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WORLD STAGE 2013 is here February 6 through to May 24

TORONTO, ON (Wednesday, January 9, 2013) – The 2013 season of Harbourfront Centre’s signature contemporary performance series, World Stage, is around the corner and the line up has already garnered critical acclaim. The Toronto Star says it’s "...theatre that will challenge, astonish, and stimulate”. From February 6 until May 24, the world’s performance leaders are in town for four to five show engagements, so take advantage of this chance to see select works from provocative and cutting-edge international and Canadian contemporary artists.

Tina Rasmussen, World Stage Artistic Director notes "I am proud of continuing the legacy of World Stage for Toronto audiences by programming another inquiring season of leading performance from Canada and around the world. I believe in certain tenants in programming work that asks the audience to evaluate their role as witness, as citizen, and as human. In the contemporary performance programmed in World Stage 2013 we can offer a renewal of perception and seek new understandings, propose a new hierarchy, introduce chaos and even have a bit of fun."

This season welcomes productions and artists from Canada, Germany, Côte d’Ivoire, Brazil, Australia, China, Norway, Belgium, Portugal and the Netherlands, making it one of the most diverse seasons in its 27 year history. The work proposes to redefine the act of witnessing, as it chronicles a day in the life in Auschwitz in KAMP (CAMP) and throws us to the dogs in Dachshund UN.

Shakespeare is turned on his head in a triptych of works that make the Bard relevant, immediate and moving with Toronto’s own LEAR, and two German works, She She Pop & Their Fathers: Testament and Othello c’est qui (Othello, who’s that).

Dance is always featured prominently in the series with last years presentation of Wayne McGregor | Random Dance ENTITY making it to number one in NOW Magazine’s Top 5 Dance Shows of 2012. This begs the question, which of the six knockout dance shows featured this season will top the lists in 2013!? Get ready to rally around Norway’s A Dance Tribute to the Art of Football, witness the physical demands of friendship with Still Standing You, feel the power of contemporary expression from superpower China with TAO Dance Theater, and warmly welcome the return of Brazil’s dance heavyweights Grupo Corpo.

As a pioneering culture port, World Stage’s commitment to developing Toronto artists continues with bold new work from Ame Henderson/Public Recordings in what we are saying, and Heidi Strauss/Toronto Dance Theatre with Everyday Anthems.

World Stage tickets are on sale now! Save up to 50% with a World Stage Flex Pass, when you purchase four tickets to any World Stage shows for only $110 or eight tickets for $180, only until January 23, 2013. Regular ticket packages (three or more productions) offer discounts and exclusive partner offers, discounted parking and more. The CultureBreak programme, designed for 13-25 year-old arts and culture cravers and/or students of all ages offers $15 tickets to any show, any time. Seniors, groups of 10 or more, arts workers and NextSteps ticket buyers save 20%. Single tickets available anytime via our box office by calling 416-973-4000, Tuesday to Saturday, 1-6pm, or online at harbourfrontcentre.com/worldstage/tickets.

World Stage 2013 Season: Productions and Dates

Othello, c’est qui (Othello, who’s that)
Gintersdorfer/Klaßen (Germany | Côte d’Ivoire)
Performed in English and French
February 6-9, Enwave Theatre, 70 mins
While Othello may be the single most famous black man on the Western stage, in Africa, hardly anybody has heard of him. In this fearless and radical reinvestigation of one of Shakespeare’s most iconic characters, what begins as a playful conversation about the clichés surrounding Othello and Desdemona quickly evolves into a provocative confrontation between two cultures. A mischievous but hard-hitting exchange, Gintersdorfer/Klaßen’s frank and very human production won first prize at the 2009 Theater Festival Impulse, and has engaged audiences around the world ever since.

Sem Mim & Ímã
Grupo Corpo (Brazil)
February 19-23, Fleck Dance Theatre, 110 mins, including intermission
Two spectacular dance productions from this world-renowned company. In Sem Mim, meaning “without me,” “tattooed” dancers merge the rhythm of the sea with the music of medieval Portuguese-Galician chants. The second work, Ímã, meaning “magnet,” takes inspiration from the law of magnetism where dancers passionately entwine and separate in poetic polarities. Always a hit with World Stage audiences, Grupo Corpo combines classical ballet technique with a contemporary rereading of Brazilian and world dance forms. The end results are performances that are virtuosic, athletic, breathtaking and simply spectacular.

Dachshund UN
Bennett Miller (Australia)
Production Sponsor: PawsWay
February 28-March 3, Enwave Theatre, 50 mins
Shock, delight, cacophony! A meeting of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights is staged with the help of specially recruited dachshunds in this wild performance installation. Joyful and chaotic, spectacular and fascinating, Dachshund UN questions our capacity to imagine and achieve a universal system of justice. Creator Bennett Miller is a sculptor and installation artist whose aim is to create theatre as a political arena by exploring active viewership and durational performance. Admittance to this show is free on a first-come, first-serve basis. Performances will also be webcast. If you have a dachshund and want to participate, email dogshow@harbourfrontcentre.com.

LEAR
Philip McKee (Canada)
Co-produced by Harbourfront Centre
March 5-10, Studio Theatre, 80 mins
Canadian performance legend Clare Coulter steps into the title role of Shakespeare’s King Lear in this intimate and powerful portrait of passing on a legacy, in a family and in the theatre. A reinvigorated and sensitive overturning of a timeless tragedy. Philip McKee is an emerging performance maker and director within Canada’s theatre scene. In LEAR, he’s assembled an exciting group of collaborators for this surprising staging. LEAR originally appeared as part of Harbourfront Centre’s HATCH performing arts residency programme in 2011. For more information about HATCH, visit harbourfrontcentre.com/hatch.

Everyday Anthems
Toronto Dance Theatre (Canada)
March 6-9, Fleck Dance Theatre, 70 mins
Choreographed by rising star Heidi Strauss, along with text from playwright Brendan Gall, this new dance work explores anthems as a metaphor for overcoming obstacles, for things unrequited, for personal strength and belonging. An impassioned performance that poses questions around power, pride and unity in the face of difference. Strauss’s first creation for Toronto Dance Theatre draws on the embodied histories of her performers to create a richly physical ensemble work. Toronto Dance Theatre, under the artistic direction of Christopher House, is recognized for intelligent choreography and the exceptional artistry of its dancers.

Weight x3 & 2
TAO Dance Theater (China)
Production Sponsor: ManuLife Financial
March 20-23, Fleck Dance Theatre, 90 mins, including intermission
Two incisive works by China’s emerging leaders of contemporary dance that shatter expectations. Weight x3 is a triptych of pieces concerned with stretching the boundaries of physical practice. In 2, the dancers’ bodies fold, collapse, invert and mirror each other to convey the movement (and rigidity) of language. Since its inception in 2008, TAO Dance Theater has established itself as one of the most provocative contemporary dance companies in China. Through rigorous, sincere, and exploratory corporeal research, they are discovering the body’s unknown possibilities and taking Chinese dance in bold new directions.

A Dance Tribute to the Art of Football
Jo Strømgren Kompani (Norway)
Production Sponsor: BMO Financial
April 10-13, Fleck Dance Theatre, 60 mins
A series of comic, tough and tender vignettes celebrating the world’s favourite game in which the form and physical patterns of football (soccer) are deconstructed. This work offers an opportunity to reflect on the similarities and differences between sport and art. Behind slow-motion replays and locker room rituals lurks a sophisticated take on a global obsession that speaks volumes about the human condition. Jo Strømgren Kompani is one of Scandinavia’s most established independent dance theatre companies, combining raw physicality with absurd humour.
Advisory: Contains partial nudity.

She She Pop & Their Fathers: Testament
She She Pop (Germany)
Performed in German with English surtitles
April 17-20, Enwave Theatre, 120 mins
Mirroring the story of King Lear and his daughters, She She Pop members take to the stage with their own aging fathers to enumerate their inheritances and negotiate how power, money, memory and love are passed along across the generations. With the drive of a game show, this heart wrenching and humourous work strives to find the intersections of responsibility and respect between parents and children. She She Pop, based in Berlin and Hamburg, is one of Germany’s most important performance collectives.

Still Standing You
Pieter Ampe & Guilherme Garrido/CAMPO (Belgium/Portugal)
April 23-24 & 26-27, Enwave Theatre, 45 mins
Unadorned, hilarious, moving and disturbing. With the instruments of their bodies, this Belgian Portuguese duo offers a mischievous glimpse into the kaleidoscope of friendship. From slaps on the back to violent strokes of a leather belt, the pair tests the strength of their relationship. The artists invite the audience to consider associations of touch, tenderness, violence and struggle between the bodies of men. CAMPO, which brought That Night Follows Day to World Stage audiences in 2009, is a Ghent-based art centre that creates and presents work at all stages of development on a national and international scale.
Advisory: contains full frontal nudity

what we are saying
Ame Henderson/Public Recordings (Canada)
Presented in association with The Power Plant
May 23-26, The Power Plant, 60 mins
Expanding upon findings from 300 Tapes and relay, Public Recordings asks: "What can we say about our future and how do we say it together?" Using language and movement to explore new perspectives of our world and each other, an assembly of performers responds to uncertainty, potential danger, and possibility in an unobstructed performance space. Since 2003, widely-acclaimed Public Recordings has been supporting and promoting the works of dancemaker Ame Henderson and her collaborators. The Power Plant, part of Harbourfront Centre, is Canada’s leading public gallery devoted exclusively to contemporary visual art.

KAMP (CAMP)
Hotel Modern (Netherlands)
May 23-26, Enwave Theatre, 60 mins
With an enormous scale model of Auschwitz filling the stage, thousands of eight-centimetre-tall handmade puppets represent the prisoners and their executioners. The performers move through the set like giant war reporters, or silent gods, filming the horrific events with miniature cameras. The audience becomes witness. Hotel Modern attempts to imagine the unimaginable: the greatest mass murder in history, committed in a purpose-built city. Established in 1997, Hotel Modern blends visual arts, puppetry, music and film in evocative productions by representing harsh reality in a refined poetic manner.

Extras: World Stage goes deeper to deliver a more textured performance experience for audiences by offering post-performance talkshows on the second night of the run with guest hosts and cast members, opening night receptions and artist development workshops. Over the past decades, World Stage has granted access to performances and in-depth discussions with the industry’s best including; Christopher Plummer, Laurie Anderson, Robert LePage, Cillian Murphy, Atom Egoyan, Elizabeth LeCompte, Kitt Johnson, Wayne McGregor, and Young Jean Lee to name a few. This year in partnership with series 8:08, World Stage is proud to offer workshops with Grupo Corpo, Jo Strømgren Kompani and CAMPO. Now entering its fourth year, the Embassy program, retrofitted as a durational performance project, will continue the tradition of bringing local, national, and international artists together to engage with their audiences outside of the theatre. This is one of the many ways that World Stage is committed to developing artists and audiences in Toronto.

Harbourfront Centre’s World Stage 2013 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.

ABOUT HARBOURFRONT CENTRE
Harbourfront Centre is a Canadian charity operating the 10 prime acres of Toronto's central waterfront as a free and open public site. We celebrate the multiplicities of cultures that comprise Canada and enliven the city through the creative imaginations of artists from across the country and around the globe. Harbourfront Centre attracts more than 17 million visits to its site each year to experience 4,000 diverse public events and activities. Harbourfront Centre receives operational support from the Government of Canada and the City of Toronto and program funding from all levels of government, the private sector and individual donors.

For more information and unparalleled access to interviews, videos and commentary on the World Stage 2013 season visit www.harbourfrontcentre.com/worldstage
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