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Harbourfront Centre announces World Stage 2014 Season
Boasting nine cutting-edge contemporary performance works from seven different countries, including Canada – #artlive

TORONTO, ON (Oct. 22, 2013) – After four weeks of ambitious unbranded print ads and social media mystery (#artlive), Tina Rasmussen, artistic director of Harbourfront Centre’s World Stage, revealed the season lineup for World Stage 2014, which runs Feb. 1 – May 18, 2014. Welcoming work from Finland, Sweden, Germany, England, South Africa, United States and Canada, World Stage 2014 invites audiences to explore the depth, darkness, beauty and complexity of life through the lens of live performance.

From gender politics to the aftermath of apartheid in South Africa, abduction and imprisonment to our society’s obsession with beauty, celebrity and romantic love – this season offers patrons the opportunity to experience a broad spectrum of contemporary live performance and unconventional storytelling. Featuring two world premieres, two Canadian premieres, a play without clothing and another co-starring a basset hound, this year’s World Stage programming continues to push the boundaries of contemporary dance, theatre and multidisciplinary performance while tapping into topically relevant subject matter.

“We are taking risks,” states Rasmussen. “Because we need to. I like to think that our season provides a space for us to connect with our curiosity and uncertainty about the world, to ask questions we usually shy away from and perhaps inch a little closer to the answers we seek. The work in World Stage this year is thought-provoking and, I think, remarkably beautiful. It’s not easy, but neither is understanding the world in which we live.”

Kicking off the 2014 season with bold and courageous style, World Stage will host The #artlive Vogue Ball with partners House of Nuance on Feb. 1. Attendees will be asked to dress as their most authentic self for a night of Paris is Burning-style ball culture, fashion-fierce runway walking and art – live.

Tickets for World Stage go on sale Oct. 22, 2013 via Harbourfront Centre’s Box Office. Prospective patrons can call 416-973-4000, visit 235 Queens Quay West and/or go online for all ticket inquiries. Notable ticket offerings include the World Stage Flex Pass, which provides savings of up to 50% (available until Feb. 8), the CultureBreak programme for full-time students and those 25 years and under as well as additional discounts for seniors and arts industry professionals.

For full company and performance information, including photos, videos and details surrounding World Stage Extras, please visit and connect with the season on Facebook and Twitter using @WorldStageTO #artlive.

Please visit for information about getting here during the Queens Quay revitalization.

World Stage 2014 Season Lineup:

The Radio Show
Kyle Abraham/ Abraham.In.Motion (United States)
February 5-8, Fleck Dance Theatre
A Canadian premiere. The Radio Show is an elegy to the Motown and hip hop played on the only urban-format radio stations in Abraham’s hometown of Pittsburgh, PA. When they went off the air abruptly in 2009, it was the same time that his father lost his language to Alzheimer’s. In the sudden silence, Abraham picked up the pieces – the songs, the words, the static – and he made a dance. Revealing the rituals of listening and revelling in the joy of moving to the music, The Radio Show is a welcoming memorial. Arms wide, heart open, it charts both the loss and the renewal of cultural and personal identity.

Young Jean Lee’s Theater Company (United States)
February 12-15, Fleck Dance Theatre
A Canadian premiere. Toronto knows Young Jean Lee’s Theater Company from the World Stage 2012 presentation of THE SHIPMENT. While it returns to the theme of identity politics, UNTITLED FEMINIST SHOW treads entirely new aesthetic ground. It’s a play almost entirely without words. It’s also a play without clothes. And its six performers succeed at something nearly impossible; without gender signifiers, they define themselves for and by themselves. Young Jean Lee works collaboratively, writes as she directs and follows her discomfort like a compass. In her irreverent theatre, bracing irony encounters the long tradition of heart-on-sleeve American truth-telling. The results are both hilarious and provocative. UNTITLED FEMINIST SHOW is Lee’s most daring theatrical experiment yet. It is a celebration of possibility – joyful, challenging and inspiring.

Major Tom
Victoria Melody (England)
February 26 – March 1, Enwave Theatre
A North American premiere. Victoria Melody entered her dog into a competition, and then by guilt, accident and necessity, she ended up as a beauty pageant competitor herself. Part documentary, part act of protest, Major Tom is a deceptively simple story about the ugly business of beauty, performed by two of the UK's most uniquely charming performers: Victoria Melody and her six-year-old Basset Hound, Major Tom. Seeking out the odd subcultures of her native England, looking for both the unusual and the extraordinary, Victoria Melody is an artist who transforms her experiences of cultural immersion into subtle and affecting performances.

Fujiwara Dance Inventions (Canada)
March 19-22, Enwave Theatre
A world premiere. Denise Fujiwara is one of the most inventive dance artists in Canada. From solos to her more recent ensemble works, Fujiwara’s dance is marked with humour and pathos, virtuosic detail and riveting attentiveness. World Stage is proud to present the premiere of Fujiwara’s new work, EUNOIA, an adaptation of Griffin Poetry Prize winner Christian Bök’s celebrated poem of the same name. In Bök’s Eunoia, each chapter is constrained to the use of a single vowel. Despite this limitation, he is able to create oddly fascinating worlds. With exacting precision, Fujiwara adapts these formal rules into her own dance and allows them to transform her choreography. The result is a witty and absorbing monument to human expression.

Conte d’amour
Markus Öhrn, Institutet Nya Rampen (Sweden, Finland, Germany)
April 1-2, 4-5, Fleck Dance Theatre
The collaboration between the Swedish, Finnish and German artists who devised Conte d’amour produced the image of a frighteningly familiar monster – the one in the nightmarish figures of Josef Fritzl and Ariel Castro. Conte d’amour is video-artist-turned-theatre-maker Markus Öhrn’s remarkable voyage into darkness. It’s an involving, implicating video-play, a Lynchian exploration of familial control composed of images that resolutely cross and re-cross the border of desire and horror. Disturbing, demanding, but absolutely necessary, Conte d’amour has toured the world since its debut in 2010. It’s like a decoder ring for patriarchal madness. It’s an endurance piece that approaches a universal language as believable as it is unthinkable.

Dave St-Pierre (Canada)
April 29 – May 3, Fleck Dance Theatre
A Canadian premiere. The arch bad boy of contemporary dance, Dave St-Pierre will not be stopped. After two sell-out, standing-ovation tours de force showings at World Stage (La pornographie des âmes and Un peu de tendresse bordel de merde!), the Montreal native returns to Toronto with a huge cast of collaborators for Foudres. It’s the final act in his trilogy of colossal works on the necessities of love and death. And nothing will be held back. St-Pierre’s work is ambitious, outrageous and always, always extreme. Like a party perpetually on the verge of a riot, it simultaneously condemns and celebrates the ugliness and beauty of humanity.

Mies Julie
Yael Farber/Baxter Theatre Centre (South Africa)
May 6-10, Enwave Theatre
Theatre director and playwright Yael Farber is one of the major voices of contemporary South Africa. Over the last decade, she's earned a global reputation for her devastating portraits of human nature. The tensions and traumas of contemporary South Africa are lived before your eyes in Mies Julie. Eighteen years after the end of apartheid, the white daughter of a landowner and the black son of her father's servant wage love and war in the kitchen of a desolated South African farmstead. Strindberg’s classic story of class and gender in conflict comes to startling new life through Farber's vision.

The Speedy
UnSpun Theatre (Canada)
May 15-18, Enwave Theatre/Natrel® Pond
A Fresh Ground new works commission and world premiere. Award-winning Toronto theatre collective UnSpun Theatre constructs a performance installation to tell the story of The HMS Speedy, a schooner that sank in Lake Ontario some 200 years ago, and the lives, secrets and injustices that went down with it. In this strange, yet true, story of shipwreck, murder and magic, audiences will be immersed in a surprising emblem of contemporary Toronto, and a history they didn’t even know it had.

The Tale of Harbourfront Centre
Available for download April 1
A Fresh Ground new works commission and world premiere. To celebrate Harbourfront Centre’s 40th anniversary, theatre and media company FIXT POINT, led by artists Lisa Marie DiLiberto and Charles Ketchabaw, are capturing the collective community memory of Harbourfront Centre’s 10-acre site – and the millions of people who have experienced it. The Tale of Harbourfront Centre is a radio drama that brings archives, interviews and forgotten tales to the fore. The Tale of Harbourfront Centre will be delivered online ( — a reminder that performance can, does and should transcend the stage, reflecting the contemporary world in which we live, and the work we do.

Since 1986, World Stage has evolved into Canada’s most diverse season-length international contemporary performance series. Every year, Harbourfront Centre brings innovative and groundbreaking performance leaders from both the international and local arts community to World Stage. Committed to bold curation and audience accessibility, World Stage programming continues to foster opportunities for cultural development and the artistic exchange of ideas. Following last year’s Dora Mavor Moore Award-winning season, World Stage 2014 features nine groundbreaking international contemporary performance works, welcoming artists and productions from Finland, Sweden, Germany, England, South Africa, United States and Canada.

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 contact:

Chrissi Forte
o: 416-973-4342
c: 416-704-0774
@WorldStageTO #artlive
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