Skip to main content

Margaret Atwood's The Penelopiad Headlines Tivat Festival in Montenegro

From a media release:

Margaret Atwood's The Penelopiad
in a Canada/Montenegro co-production
Headlines Tivat Festival in Montenegro

Toronto -
Artistic Director of April Productions, Dragana Varagic, who recently performed and directed a presentation of her acclaimed solo The Vindication of Senyora Clito Mestres at Theatre Passe Muraille, directs The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood in a Canada / Montenegro co-production, which opened Saturday, July 28 as a highlight of the "Purgatorio" festival in Tivat on the Adriatic Coast. The Canadian Ambassador to Serbia, Macedonia and Montenegro in Belgrade is on the guest list for opening night as well as other dignitaries.

Toronto-based April Productions and the Tivat Cultural Centre (one of the most important presenters and producers in the region) are the co-producers of this play by one of Canada's most revered writers in a new translation by Serbian Bojana Vujin (who also translated Atwood's novel of the same name into the local language). The production uniquely connects Atwood's play with its original mythical Mediterranean setting.

The April Productions/Tivat Cultural Centre co-production is a collaboration between Canadian artists and artists from Montenegro and the surrounding region. The playwright (Margaret Atwood), director (Dragana Varagic), set designer (Kathleen Irwin), composer (Aleksandar Gajic), three musicians and project administrator (Sheila Sky) are Canadian; the all-female cast, costume designer and lighting designer represent the Montenegro team.

Historically, the "Purgatorio." festival has focused primarily on the works of artists from the Mediterranean region or works with Mediterranean themes. This year the program is focusing on Canadian culture and this international co-production with a Mediterranean theme, written by an icon of Canadian culture and presented in collaboration with a Canadian company, was conceived as a festival highlight. It anchors the Canadian offerings that include a concert and an art exhibition featuring works by Canadians.

The Penelopiad is Atwood's response to Homer's ancient epic Greek poem, The Odyssey. She tells the story from the point of view of Penelope, destined to spend eternity in Hades where she remains haunted by her twelve maids who her warrior-king husband Odysseus ordered murdered upon his return home after 20 years at battle, believing them to be disloyal.

Varagic takes her inspiration from Brecht for this production and  transports this contemporary Canadian play back to its Mediterranean roots and setting where it will be surrounded with an audience whose culture is firmly grounded in myths and legends, thereby allowing for an exciting resonance and echoing of the multiple layers of the play.

At the same time, it will introduce a modern and Canadian perspective on the importance of women's voices.

Produced with the support of the Canada Council International Program and under the patronage of the Canadian Embassy in Belgrade and the City of Tivat, general sponsorship for the co-production comes from Porto Montenegro, the biggest Canadian investment in the Balkans.


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…

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…

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…

Blues/Rock: The Cole Patenaude Band - Are You Happy Now? (Independent / 24 July 2020)

The Cole Patenaude Band - Are You Happy Now?
(Independent / 24 July 2020) Buy the CD Big vocals and infectious grooves make up this release from The Cole Patenaude Band. It's modern blues with a classic sensibility, anchored by solid musicianship and upbeat songwriting. 
Keyboard player Dean Thiessen and Patenaude on guitar trade off solos and melodic lines to keep it interesting through a range of bluesy style, incorporating rock and country, with a pop song sheen on songs like For the Money. Would You Be Mine is more Elvis-esque rockabilly, while How To Love is an acoustic song with folky storytelling lyrics and feel. 
Compromise is a standout track, with a snarly guitar line and a churchy organ swelling underneath a nice bluesy beat. Horns aren't credited in the notes, but I swear I heard some on this and a couple of the other tracks. 
As a husband, father, and full-time mechanic based in Langley, British Columbia, finding the time to make his music was a challenge…