Saturday, February 18, 2012

World Stage 2012, February 18 - May 19

Harbourfront Centre kicks off World Stage 2012 tonight with Everything Under the Moon, an all-ages production with hand-animated projected images as well as narrative song.

World Stage 2012 continues with productions of Entity, The Wooster Group's Version of Tennessee Williams' Vieux Carré, Ajax & Little Iliad, Paris 1994/Gallery, Agwa/Correria, The Shipment and Dance Marathon.

The festival continues until Saturday, May 19 at Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West, Toronto.


World Stage 2012

Harbourfront Centre’s acclaimed international performance series, World Stage, returns for another season of provocative and cutting-edge international and Canadian contemporary performance.

Eight hand-picked productions from the U.S., the U.K., France, Brazil and Canada will augment decades of progressive world-class performance found only at World Stage, as part of Harbourfront Centre’s commitment to presenting works at the forefront of contemporary artistic practice across disciplines.

“World Stage is an amazing portal into the current state of international theatre. It provides a visionary perspective which is risky, urgent and provocative.”
- Filmmaker and previous World Stage artist Atom Egoyan

Two of this season’s productions are Harbourfront Centre commissions, created under the Fresh Ground new worksprogramme which, through an invitational process and national call for submissions, awards grants to creators of multi-disciplinary works. The season opens with Everything Under the Moon, a shadow play re-imagined for audiences of all ages, combining music and visuals to tell the story of the incredible journey of two small winged creatures. The season closes with the return of Dance Marathon, a 2007 Fresh Ground new works commission that has since traveled the world to rave reviews for its immersive theatre experience that hearkens back to the dance competitions of the Depression era. In between, World Stage features thought-provoking productions featuring some of the biggest stars and hottest up-and-comers in performing arts, from Young Jean Lee (The Shipment), who has been called one of the artists that will help shape the next 25 years of American theatre, to Wayne McGregor (Entity), who has long been one of the world’s most sought-after choreographers. Each production will feature at least one talkshow, allowing audiences to engage with performers. World Stage dance performance talkshows are co-presented by The Dance Current.

World Stage ticket packages are available for a limited time. Flex Passes, available until January 15, 2012, offer savings and flexibility: Purchase four tickets, to any World Stage shows, for only $110, a savings of nearly $20 per ticket. Thematic packages for multiple productions are available until Feb. 18, 2012 and offer savings of nearly 40 per cent. Students, seniors, groups, arts professionals and NextSteps ticket buyers also qualify for discounts. Service charges apply. Visit or call the box office at 416-973-4000 for terms and details.

More information on each production is below, and media materials are available at World Stage 2012’s media site:
Harbourfront Centre’s World Stage 2012 gratefully acknowledges the support of the Department of Canadian Heritage, Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council and Westin Harbour Castle, the official host hotel of World Stage.

World Stage 2012 Season

Everything Under the Moon – Shary Boyle and Christine Fellows (Canada)
Presented in association with The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery
Feb. 18-23 (Enwave Theatre)
World premiere. Celebrated multimedia and visual artist Shary Boyle and renowned musician Christine Fellows have been collaborating since 2005 on works that combine Boyle’s live drawings and projections set to Fellows’ original compositions. Everything Under the Moon follows two small, winged creatures as they set out on an urgent quest to save themselves in a production equal parts musical theatre and visual spectacle. The show, created for all ages, was commissioned by Harbourfront Centre’s Fresh Ground new works commissioning programme.

Entity – Wayne McGregor | Random Dance (England)
Feb. 28 & March 1-3 (Fleck Dance Theatre)
Wayne McGregor is a multi award-winning British choreographer known for his physically testing choreography and ground-breaking collaborations across disciplines. An imagining of post-human beauty through a soundscape created by Coldplay, Massive Attack collaborator Jon Hopkins and award-winning composer Joby Talbot (The Divine Comedy), Entity is a staggering blend of bodies, technology and film that places McGregor at the cutting edge of contemporary culture.

The Wooster Group’s Version of Tennessee Williams’ Vieux Carré – The Wooster Group (U.S.)
March 28-31 (Fleck Dance Theatre)
Canadian premiere. Since 1975, New York’s The Wooster Group has defined experimental and challenging theatre, dance and media. Last featured at World Stage in the 80s with LSD (…Just the High Points), the company returns with their remaking of one of Williams' last plays. In the New Orleans boarding house where he stayed as a young man during the Depression, the writer, as narrator, remembers his artistic and sexual awakening among the house’s inhabitants – archetypal Williams characters, longing for release and haunted by thwarted dreams.

Ajax & Little Iliad – Evan Webber and Frank Cox-O’Connell (Canada)
April 4-8 (Enwave Theatre) NOTE: Limited capacity of 28 people per performance.
World premiere. Little Iliad is a multimedia work about an attempted adaptation of a Sophoclean war story by a writer and a friend that is soon to be deployed to Afghanistan. Ajax, which premiers here, expands on the theme, presenting a series of letters addressed to the doomed classical hero. Designed for a small audience, the work questions not only the roles of observers and performers, but also the responsibilities of civilian and military actors and the surprising relationship between producers of art and producers of violence.

Paris 1994/Gallery – The Dietrich Group (Canada)
April 25-28 (Enwave Theatre)
Three-time Dora Award-nominees The Dietrich Group challenge perceptions of the interplay of mediums in live performance. Choreographer D.A. Hoskins creates visual art through the medium of dance, and his 2011 production, The Land of Fuck, was named a runner-up in NOW magazine’s roundup of the year’s best dance shows. Paris 1994/Gallery, which begins with a heightened moment between lovers, explores longing, desire, memory and our reconstructions of the past.

Agwa/Correria – Compagnie Käfig (France/Brazil)
May 2-5 (Fleck Dance Theatre)
Artistic director Mourad Merzouki and Compagnie Käfig, last featured at World Stage 2004, create hip hop with a complete range of emotional expression. This double bill, suitable for children ages six and up, is the meeting of Compagnie Käfig’s hip hop with urban dance from Brazil. Agwa explores the power of water: its supply, consumption and contamination – and its beauty, mystery, sensuality and unpredictability. Correria is athletic and acrobatic – a stylized endurance piece about the rush of running and the pleasure of speed.

The Shipment – Young Jean Lee’s Theater Company (U.S.)
May 9-12 (Enwave Theatre)
Canadian premiere. With its fearsome and fearless exploration of the African-American experience, The Shipment established the Korean-American playwright/director Young Jean Lee as a voice to be heeded in contemporary theatre. “Ms. Lee sets you thinking about how we unconsciously process experience — at the theater, or in life — through the filter of racial perspective, and how hard it can be to see the world truly in something other than black and white." — Charles Isherwood, New York Times

Dance Marathon – bluemouth inc. (Canada)
May 18-19 (Enwave Theatre)
Exclusive World Stage engagement. Toronto's Dora Award-winning theatre collective bluemouth inc. premiered this interactive performance during World Stage’s 08/09 season, and captivated audiences around the world thereafter. Audiences discover what level of experience they are committed to having in this immersive theatre event inspired by the physically grueling Depression-era contests, with a nod to today’s reality TV and cult of celebrity.

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