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Harbourfront Centre’s World Stage captivates with an exploration of extreme love in Conte d’amour – April 1-2, 4-5 #artlive

TORONTO, ON (March 5, 2014) – Harbourfront Centre’s World Stage presents a bold and inventive performance piece by video-artist-turned-theatre-maker Markus Öhrn, Institutet and Nya Rampen with Conte d’amour (Love story). Converting audiences into voyeuristic bystanders, Conte d’amour lures patrons into the family home of a monstrous, Josef Fritzl-like father who epically ritualizes everyday behavior. Praised by critics for its innovative use of media, gut-wrenching performances and fascinating set design, Conte d’amour is a love story equally affecting as it is disturbing. Conte d’amour runs April 1-2, 4-5 at Harbourfront Centre’s Fleck Dance Theatre.

Stripped of sensationalism and direct reference to the Josef Fritzl news narrative, Markus Öhrn leaves audiences to navigate the piece using their own imagination. Utilizing a blend of video, live sound score, performance and theatrical inversion, Öhrn is able to investigate the ideology of romantic love by positioning the most disturbing ideas through a frighteningly familiar lens. Conte d’amour audiences are left to wrestle with their own ambivalence as they watch recognizable events, domestic habits and familial rituals in extreme amplification.

"It’s one of the most powerful pieces of contemporary performance I’ve ever seen – a love story like no other" shares World Stage artistic director Tina Rasmussen. "It’s tough to classify. With no explicit violence on stage, the audience is placed in a unique position where their imaginations fill in the blanks. It left me with an unsettling strangeness, like I was implicated simply by being present.”

Born in Sweden with a passion for visual arts and an interest in video installation, Markus Öhrn made his theatre and directorial debut with Conte d’amour in 2010 at Ballhaus Ost in Berlin. Working in close collaboration with Swedish touring theatre group Institutet and Finnish theatre company Nya Rampen to develop Conte d’amour, Öhrn and the all-male cast have since traveled the globe with this inventive and immersive performance experience, receiving acclaim from critics and audiences alike.

Tickets for Conte d’amour and other World Stage 2014 performances are available via Harbourfront Centre’s Box Office. Patrons can call 416-973-4000, visit 235 Queens Quay West and/or go online for all ticket inquiries. 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.


Conte d’amour – Opening Night Pre-show Event
Tuesday, Apr. 1, 7 p.m. – Fleck Dance Theatre
In an effort to further understand the seemingly complex world of contemporary performance, World Stage invites ticket holders to attend an opening night artist talk and celebration with complimentary freshly brewed tea. This pre-show conversation will be hosted by a well-informed industry practitioner, who will facilitate a friendly, informal chat with patrons to help shed light on some of the ideas and approaches found within the piece. Cup, saucer and programming provided and curated by World Stage. Admission is free with the purchase of a ticket to the opening performance of Conte d’amour.

Conte d’amour – Talkshow
Wednesday, Apr. 2, Immediately following the performance – Fleck Dance Theatre
Markus Öhrn and the company discuss their work and Conte d’amour with World Stage audience members through conversation facilitated by curated guest hosts. Admission is free with the purchase of a ticket to Conte d’amour.

Chat series - Markus Öhrn leads "Video Art in/as Performance"
Friday, Apr. 4, 2 p.m. - Robert Gill Theatre (3rd Floor, 214 College Street)
Presented by the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Toronto. Free and open to the public.

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 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.


Chrissi Forte
Office: 416-973-4342 | Cell: 416-704-0774

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