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Harbourfront Centre’s inaugural New World Stage International Performance ushers in annual series with 17 significant works

Toronto, December 5, 2006—Harbourfront Centre is pleased to announce our inspired lineup for the inaugural New World Stage International Performance series, running January 24 through June 10, 2007. This dynamic, world-class, signature programme presents a new, contemporary format featuring 17 productions, encompassing multiple performance disciplines including theatre, dance, music, cabaret and more. (A brief description of series productions follows this release.)

Harbourfront Centre’s Director of Performing Arts and New World Stage Artistic Director, Tina Rasmussen, delivers a thoughtful programme intended to animate Toronto and Harbourfront Centre this winter and spring, by presenting daring productions, innovative artists and companies, representing Australia, Belgium, Brazil, China, England, France, Halifax, Norway, Poland, Toronto, the U.S. and Vancouver. Performances take place at Harbourfront Centre’s intimate facilities: the Premiere Dance Theatre, the Studio Theatre, the Brigantine Room and the newly named Enwave Theatre, providing up close and personal exchanges with exciting international artists. In addition, two performances take place in site-specific, downtown Toronto found spaces, one in which a bus delivers ticket-holders to the designated performance site.

Ms. Rasmussen says, “As we build on the heralded foundations of two Harbourfront Centre signature programmes, the popular biennial World Stage theatre festival and the lauded International Dance season, New World Stage brings together the best in international contemporary performance from all disciplines. The series offers a culturally curious public performances running over a six-month period rather than in a festival model to encourage a commitment to multiple works over a manageable period of time. Offering audiences diverse works of scale, culturally relevant, significant, unique, innovative and imaginative, have been the underlying principles in programming this now annual series.” Ms Rasmussen adds, “This programme allows you to sample the classics transformed, new trends in performing arts, emerging genres and artistic vocabularies, not to mention locally engaged and informed work, as Harbourfront Centre continues to bring the world right to your doorstep with this accessible and affordable line up.”

New World Stage performances begin January 24 with Mabou Mines DollHouse, a not-to-be-missed transformation of Ibsen’s classic, A Doll’s House in which gender inequities are underlined by a cast of little men performing opposite intentionally tall women.

Other highlights include unveilings of three Harbourfront Centre Fresh Ground commissions, and world renowned director Peter Brook’s triumphant return to Toronto.

This edition of New World Stage converges with Luminato, Toronto’s Festival of Arts and Creativity, June 1-10 with a number of leading edge international performances including Risk Everything (TR Warszawa), Back Home (Urban Theatre Projects) and Shen Wei Dance Arts (China/USA). As a finale for New World Stage and the welcoming social hub for Luminato, the Spiegel Show takes over the Spiegeltent’ntavern.

Luminato, Toronto’s inaugural multidisciplinary arts festival, connects the creative spirit to every corner of the city for 10 inspiring days with more than 90 events in venues and locations citywide. Watch for exciting details and updates in the New Year.

This series offers flexible ticket package opportunities, with a number of imaginative Harbourfront Centre suggested combinations to guide patrons in making tailor made experiences including Backyard Adventures, Foreign Perspectives, Made in Canada, Living on the Edge and, Intimate Encounters.

Harbourfront Centre patrons can now redeem New World Stage Passports, a unique gift certificate/credit offer, in order to facilitate their tailor-your-own-experiences. Packages go on sale December 19, single tickets on sale January 2, 2007. Package offers include 10, 15 and 30 percent discounts with assigned, value-added benefits per package. For tickets and information call 416-973-4000 or online .

Westin Harbour Castle is the official host hotel of New World Stage.
New World Stage is supported by Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund, Luminato Festival of Arts and Creativity 2007, Canadian Heritage, and Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada.


Media Contact:
Bill Bobek
Media Relations
Harbourfront Centre



Mabou Mines DollHouse
Mabou Mines (USA)
January 24-January 28
January 30-February 4, Premiere Dance Theatre

Mabou Mines transforms Henrik Ibsen’s classic bourgeois tragedy, A Doll’s House into high comedy with deep bite, giving it a vanguard makeover with funhouse twists, visual magic, and barbed satire, turning the mythic feminist “anthem” on its head.

Last seen in Toronto presenting their all-female version of King Lear, Mabou Mines turns this classic into the must-see event of the season. Toying with the themes of gender roles, power and scale, director Lee Breuer brilliantly casts little people in the male roles while the women are all close to six feet. Nothing characterizes Ibsen’s patriarchy more clearly than the image of these little men dominating and commanding women nearly twice their size.

"...grabs Henrik Ibsen by the skin of his Norwegian neck and shoves him into the scalding populist stew of melodrama, sex, power and exploitation." - The Chicago Tribune’s only a rehearsal
zero visibility corp. (Norway)
February 7-10, Enwave Theatre

“…it’s only a rehearsal is choreographer Ina Christel Johannessen’s powerful and physical duet for a man and a woman. Based on Ovid’s myth of Actaeon and Artemis, the couple’s relationship is revealed to us through raw physical expression. The dynamic shifts between them as they rub and press, push and pull, back and forth – as the physical tension mounts in overtly sexual and sensual ways. An intimate story of reward and punishment, theaudience becomes the voyeur in this incredibly sexy, potentially risky, sometimes funny love story about the inherent connection between the watcher and the watched, and the fine line between desire and obsession.

“Startling sensual 21st century motion. This is no rehearsal. It’s the real deal.” - The Guardian

Griots t’ Garage: A Musical History of the African Diaspora
Dennis Rollins (UK)
February 10, 11 & 13, 14, Studio Theatre

Griots t’ Garage is one man’s musical journey inspired by 500 years of Afro-centric music. Part tribute, part documentary and part concert, Dennis Rollins’ virtuosic performance is intensified by live visual projections that mix archival film with live-on-the-floor footage. The piece transports us from the rhythms of 16th century West Africa, through the development of blues and jazz, and onwards to the funky, hip-hop and garage grooves of today. This internationally-renowned jazz artist is celebrated for his versatility and unique approach to both performance and the often underrated trombone.

Griots t’ Garage is a highlight of Harbourfront Centre's Kuumba programme, part of our month long celebration of black history which also includes performances by COBA (Collective of Black Artists) Inc., and Obsidian Theatre Company.

Aalst – a true story
Victoria (Belgium)
March 14-17, Premiere Dance Theatre

This riveting piece, from renowned theatre company Victoria, examines a crime so heinous it forever tainted the name of the town in which it was perpetrated, Aalst, Belgium. Kathy and Kurt check into a hotel with their two children, a few days later police find both children dead by the hands of their own parents… Aalst is ‘faction’ theatre, a mixture of fact and fiction, based on reality in which statements and interviews are reproduced exactly but to which new and fictional elements are also added. Director Pol Heyvaert based Aalst on newspaper articles and a national TV report - 70% of what you see performed on stage is verbatim of the trial.

Aalst is about death, but it is also about love, and the way in which the local community and the Belgian legal system deal with it. Universal and close to home.

“an historical event… a production to cherish…” - De Tijd

Solo – Le doute m’habite/the doubt within me
Compagnie DCA Philippe Decouflé (France)
March 20-24, Premiere Dance Theatre
Internationally known as the choreographer of the opening ceremonies of the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, this solo piece takes a departure from Decouflé’s grand scale works to a more intimate experience, reminiscent of an evening of home movies.

Taking a courageous leap into the shadowy waters of his memory, European superstar choreographer Philippe Decouflé shares with us a self-portrait that is hesitant, fragile and poignant. Using a series of multimedia effects, this “camera danseur” interacts with himself on screen through real time projections, live music and simple storytelling techniques, presenting a nostalgic glimpse into his life as an artist and human being.

Particularly in the Heartland
The TEAM–Theatre of the Emerging American Moment (USA)
March 28-April 1, Enwave Theatre

Visit a Kansas where parents vanish, aliens grow in cornfields, New Yorkers fall
from the sky, and dead presidents stop by for Christmas dinner. The three Springer
children find themselves suddenly alone after a tornado, or was it an alien invasion?
Or maybe The Rapture? The TEAM is the Theatre of the Emerging American Moment, an NYC-based devised theatre company that creates new work to dissect and celebrate the experience of living in the world today. Loaded with TEAM’s signature style of aggressive athleticism and exuberant theatricality, Particularly in the Heartland is a new play about losing sight of America, and trying to fall back in love with it.

…fizzes with vivid imagery, intellect, and mischief affirming stuff, and theatre to cherish." - Metro

As part of their visit to Toronto, TEAM will lead the first ever HATCHLab, giving local performance creators the opportunity to explore the company’s unique devising process. Contact for updated information about the first HATCHLab workshop.

Expect Theatre/Spark Collective (Toronto)
March 28-April 1, April 4-8, Studio Theatre

What is it like to live without fear? In Static, diverse artists explore our deepest fears – death, rejection, intimacy, loss and the unknown through a series of theatrical vignettes and interactive installations. The grounds of Harbourfront Centre serve as the backdrop for this one-of-a-kind event as you are escorted through a theatrical experience incorporating drama, light, surround sound, dance, video and opera – all via
MP3 player.

“...all hail Laura Mullin and Chris Tolley…energy, imagination and style like theirs are always welcome.” - Toronto Star

April 3- 5, Double Bill, Enwave Theatre
Two compelling performers share the stage in an evening of
storytelling – reflections of moments in time as told through movement.

like an idiot
Cristina Moura

Cristina Moura’s like an idiot is a powerful exploration of isolation and difference. Her idiosyncratic movement style and often humourous narrative reveals the universal experience of being an outsider. Set to music ranging from Mozart to Lauren Hill, Moura's work is emotional and political, deceptively accessible and funny, as well as poignant.

" inner landscape of dancing with one's self-funny, physical, political, impulsive." -

The Passenger
Sarah Chase Dance Stories

Exceptional Canadian dancer-choreographer-storyteller Sarah Chase uses movement, music and text to communicate memories that cannot be described with words alone, turning the simplest image into pure beauty. In The Passenger, she creates a portrait of two distinct periods in time, connected by location and personal memories of Toronto.

“…one is seduced by the luminous presence, complete and confident, of this solo performer…” - La Presse

2b theatre company (Halifax)
April 4-19, York Quay Centre
*Limited Capacity*
“...gorgeously elegant in its simplicity, with the lightness and luminescence of a soap bubble.” - NOW Magazine

A man and an audience sit around a large wooden table. The man weaves a story of a town from the fabric of his memory. He conjures characters from the town, as he revisits his life in a search for deeper meaning. The table serves both as the stage and as a shared space that invites connection and evokes community. Revisited is inspired by the works of great early American writers, including Willa Cather, Walt Whitman, Edgar Lee Masters, and Thornton Wilder. It is a story of love, loss, and all the details in between - an exploration of the divine inherent in the trivial, and the eternal inherent in communion.

A Harbourfront Centre co-production

Wen Wei Dance (Vancouver)
April 17-21, Premiere Dance Theatre
A co-presentation with Danceworks

A child of China’s Cultural Revolution, choreographer Wen Wei Wang brings a provocative, contemporary perspective to reflect on the ancient custom of binding women’s feet in pursuit of status and an impossible erotic ideal. Weaving traditional Chinese influences with modern practice, Wang delivers an intense and stylish exploration of beauty, power, and gender. Unbound transcends its multiple cultural origins to unravel the universal themes of sexuality, emotion and human relationships.

Unbound is a co-production of The CanDance Network Creation Fund, Canada Dance Festival, Dancing on the Edge, Harbourfront Centre, National Arts Centre, The Brian Webb Dance Company, and L’Agora de la danse in collaboration with Danse Danse.

“A class act of style and imagery… thoughtful, polished work.” - The Globe And Mail

Sizwe Banzi est mort/Sizwe Banzi is Dead
Bouffes du Nord (France)
April 18-22, Enwave Theatre

Created at a time when it was required that every black South African citizen over the age of sixteen carry an identity book, this Apartheid-era classic, devised by Athol Fugard, John Kani, and Winston Ntshona, continues to resonate 35 years later.

In a triumphant return to Toronto, renowned director Peter Brook continues his investigation of the role of theatre in political situations of repression, focusing on themes connected with identity, humanity, truth and survival. This engaging and humourous production of beautiful simplicity pushes us to contemplate the philosophical question: What is a man?

“A joyous hymn to human nature.” - The New York Times

*in French with English surtitles
With the generous support of Julia and Robert Foster, Marcia and Henry Blumberg, and the Consul General of South Africa

Bridge Of One Hair
Jumblies Theatre (Toronto)
April 26-29, York Quay Centre

Jumblies Theatre is the catalyst for this phenomenal three year project with multiple communities in Central Etobicoke. An original musical score by renowned composer Alice Ping Yee Ho weaves together a performance that draws on Somali, Celtic, Afro-Caribbean and First Nations stories; locally-generated imagery and text; rituals of tea-drinking; and poems by Hawa Jibril and Duke Redbird.

Bridge of One Hair reaches back through time and around the world as it conveys the story of a neighbourhood and its inhabitants. The performance features many community members of all ages alongside diverse actors and musicians, including VIVA! Youth Singers, the Jubilate Singers, Somali singer Faduma Nkruma and others. Inaddition to the performance, the presentation includes an interactive tea-room.

Zaryzykuj Wszystko/Risk Everything
TR Warszawa (Poland)
June 3-10, A gritty location in downtown Toronto
*in Polish with English surtitles

Produced by Luminato and Harbourfront Centre

Prolific Toronto playwright George F. Walker’s characters are inept and damaged, seemingly belched up by the decaying city. Polish master director, Grzegorz Jarzyna’s freewheeling, multimedia reinvention of Walker’s 1997 piece captures the world of these addicts, prostitutes and petty criminals. Using film and TV clips, blasts of pop music, and dry humor, Jarzyna mixes a medley of styles. The city itself acts as a backdrop to the play, to the point where one can't always tell what’s real and what’s not; forcing the audience to consider (as the characters do) which reality is ultimately preferable.

"(an) amped-up, cartoonish exaggeration of Walker's sardonic yet essentially realistic thriller family drama." - The New York Times

Back Home
Urban Theatre Projects (Australia)
June 4-10, Meeting Place: York Quay Centre
Produced by Luminato and Harbourfront Centre

The audience’s journey begins on a bus ride to an undisclosed Toronto “back yard" for a gathering that reunites four friends, all from different cultural backgrounds, intended to celebrate old times. We bear silent witness to their volatile world as the night unravels in a litany of shattered dreams. Bristling with explosive physicality, this is a deeply emotional story about the characters coming to terms with their past and facing up to their future, a timely and ultimately life-affirming project unlike any other. Urban Theatre Projects (UTP) creates distinctive newtheatre works using a process of dialogue between contemporary theatre practice and diverse communities.

For this project Harbourfront Centre and UTP work with Toronto communities to tap into local concerns around themes of leadership, spirituality and issues in urban society.

“(i)t is fiction but Back Home’s deep and extraordinary links to reality create a brutal,
evocative and life-changing event.” - Sydney Morning Herald

Rite of Spring & Re
Shen Wei Dance Arts (China/USA)
June 6-9, Premiere Dance Theatre
Produced by Luminato and Harbourfront Centre

Wonderfully conceived, inventive, overwhelming and Languid and tranquil, startling and thrilling, the works of Shen Wei Dance Arts integratea variety of influences - colour, lighting, visual arts, music, theatre, and dance from both East and West - with astoundingly original results. Based in New York, Shen Wei takes inspiration fromthe bruising clash of cultures that is the new China, bringing lyrical composure and harmony, coupled with intense energy to his unique choreographic voice. From the disarmingly casual spiraling movement of his interpretation of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring to the meditative geometric patterns of the Tibetan inspired Re, Shen Wei and his dancers bring music to life.

"wonderfully conceived, inventive, overwhelming and delicious, delightful to the senses and spirit-lifting." - Dance Magazine

The Spiegel Show at the Spiegeltent’ntavern
June 1-10, York Quay Centre
Produced by Luminato and Harbourfront Centre

*Look for Spiegeltent’ntavern programming throughout the summer.

Ladies and Gentlemen, step right up! Burlesque showgirls, acrobats, aerialists, eccentric dancers, divine divas, and a whole host of specialty acts of the Nouveau Variété make up the fabulous Spiegel Show! The occasionally hilarious, sometimes poignant and always sexy manifestation of the creative spirit of Toronto, The Spiegel Show brings you a cornucopia of tricks and turns representing the distilled essence of Toronto's cultural underbelly.

Designed in Belgium in the 1920s this nostalgic traveling wooden circular dance hall acts as the finale for New World Stage and the unique social hub for Luminato, Toronto
Festival of Arts & Creativity. Come experience a cozy cabaret in this “tent of mirrors” where old world charm meets new world delights!

Trudeau: Long March/Shining Path (Toronto)
April 14, Enwave Theatre
One Night Only! Free Event
A project of Harbourfront Centre's fresh ground new works.
A Special Sneak Peek at the new opera from creative team D.D. Jackson (composer) and George Elliott Clarke (librettist), this staged recital gives audiences a rare glimpse into the process of opera in its early stages, before its ultimate premiere. This thrilling new musical work is a meditation on the multicultural Trudeau, the man who declared himself a 'citoyen du monde,' who broke bread with Mao Zedong, who shouted "Viva, castro!' and lived out the multicultural dream he loved in the hotbed that was Montreal.


Harbourfront Centre Suggested Packages

Intimate Encounters
Get up and close and personal
with these solo performances, or
performances in intimate spaces
zero visibility corp.
Griots t’ Garage
Philippe Decouflé
Cristina Moura/Sarah Chase
The Spiegel Show

Backyard Adventures
Extraordinary performances
in unexpected places
Bridge of One Hair
The Spiegel Show
Risk Everything
Back Home

Foreign Perspectives
Unconventional remakes,
deconstructed classics, and
stories offering unique glimpses
into other dimensions
Mabou Mines DollHouse
zero visibility corp.
Griots t’ Garage
Sizwe Banzi is Dead
Risk Everything
Shen Wei Dance Arts

Made in Canada
The true north, strong and free
Cristina Moura/Sarah Chase
Bridge of One Hair
Wen Wei Dance
The Spiegel Show

*add the must-see
launch to the series,
Mabou Mines DollHouse
to any of the following to
complete your package!
*And check out Trudeau
for FREE

Box Office 416-973-4000

Is desire by its very nature unattainable?
What are the objects of your desire?
What are the subjects?
From January to May 2007 Harbourfront Centre wants to satisfy your cultural desires.
Culture you have longed for.

DESIRE is part of an ongoing exploration of ideas based programming at Harbourfront Centre.,Harbourfront Centre questions all that you desire.
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