as part of Scotiabank Nuit Blanche.
• In Celebration of Our Children & Youth, two full days of music, dance and art by professional performers designed to inspire and empower young people with disabilities, running October 12 and 13 at Villa Colombo. (For schools only. Pre-registration is required.)
• Portrait of the Artist as anŠ  Artist Media Festival, two days of award-winning Canadian and international films about artists and innovators from the worlds of the visual and performing arts, running October 15-16 at the Carlton Cinema.

• Ahmed Hassan & Peter Bingham - Photo credit: Chris Randle
Abilities Arts Festival, a not-for-profit organization, is a forum for developing and showcasing the contributions of artists with disabilities.
• Tickets and info available at 1-888-844-9991 or online at

"a not so still life" teaser from ShadowCatcher on Vimeo.


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…