Skip to main content

#TorontoDance: James Kudelka's AGAINST NATURE May 22-25, May 29-June 1 2019

From a media release:

#TorontoDance
AGAINST NATURE
Opera, Dance, and Theatre Seamlessly Fuse in Return of Boundary-Breaking Masterpiece


May 22-25, May 29-June 1, 2019 at 8pm
Director and choreographer: James Kudelka

• Tickets from $20 available at: citadelcie.com/tickets

TORONTO, ON — Citadel + Compagnie proudly presents the hotly anticipated return of Against Nature, May 22–25 and May 29–June 1, 2019 at the Citadel: Ross Centre for Dance. Choreographed and directed by Citadel + Compagnie’s Resident Choreographer James Kudelka, this multi-disciplinary work is a unique dance-opera-theatre hybrid that adapts French-Dutch author Joris-Karl Huysman’s 1884 novel of bourgeois excess, À Rebours (Against Nature). This powerful work is replete with rich visuals, fluid choreography that supports and strengthens the story, and a nuanced score that is hauntingly mysterious.

All disciplines beautifully combine to explore the nature of time and the challenges of love, beauty, and truth that reflects and refracts life itself.

“I’m thrilled to present the second part of a trilogy of James Kudelka’s salon-style dance/opera/theatre works that commenced with our 2013 production of From the House of Mirth,” says Citadel + Compagnie’s Artistic Director Laurence Lemieux. “I have a profound appreciation for James’s creative talent and it is always a uniquely fascinating process to return to a work we presented years earlier, discovering new colours, dynamics, and energies that only reveal themselves through time and renewed exploration. Against Nature can’t be quantified or pinned down, it is a striking mix of genres that takes its lead from an allegedly “poisonous French novel” from which Oscar Wilde and numerous other literary luminaries of the 20th century were equally appalled by and inspired with.”

Against Nature revolves around Jean des Esseintes, played by Alexander Dobson, an aristocrat who exiles himself to the countryside and surrounds himself amongst his literature, art, and the memories of his once sensuous lifestyle. Des Esseintes becomes increasingly reclusive as his disenchantment with the 18th century bourgeoisie class grows day-by-day. Curious household staff, performed by Citadel + Compagnie Artistic Director and dancer Laurence Lemieux and baritone Korin Thomas-Smith, witness and then ultimately participate in des Esseintes’ tragic downfall.

Sweeping original music by award-winning Composer James Rolfe and award-winning Librettist Alex Poch-Goldin are effortlessly melded into a sumptuously moody atmosphere. Simon Rossiter’s lighting design with projections by Jeremy Mimnagh envelop the stage like velvet wallpaper. In Against Nature, libretto, music, choreography, and visuals intertwine while an added dynamic layer comes from live performances by pianist Steven Philcox, violinist Pamela Attariwala, and cellist Carina Reeves.

Ontario-native Kudelka is among today’s most versatile and innovative choreographers. He began choreographing while training at Canada’s National Ballet School, and continued throughout his dancing years with The National Ballet of Canada (1972-1981) and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens (1981-1990). He is renowned for distinctive versions of such classics as The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, and Cinderella, all signature works of the National Ballet of Canada where he served as Artistic Director (1996-2005). He has choreographed for many of the world’s leading ballet companies, as well as for smaller contemporary troupes for whom he excels in making smaller-scaled dances that are outwardly abstract yet rich in psychological implication and human drama.

In 2008, Kudelka became Citadel + Compagnie’s Resident Choreographer and has created several works for the company, including From the House of Mirth, Against Nature and a remount of The Man in Black. An artist known for his distinctly Canadian sensibility, he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2005.

Toronto composer Rolfe has performed in Canada and abroad, and has been commissioned by soloists, ensembles, orchestras, choirs, theatres, and opera companies. He has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, the K. M. Hunter Music Award, and the Jules Léger Prize for New Chamber Music. The Canadian Opera Company, Queen of Puddings Music Theatre Company, Tapestry New Opera, and Toronto Masque Theatre have commissioned and produced his operas. His recent new version of Gogol's The Overcoat, created with writer Morris Panych, premiered in 2018 to critical acclaim.

Librettist Poch-Goldin was born and raised in Montreal. He has worked on stages across the country, and extensively in film, television, and radio. As a dramaturg, director, actor and writer, Poch-Goldin has worked with some of the finest writers in Canada. His work as an opera librettist includes The Shadow (Tapestry New Opera), and James Kudelka’s first opera-dance-theatre hybrid, From the House of Mirth.

Comments

What Else Is Hot This Week?

FACTORY presents World Premiere ACTS OF FAITH November 19 to 28 2020 - Free Livestream

 From a media release: World Premiere FACTORY presents  ACTS OF FAITH by David Yee Directed by Nina Lee Aquino Starring Natasha Mumba November 19 – 28, 2020 @ 7:30PM Streamed live for 6 performances Free of charge TORONTO (October 19, 2020) - To kick off its groundbreaking 2020/21 season, Factory presents the world premiere of acts of faith, by multi-award winning Asian Canadian playwright David Yee, directed by Nina Lee Aquino, and starring Natasha Mumba. Written specifically to be performed for a digital platform, acts of faith will stream live to audiences at home for six performances, November 19-28, 2020.  Thanks to the generous support of the TD Bank Group, admission is being offered entirely free of charge to audiences across the country and beyond. acts of faith tells a story about the power of faith, the inescapable persistence of our online identities, and the nature of truth in a digital age. The story follows Faith, a young woman who gets mistaken for a prophet. When a ques

Jewellery With A Conscience: Kind Karma

Jewellery With A Conscience: Kind Karma Check Out The Collection Kind Karma blends timeless jewellery with a social conscience. Founded in Toronto in 2017, the company makes classic jewellery pieces using a unique business model - the artisans who produce the handmade pieces are at-risk and homeless youth.  "I always wanted to be an entrepreneur," explains founder Laurinda Lee-Retter. "I wanted to give back." She combined her passions in Kind Karma. Laurinda serves as designer for the jewellery line, with pieces that are classic and minimalist, and that can be worn with anything. "I made jewellery as a hobby when I was young," she says.  The jewellery is then crafted by hand by the young artisans from sterling silver or gold fill, a durable construction that uses multiple layers of real gold over jeweller's brass. The result is much more resilient than gold plate. All the pieces are hypoallergenic, won't tarnish, and are designed to last for years

Fashionable Fabrics For A Cause: Vlisco Raises Over $500K For DRC's City Of Joy

From a media release: Vlisco Raises Over $500K To Help Female Survivors Of Violence In The DRC The donation will fund the building of a creative and textiles school in the City of Joy  Vlisco to relaunch collection targeting $1M in donations For more information or to buy click here November 2020 – Dutch wax textile fabric company, Vlisco, is donating a total of $512,000 (USD) to fund a new fashion school and production workshop in the City of Joy, a women’s transformational sanctuary in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  The announcement marks one year since the company launched a special collection honouring the “world’s strongest women,” symbolising their recovery from rape and trauma, and their journey from pain to power. City of Joy collection by Oritsegbubemi Ogisi - Photo by Atong Atem for Vlisco The original collection was showcased to a global audience by the women of the City of Joy at a gala event in Kinshasa on November 25th 2019. Five female, African fashion designers

Travel By The Glass: Seven Cocktails From Around The World

Travel By The Glass: Seven Cocktails From Around The World W e may not be able to travel, listen to live music or eat in restaurants, but we can always drink. Here's a look at some famous cocktails, and the stories surrounding their origins from all over the world. The Bloody Caesar (Calgary, Alberta Canada) The story goes that back in 1969, the Calgary Inn asked bartender Walter Chell to create a new cocktail to celebrate the opening of a new restaurant inside the hotel. Taking his inspiration from the restaurant's Italian cuisine, it took him fully three months to ocme up with the Caesar - as inspired by spaghetti alla vongole, which is essentially pasta with clam sauce.  Chell crushed clams for their juices, mixing it with tomato juice and spices. The classic version includes clam nectar - nowadays more often substituted by Clamato juice - Worcestershire sauce and celery salt. In an interview, Chell said he also added a dash of oregano. Image by Alexas_Fotos (Pixabay)  The M

Electric RnB: Tropic Return With New Single 'Down'

From a media release: Tropic Return With New Single "Down" “Down” is available to buy/stream now on all platforms R ising Brooklyn-based duo Tropic have made an impressive return with new single “Down”. Tropic, which is formed of electronic producer/DJ Phuse and R&B singer-songwriter Jo-B Sebastian, once again showcase the stunning lyricism and sensual vocals that have garnered support from industry tastemakers and helped them amass millions of streams across Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube and more since their 2018 debut. Blending R&B textures, electronic landscapes, pop hooks and funk rhythms courtesy of Phuse's slick, luscious production and Jo-B's poetic lyrics and irresistible melodies, "Down" looks set to be another hit to add to the duo’s striking collection. It follows previous 2020 releases "Lights Out (Redux)", "Always Be My Baby", "Secret" and "Paradise". Speaking on “Down”, Tropic explained, "‘Do