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Dim Sum: Sampling Contemporary Chinese Culture
NEW Harbourfront Centre 2005 summer festival
Multiple venues (including the CIBC Stage)
235 Queens Quay West, Toronto, Canada

Friday July 22 to Sunday July 24, 2005
Info: 416-973-4000 or www.harbourfrontcentre.com

Harbourfront Centre
harnesses the cultural and artistic powers of China past and present at a new festival this summer.
Dim Sum: Sampling Contemporary Chinese Culture (July 22 to 24) is a deliciously vibrant display of Chinese Arts and artists from Canada and beyond! Dim Sum serves up creative Canadian artists like Kid Koala, Lee Pui Ming, Kai Chan and Judy Fong Bates as well as honouring China's influential dancer/choreographer Madam Dai Ai Lian with a tribute by some of our country's best Chinese-Canadian dancers. Nine Chinese-Canadian playwrights offer up their works while more traditional offerings like opera and dance complete the yin and yang of Dim Sum. All events are free admission!

MUSIC: A kaleidoscope of innovative international and Canadian contemporary music will be featured at Dim Sum. Internationally acclaimed Kid Koala (Montreal) transforms his renowned turntable sound collages from CD to live show by using four turntables and astounding technique! Arguably the best freestyle rapper in the world right now - Jin's (Miami) meteoric rise began when he won multiple BET Freestyle Fridays championships. This resulted in a lucrative contract with Ruff Ryders records. His debut album The Rest Is History features contributions from Kanye West and Wyclef Jean. Toronto's The Quartertones perform an Urban music mix of live rare groove Funk, Soul and Jazz over a laptop and drum machine. This unique group features three Jazz musicians  along with two nationally known veteran hip-hop producers.

Bridging the gap between contemporary and traditional Chinese musical offerings (and Eastern/Western musical traditions) at Dim Sum are Toronto pianist/composer Lee Pui Ming - whose works fearlessly blend and transcend Classical, Jazz, World and Folk musics - and Vancouver's Orchid Ensemble, whose trio of performers use ancient instruments and traditions (from China and beyond) to create accessible and elegant World music. Chinese Opera is also represented, with half-hour performances by Toronto's Starlight Cantonese Opera and the Little Pear Garden Collective.

DANCE: Dim Sim, in partnership with the Little Pear Garden Collective, presents the world premiere of a Lotus Dance Tribute to Madam Dai Ai Lian (Beijing, China) - widely acknowledged as the most influential person in Chinese modern dance (1940s to present). A number of Canadian dancers (including Zihao Li, Lee Huang, Emily Cheung, Jeffrey Chan, Cynthia Tsang, Peter Chin and Elena Quah) will perform classical and contemporary dance pieces in a 90 minute presentation July 23 at the Studio Theatre (8 - 9:30 p.m.). This unique commission, curated by William Lau, celebrates the many artistic accomplishments and 90th birthday of Madam Dai Ai Lian - who will also be present at this event.

On July 23 and July 24 celebrated Toronto community dance groups take to the outdoor Toronto Star Stage. Groups like the Echo Dance Association, the Chinese Dance Workshop Folk Dance Group, the Toronto Chinese Dance Company and the Orient Dance Company present a rich variety of traditional and modern Chinese dance.

LITERARY: The works of twelve prominent Chinese-Canadian authors and playwrights will be featured at Dim Sum.
Highlights include readings by Judy Fong Bates (whose works Midnight at the Dragon Café and China Dog and Other Tales from a Chinese Laundry have placed her in the top echelon of Canadian writers) as well as by authors Ange Zhang, whose book Red Land, Yellow River won a prestigious Bologna Children's Book Award, and Terry Woo - whose novel Banana Boys received wide acclaim and was made into a poular fu-GEN theatre production last fall at the Factory Theatre.

Dim Sum, in partnership with the fu-GEN Theatre Company, presents staged readings of works selected by nine playwrights. Play excerpts will be read in English by Chinese-Canadian actors. Featured playwrights include Marjorie Chan, Jovanni Sy, David Yee, Norman Yeung, Marty Chan, Betty Quan, Keira Loughran, Zoe Huang and John Ng.

KIDS/Families: Free Dragon Boat rides for families take place on the Natrel Pond and our Kids Tent will offer Lantern Making craft activities (noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday afternoons). Also look for Kung Fu, Taiko drums and Tai Chi demos. More details TBA - the Chinese Canadian Youth Cabaret will present a youth talent showcase from across the GTA. Youth Perspective on Chinese Canadian History will present and discuss the past that has shaped the Chinese community in Canada today. Both events are in partnership with the Chinese Canadian National Council.

VISUAL ARTS: Acclaimed Toronto visual artist Kai Chan curates the exhibition 2 Worlds, 4 Souls - which will include works by contemporary Chinese-Canadian artists Millie Chen, Ed Pien, Kayo O'Young and Lily Yung. This exhibition will be on display throughout the summer at Harbourfront Centre's York Quay Gallery (starting July 14).

FILM: The Dim Sum film line-up includes The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam (2003) by director Ann Marie Fleming and a Chinese Canadian Shorts Program. More films TBA.

FOOD: Five cooking demos and chefs that will represent the different regional cuisines of China as well as dishes infused with Chinese influences. More details TBA

Media Contact:
Shane Gerard, 416-973-4655, sgerard@harbourfrontcentre.com
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