Sunday, October 20, 2019

THE PARTICULARS


THE PARTICULARS

Simultaneously bewildering, fragmented, seamless, quirky, and breathtaking, Matthew Mackenzie's The Particulars, similar to his epic play Bears, is led by a lone protagonist surrounded by a dancing chorus of lovely and menacing creatures. 

In this incarnation these exquisite bodies beautifully manipulate the main characters dramatic trajectory as they embody a bevy of diaphanous gender cloaked 'fairies' - buds blossoms angels gorgeous insects - what have you - in a tragicomic romp through the details of everyday life, trauma, coping, and gardening mayhem. 

Simon Bracken's Gordon is an ordinary fellow trying to fit into the gayly heteronormative, secretly porn invested world that his job demands. As Bracken wanders the stage in a loose dressing gown, exposing, covering up, and generally parading his lovely physique here and there, a rippling well toned chest in tow, the overall effect becomes a singly costumed nightwear fashion show of surreal proportions, leading to a denouement and finale that one could never have expected.

Previous productions and promo photos have Gordon wearing 'normal' business attire. The change for the Theatre Centre production renders the  complicit yet hapless victim of skewed heteronormative chaos more fragile, vulnerable, and easy to sympathize with. 

Bracken combines the loose, revelatory clothing with a contrastingly stalwart, almost satiric tone and sharply sculpted, deeply endowed vocal delivery. His phrasing and movement is brilliant, with elements of distractingly effective timing and seemingly random, silent muttering that moves in and out of traditional theatre blocking and direction - ultimately striking one as a dizzying tour de force of acting nonchalance-cum-precision.

Similarly, all of the dancers embody some of Gordon's worst fears as they mourn and run amok amongst  domestic upheaval. They surrond him, circle him, and generally give his playing space a formidable tragi-comic world to frolic, romp, to revile, to live, and to be demolished within. 

Choreography by Alida Kendell begins as a deceptively simplistic accompaniment for the entrance of the man of the hour, yet quickly develops into the sometimes tragic joke of contemporary existence as intricate dance movement - both comically and tragically - beautifully punctuates each and every harrowing particularity involved. And then their is the final unveiling that represents social-sexual disorder at its most predictable, damning, and truly poignant.

The Particulars attests to the intricate workings of a 21st century struggle to stay alive within the ever growing dissonance of the same old social gardens, jungles, offices, hierarchies & particular details that can render life both hilarious and chilling, arboreal and urban.

running at the Theatre Centre until October 26th  

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FROM THE THEATRE CENTRE WEBSITE;
The Particulars is the darkly funny and subtly powerful story of one insomniac’s struggle to maintain a daily routine in the face of a home invasion. Performed as a fusion of dance and theatre, Gordon battles his invaders on two main fronts—in his home, where he believes he is dealing with a vermin infestation, and in his yard, where insects have invaded his garden. 
By day, Gordon forges systematically ahead, assiduously in control of every aspect of his life. But by night, the scratching which he has begun to hear in his walls is unravelling him, driving Gordon to the edge of cosmic desperation. 
Theatre critics across Canada and in New York have been unanimous in their praise for The Particulars.  Called “Smart, strange and stirring,” by the New York Times, “profound” by nytheatre.com, and “a revelation” by the Montreal Gazette.
Credits
Written & Directed by Matthew MacKenzie
Choreography by Alida Kendell
Stage Management by Kai-Yueh Chen
Set & Costume Design by Alison Yanota
Lighting Design by Kaileigh Krysztofiak
Production Management by Trent J. Crosby
Produced by Sheiny Satanove

Featuring performances by:
Simon Bracken as Gordon
Chorus dancers include Amber Borotsik, Lara Ebata, Bridget Jessome, Richard Lee Hsi, Krista Lin, Rebecca Sadowski and Kate Stashko.
Performance Dates
Approximate running time: 75 minutes
Thursday, October 17 – 8:00pm Opening
Friday, October 18 – 8:00pm
Saturday, October 19 – 8:00pm
Tuesday, October 22 – 8:00pm PWYC
Wednesday, October 23 – 8:00pm
Thursday, October 24 – 8:00pm
Friday, October 25 – 8:00pm
Saturday, October 26 – 1:30pm
Saturday, October 26 – 8:00pm

DANCEWORKS PRESENTS Dancers of Damelahamid: Mînowin


DANCEWORKS PRESENTS 


 Dancers of Damelahamid: Mînowin

"The crust of the earth was soft, the light was twilight and there was no running water. A hand reached down and picked up some clay, breath took the clay to the four corners and wherever it landed we awakened." The Dancers of Damelahamid



Based in the ancestral knowledge of the Gitxsan ("people of the river of mists") Mînowin is a lush and varied display of gorgeous contemporary choreography and traditional dance movement and rhythms. This seventy minute tour de force, utilizing richly conceived projections, and a combination of offstage soundscapes and beautiful onstage vocals, the overall presentation was at once mesmerizing and haunting.

 Filled with joyful segments, interwoven with ritual tableaus and exquisite sequential dance elements, the Dancers of Damelahamid - an acclaimed Indigenous company from the Northwest Coast of British Columbia - "working with the Indigenous worldview of time as circular...illustrat[ing] moments of connection, understanding, and renewal..." * 

"Through story, dance, visual art, and song, Mînowin" * attests to and ongoing tradition of moving translating and transforming the "act of clarifying direction" * as the earth and time integrate in circular patterns and gorgeous planetary movement. Dancing within a dazzling orbit of intricate choreography, playing seamlessly from one exquisitely detailed frame to the next. This was, at once, a soothing and exciting, calming and stimulating, evening of diverse and utterly engaging dance. 

* Mimi Beck, Danceworks Dance Curator
__________________

DANCERS OF DAMELAHAMID (VANCOUVER) 

 Mînowin

was presented at the 
Harbourfront Centre Theatre
on October 18 & 19

Saturday, October 12, 2019


THE JUNGLE
Anthony McMahon & Thomas McKechnie

“I worked ‘til I was ready to die. I made it. I belong here. I have carved myself into this country.”
She’s from Moldova, he’s the son of Chinese immigrants. She’s a factory worker by day and a waitress by night. He’s a cab driver.
One night he picks her up running from job to job and their whirlwind relationship begins.
A typical Toronto love story, stolen in the moments between shifts. But can their love survive a city in late capitalism?
______________________

What sets this two hander apart from other dire warnings about the ills of capitalism are fine tragi-comic performances by both actors and a script that integrates a complex love story into a dead end formula for trying to make it in a world run by money mongering money mongers in a money mongering jungle of familial emotion and impeccable timing. The comedy alleviates much of the horror. And ample horror there is when the writers take on powerfully effective metaphors regarding dead cows and chickens that at times have the audience in grossed out awe of all that is laid out before them.

Both performers deftly handle fast paced intimate dialogue and varied characterization as they seamlessly move into the characters of their parents, back to themselves, with frequent sojourns into a kind of economics lecturer mode as they explain, in very accessible terms, how the one percent become the one per cent, and how others can try to get there even though capitalism cannot allow everyone to succeed within its narrow scope of greed, global domination, and dependence upon the existence of poverty.

Shannon Currie is an engaging and charismatic Veronyka as she makes her way through a dog eat dog eat chicken eat cow world. Matthew Gin as Jack matches his romantic sparring partners energy and eagerness with a subtlety and grace that contrasts beautifully with his wife Veronyka's less sentimental, but equally as loving approach to survival.

Guillermo Verdecchia's direction is clear and extremely well paced, integrating props movement and setting change into the actors duties as they flirt with socialist principles in a bewildering race toward the ultimate compromise. The upcoming election makes their journey an especially bittersweet one, complimented by a fourth wall that begins as a kind of meatpacking screen and moves into a semi-naturalistic setting for the bloodthirsty struggle up the economic ladder, and through all of the joy and betrayal that relentless climb can involve.

Based on Upton Sinclair's novel of the same name, The Jungle is a clever, engaging warning for what has already come to pass, what continues to grow, to evolve, mutate, all that jazz, as we barrel through a late stage of the same old captivating capitalist crap. Perhaps all we can hope for is some slight leverage when the ballots come in this month and we begin yet another roller coaster ride through whatever the powers that be decide to grace us with from above, tra la.


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And as a side note, Tarragon's new water stations are a great addition as they rid the bar of single use water bottles. But the $25 (or so I was told by a courteous attendant?) shiny silver metal personal water bottles beautifully emblazoned with the name of the theatre in dramatic black letters need to be replaced with something more affordable and less contrary to plays like The Jungle where money is the object and survival cannot be imagined when a drinking vessel costs the price of a good chunk of weekly grocery money. Just sayin'...
THE JUNGLE
runs at Tarragon Theatre's 
EXTRA SPACE 
until November 3rd



Thursday, October 3, 2019


THREAD BOUND
presented by REAson d'être productions


Framed by the enclosed white intimacy of a former classroom at Artscape, Young-place (Studio 103) REA'son d'être prodictions presents a haunting, at times lively, and beautifully moving portrait of two women moving across generations as they tell impressionistic, fragmented stories regarding trauma - past, present, and future. 

Created, choreographed, performed and directed by Kathleen Rea and Suzanne Liska, the hour long piece incorporates beautifully written segments that allow the dancers to express sentiments through an elegant and evocative form of dance theatre. 

Dramaturgy by Tristan R. Whiston contributes to an elegant and diverse approach to aural and visual narrative that employs both movement and voice. The two performers rise to the challenge with relentless energy and beautifully executed choreography - ranging from the elegant intermingling of bodies under duress, accompanied by beautifully arranged classical and choral sections, to the almost disco-like, pom pom inflected movement of two women dancing through the high energy, joy, and tribulations of complex lives. Sound design by Ference Szabo creates a varied and extremely engaging soundscape for words, music, and movement to exist within.
Moving among piles of clothing, first seen as a uniform heap of fabric, and then becoming a scattered array of signifying props, the setting reveals meaning within each chosen piece. 

The frequent positioning of the two characters as mothers in search of their children's clothing - as articles of everyday use and value - acts as an over arching object narrative representing the joy and the trauma of everyday existence.

Historical trauma also appears throughout, through the use of simple, elegant puppetry and voice over. Behind a sheet taken from the pile of clothing and hung as a screen, the performers move small figures and objects across the top edge as a voiceover tells iconic and tragic stories of loss by way of a heart wrenching tale of escape from the Soviet Gulag during WWII. People ripped suddenly ripped from their families is told in a startlingly effective fable-like way that holds great power, and provides a diverse element for the overall deftly varied dance/performance.

Other intersecting history-trauma memories include the horror of Japanese internment in Canada - stories of how lives filled with emotions and beloved belongings were torn apart and repositioned within traumatizing cultural environments that cross from generation to generation and continue to affect lives being lived in the 21st century.


A primary narrative force for these complex matters lies within the idea of handed down trauma. The historical and emotional basis for these storytelling elements are best described (see press release below) by the artists themselves as they work through a creative and personal process that has culminated in a beautifully conceived evening of dance theatre.

OCTOBER 3RD TO 5TH AT 8PM - OCTOBER 6 AT 7PM (RELAXED PERFORMANCE)
studio 103, ARTSCAPE Young-place - 180 Shaw Street, Toronto

- from REA'son d'être press release

Kathleen Rea & Suzanne Liska

Kathleen Rea, also a former psychotherapist, explains inherited ancestral trauma: "We pass on biological information to our children. Stress, trauma and malnutrition modify our genes, sending chemical signals turning them on or off. This changes the way we see, feel, taste and hear and deal with stress through up to five generations, getting less and less until the effect fades. The imprint of our elders and all they experienced before we were born lives inside us."


As a creator and dancer in Thread Bound, Suzanne Lisa explores the impact of the forced internment of her Japanese Canadian family during World War Two. 

Kathleen explores her family’s Eastern European World War Two experience which involved fleeing the Gulag concentration camps due to persecution for religious beliefs. Both Kathleen and Suzanne have been engaged in the life-long project of re-owning stories that they had been protected from when young and Thread Bound is the culmination of this process. 

Both artists are bound together in the search for these thin yet powerful threads. Thread Bound brings these stories and the imprint they still have on us into the public consciousness. To remember and express what has occurred in the past is relevant work in the face of rising worldwide forces that seek to persecute and disenfranchise based on religion and race. 
Thread Bound premieres amidst a national movement this year in 2019 calling for redress by the B.C. Government to expand on its 2012 apology for acts of racism again Japanese Canadians that "culminated in the province’s critical role in the forced removal, internment, confiscation of property, and forced exile of 22,000 Japanese Canadians during 1942 to 1949. " Many are asking for the provincial government to assume greater responsibility for the past injustices. They have also asked that Japanese Canadians be consulted to provide the community with a voice in developing recommendations for redress.
photos by Sarah Jones
Left - Suzanne Liska - Right - Kathleen Rea



_______________________________________________________


SUZANNE LISKA (performer and co-creator) is a Certified Alexander Technique Teacher with a B.A., B.Ed, and MFA in Choreography. She has choreographed and danced in works for CanAsian KickStart, DanceWorks CoWorks, Dusk Dances, and Dance Matters, receiving grants and awards through York University, the Toronto Arts Council and Ontario Arts Council. Her upcoming projects include co-creation with Takako Segawa and Heidi Chan and “Dancing Across the Universe” choreographed by Kathleen Rea. Suzanne has taught workshops in Ottawa, Calgary, Tokyo, and BC and in Toronto for Randolph Performing Arts College, Ryerson University, George Brown and Humber College. She is contract faculty in York University’s Dance department. www.suzanneliska.com


 KATHLEEN REA (performer and co-creator) danced with Canada's Ballet Jorgen, National Ballet of Canada & Tiroler Landestheater (Austria). Kathleen is a certified instructor of the Melt Method (Hand and Feet) and teaches Contact Dance Improvisation at George Brown Dance. She has choreographed over 40 dance works and been nominated for five DORA awards. Her film Lapinthrope, co-produced with Alec Kinnear, won the Gold Award at the Festival Der Nationen (Austria). Kathleen is also a recipient of a K. M. Hunter Choreographic Award. Kathleen is a published author (“The Healing Dance”, Charles C. Thomas). She has a Master’s in Expressive Arts Therapy and is a Registered Psychotherapist (CRPO) with over fifteen years in private practice. In January 2015, Kathleen became a candidate teacher of the Axis Syllabus. Recently Kathleen graduated as a Brain Advancement Coach (Pyramid of Potential Method). She is the director of REAson d’etre dance productions, which produces both the Wednesday Dance Jam and the Contact Dance International Film Festival.

 TRISTAN R. WHISTON (Dramaturge) is a multi-disciplinary artist who has worked in Toronto’s arts community for over 25 years as a director, dramaturge, writer, performer, and community artist. Tristan has written and directed five audio documentaries for CBC; most notably, his work, Middle C, won the 2007 Premios Ondas Award for International Radio. As the Artist-in-Residence at Central Toronto Youth Services (2004 to 2010), Tristan directed Gender Play, a theatre project working with LGBTQ youth exploring experiences of gender identity. Tristan recently collaborated with Moynan King on an integrated art and sound performance piece called trace, which toured Canada in 2015. In 2016, Tristan travelled to England where he was dramaturge and performer on Hush, a new musical written by Alex Bulmer which was presented at the London International Festival of Theatre and at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester.

 Maxine Heppner (Dance Coach), dance & inter-medial artist, mentor of choreographic process for over 40 years, Toronto-based since 1970’s, known for bold projects in Canada & worldwide, with companies, festivals, studios, academies, urban streets, rural villages, ranging from intimate chamber pieces to grand site-specific ensemble works, such as KRIMA! for 150 performers (Toronto’s top 10 dance shows 2009). Her practice is deeply connected in cutting edge contemporary arts of East Asia since 1989 through extended residencies continuing to today. Honours include recognitions worldwide, including commissions by 2004 Olympics, 2006 European Cities of Culture, Chalmers Senior Arts Fellowship, Japan Foundation award for international intermedial collaboration, 3 Toronto Dora awards. Artistic Director, Across Oceans Arts, Maxine facilitates the unique choreographers exchange “Choreographic Marathon” & platforms for deep research in creative process within dance & across disciplines. Maxine founded the dance dept of Claude Watson High School for Performing Arts (1983-87), led contemporary dance 14 years at the Koffler Centre, has been faculty at Concordia, York & University of Toronto. Her writings about creation, collaboration & process have been published in peer-reviewed journals & international conferences.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

NEWS PLAY
Having just got off the bus from Peterborough to Toronto only a few hours before seeing NEWPLAY may not have prepared me for the most objective response. I found it hilarious, strangely accurate, and an unsettling reflection of the past two days of my life. And it is set in Peterborough as a kind of escape and return serio-comic tale of success, failure, family, and fortitude.

There were times when the layered, absurdist script and broad comic performances, frequently verging on slapstick, reminded me of slightly less intense incidents on the downtown streets of what some call Peterpatch. Over the preceding 24 hours confrontational moments ranged from the manic strains of a young man ranting about their collection of antique coins in a threatening hostile manner, to a frenzied lineup at the maddening Greyhound bus station that felt like a mob waiting to implode. But I am from Peterborough, born and raised, with six off-and-on decades of experience rumbling in my soul. The city has always struck me as a quaint, vibrant, scenic town with an abundance of diversity ranging from abject poverty to immense wealth, incredible arts activity, and all of the chaos, calm, joy, distress, and contradiction that follows.  That is the long and the short of it with many details to fill in. 


But I do not mean to pick on Peterborough. During lunch at a restaurant on Yonge Street, just after arriving back in Toronto, I had a perfect and disturbing view of four young women beating up another young woman in the middle of the road, framed by the mammoth and enticing commercialism of MILESTONES, TOKYO SMOKE, WINNERS, and the AIDIDAS store  Or was it NIKE? So it can all happen anywhere. Strangers intervened and the fight ended. And there is something current and topical and global in all this streetwise signage and hostility, and it can verge on the terrifyingly comic, which is precisely what NEWS PLAY tries to examine and reveal. And it succeeds on many levels. But it needs some tweaking here and there in order to give the plot a somewhat more cohesive crowd pleasing tone. But I did love it in all its disturbing, cleverly crafted, quirky and highly comic chaos that does reveal the mayhem at the heart of many current events. It reminded me of my recent and distant past, my current present, and possibly my unforetold future. A pigeon did fly in the through the balcony door this morning, for the first time in 25 years. Confronting my surprise and mild terror, I gently wrapped said pigeon in a quilt and set them free into the wilds of the sunny overpopulated skies bordering Dundas Square, St. Michael's Hospital, and the dozen new fifty storey (and beyond) condos in progress. Life is rich...

One of the potential developments this play seems to perhaps unconsciously call out for is a song here and there - in the midst of fast paced, well acted, almost screwball comedy. And in the context of NEWS PLAY, the circa 1930's/40's cinematic term 'Screwball' takes on a diverse and poignantly comic tone throughout. The overall effect may also remind one of the issues tackled in the 1987 romantic-comedy-drama Broadcast News (Holly Hunter, William Hurt etc.) 

NEWS PLAY, as an attempt to conjoin issues around family, mental health, unlikely unresolved pseudo-romantic involvement, and the current manipulative aspects of what we, and the man in the orange 'wig' have come to know as a very new and unimproved version of fake news, well, it all works absurdly well as a provocative and complex script. It does a wonderful and very clever job of revealing the ways in which news stories, at the mercy of monetary gain and shallow entertianment value, may never be able to convey truth in any helpful way.

In a longer version, lyrics and music embracing the back stories of each character could add the necessary glue that, as it stands, does not quite hold the piece together. And yet, the ensemble, under the direction of Aaron Jan, provides the audience with many laughs and many fine physical moments that do manage to keep up the rapid pace needed for a one hour fringe play. 

And to return to my own subjective stance, well, in my bio I often use the phrase "I was born and raised in Peterborough. I am still in recovery." It is a lovely place to visit, but in these increasingly troubling financial and political times, it is sometimes not an easy place to be, like so many towns compromised by high rents, gentrification masking rampant capitalist force, and the ongoing marginalization of the poor, and all the chaos that involves. My experience as a Peterborough 'native' is merely a subjective reaction to what I have come to view as a somewhat absurdist life, both onstage and off.

NEWPLAY is well worth seeing as a darkly funny attempt to bring many (perhaps too many) important social issues to the surface, succeeding in a multitude of ways yet faltering here and there with uneven moments that are never quite clear enough about the details of the important social and political parody at its core. 


RUNNING AT THE ANNEX THEATRE 

UNTIL JULY 13TH 
                                                        
Wed. July 10 - 5 PM
Fri. July 12 – 3 PM
Sat. July 13 - 12:45 PM

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Molly Bloom at the Toronto Fringe Festival

FOURTH GORGON THEATRE PRESENTS 
MOLLY BLOOM

AN ADAPTATION OF THE FINAL CHAPTER 
OF ULYSSES BY JAMES JOYCE

https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/24780604.pdf?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents



________________________________________

excerpt from Molly Bloom’s closing soliloquy
...and Gibraltar as a girl where I was a Flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.”



Decidedly joyful, yet complex and emotionally varied, Jocelyn Adema's adaptation and direction of the final section of Ulysses is a vivacious, sensual, and vastly entertaining representation of what has often been considered a lush and impenetrable piece of great literature. 

Dressed in strongly delineated and frolicky, colourful night clothes (costumes by Beatriz Arevalo) four young women take on aspects of Molly's character and bring theatrical life to an impressionistic text with great physical agility and an energetic aplomb that is infectious from the get go. Molly becomes a playful and intensely driven character as Adema's full bodied blocking, filling the stage and bringing the women together and apart throughout, and her intertwining use of dialogue, allowing the performers ample solo moments of great depth, as well as ensemble vocal variations that simultaneously separate and unite the elements of the psychological play of a single woman becoming many and becoming one.

Jenna-Lee Hyde, Lena Maripuu, Reanne Spitzer, and Annie Tuma perform in front of Arevalo's (set and costume design) spirited and summery backdrop with high energy and emotional depth. By separating the run-on quality of Joyce's Molly, Adema has given her a kind of agency that the original condenses into a tightly packed thought process that, although brilliant and engrossing, becomes something more performative, theatrical and potentially visceral in Adema's hands.

Those unfamiliar, and/or impatient with the freewheeling, narrative 'mayhem'/non-traditional form of Joyce's work may choose to allow the words to wash over them with the poetic substance and the raw, often lyrical emotion Molly embodies. Her past gives her the material agency to move forward with a kind of enthralling abandon, and Jocelyn Adema's treatment of Molly's iconic status, as the 'last word' in Joyce's mega-text, gives audiences a powerful and lively way in which to gain access to the iconic seven hundred page book - clearly exacted into a single character's struggle and celebration as Molly fills the final pages and stages of Ulysses epic journey. This allows Adema, through Joyce's Bloom, to insert a personal and overwhelming melange/message that reveals the character's frankness, her sense of humour, and her physical power as her mind wanders and empowers, in bed, at 3am, through the minds of four women as integral parts of her essential journey - bemoaning one man's demands, eliciting laughter and mixed liberationist import, and taking control of her nocturnal position as someone lounging about and intensely contemplating much of what has come before...in life, love, and elsewhere...

_________________________________________

MOLLY BLOOM RUNS AT THE TORNTO FRINGE;

HELEN GARDINER PHELAN
​PLAYHOUSE
79 St George st.

July 3 8pm
July 5 10pm
July 7 8:15pm
July 9 4:30pm
July 10 6:30pm
July 12 10:30pm
July 13 8:30pm  

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

DORA AWARD WINNERS!!!


AND THE DORA GOES TO . . . 


The recipients of Outstanding Production in each of the divisions are as follows:

General Theatre: School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play - Obsidian Theatre in association with Nightwood Theatre;

Musical Theatre: Next to Normal - The Musical Stage Company presented by David Mirvish;

Independent Theatre: The Runner - Human Cargo with the support of Theatre Passe Muraille;

Opera: Eugene Onegin - Canadian Opera Company;

Dance: Blood Tides - DanceWorks / Kaha:wi Dance Theatre;

Theatre for Young Audiences: New Owner - Harbourfront's Junior Festival presents The Last Great Hunt;

Touring Production: Grand Finale - a Hofesh Shechter Company production presented by Canadian Stage(which was bestowed at the 2019 Dora Nominees Toast, a reception honouring all the nominees on June 10).

_______________________________________________________________________



ELLEY RAY HENNESSEY GREETING NOMINEES AND AUDIENCE 
IN THE LOBBY OF THE SONY CENTRE
RICK MILLER WITH BAND AND DANCERS 
IN THE OPENING NUMBER 'CHANGES' (VERSION OF DAVID BOWIE ORIGINAL)
CELEBRATING DIVERSITY AT THE DORAS


SILVER TICKET AWARD 


PEGGY BAKER, RECIPIENT OF THE SILVER TICKET AWARD
Peggy Baker is acclaimed as one of the most outstanding and influential dancers of her generation. Born in Edmonton in 1952, her unique abilities are the result of an education in both dance and theatre, pursued initially through the drama department of the University of Alberta, with the School of Toronto Dance Theatre, and further in New York City.
A vivid presence in contemporary dance since 1973, she performed internationally with Lar Lubovitch, Mark Morris, Mikhail Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project and Doug Varone (NYC); Fortier Danse-Creation (Montreal); and James Kudelka, Dancemakers and Toronto Dance Theatre (Toronto).
She established Peggy Baker Dance Projects in 1990, and for the first 20 years, she dedicated herself to solo performance, winning praise for the eloquence and depth of her dancing, and accolades for her collaborative partnerships with extraordinary musicians and designers. Since 2010, her choreography has focused on visually and sonically striking works for small ensemble, collaborating with exceptional artists such as composers John Kameel Farah and Ahmed Hassan, dancer Margie Gillis, director Daniel Brooks, actor Jackie Burroughs, instrumentalist Andrew Burashko (piano) and as well as the Toronto Symphony Orchestra under Jukka-Pekka Saraste, among numerous others.
One of the highlights of her mentorship is her Choreographer’s Trust, a ten-year initiative that enabled Ms Baker to share six dances from her outstanding repertoire with thirteen remarkable younger dancers. Now complete, she also published a series of booklet/DVD sets that document those six landmark solos. She is also the subject of a book by Carol Anderson, Unfold – a Portrait of Peggy Baker, published by Dance Collection Danse.
Beyond the concert stage, Ms. Baker has premiered five all-night choreographic events for Toronto’s Nuit Blanche, and situated three hour-long choreographic installations – moveinterior with moving figures and land | body | breath in public spaces and galleries across the country. Over its 29-year history, Peggy Baker Dance Projects has been presented at major festivals and dance centres in North America, Asia and Europe. A master teacher, Ms Baker teaches regularly at universities and professional training programs throughout Canada and the U.S. including Canada’s National Ballet School where she is Artist-in-Residence.
Ms Baker’s many honours include the Governor General’s Award for Lifetime Achievement, Premier’ Award, Order of Canada, six Dora Mavor Moore Awards, honorary doctorates from the University of Calgary and York, Walter Carsen Prize, and the George Luscombe Mentorship Award, among others.
Previous winners of the Silver Ticket Award are listed here: https://tapa.ca/dora-awards/awards/silver-ticket-award/


for the full list of Dora recipients see:

TAPA - Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts      at

https://tapa.ca/announcement-congratulations-recipients-40th-anniversary-dora-mavor-moore-awards-tapa/

and

https://www.broadwayworld.com/toronto/article/Full-List-of-Winners-Announced-For-the-40th-Annual-Dora-Awards-Soulpepper-Theatre-Canadian-Opera-Company-and-More-20190626