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Harbourfront Centre launches New World Stage International Performance 2007 with
Mabou Mines DollHouse

A Canadian Premiere
January 24 – January 28
January 30 – February 4
Premiere Dance Theatre

“…immensely imaginative theatre” Ned Chaillet, The London Times


TORONTO, January 10, 2007—Harbourfront Centre announces the opening of 2007 New World Stage International Performance featuring the highly-anticipated production of Mabou Mines DollHouse. This New York-based company puts a highly-riveting and darkly comedic twist on Henrik Ibsen’s classic, A Doll’s House, 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. The company's trademark creativeness of production and staging construct delivers a uniquely clear vision of Ibsen’s patriarchy, as seen in the casting of little men who dominate and command 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

Mabou Mines DollHouse (2003-4 OBIEs) is the fifth in a series of award-winning deconstructed classics directed by Lee Breuer: Beckett’s The Lost Ones, 1974 (OBIE), Gospel At Colonus, 1982 (OBIEs, Tony and Pulitzer nominations), Mabou Mines Lear, 1989 (4 OBIEs) and Peter and Wendy, 1996 (OBIEs, Outer Critics Circle). They are political tracts that speak not a word of politics. Borrowing a tool of conceptual art, Dollhouse “conceptually” pulls Ibsen’s 19th century feminism into an equation of Power and Scale.

“Mabou Mines”
Mabou Mines was named after a community in Nova Scotia near which the founding members of the company (JoAnne Akalaitis, Lee Breuer, Philip Glass, Ruth Maleczech, and David Warrilow) created The Red Horse Animation in 1970.


The Company
Mabou Mines is a collaborative theater company founded in 1970 and based in New York City. Over the years, members of the company have included JoAnne Akalaitis, William Raymond, Greg Mehrten, Ellen McElduff, L. B. Dallas, Philip Glass, and David Warrilow, along with the present company members: Julie Archer, Lee Breuer, Sharon Fogarty, Ruth Maleczech, Frederick Neumann, and Terry O’Reilly. The composition of the company is the result of years of shared work in the United States and abroad. The six members comprise the present artistic directorate making all decisions concerning repertory and touring, functioning at various times and sometimes simultaneously as actors, writers, designers, technicians, and at all times as the producers of each season and as members of the Board of Directors.

The Work
Over thirty-five years ago, Mabou Mines, alone of all American acting ensembles, bridged the gap between theater and art. Years before “performance art” was popularized, Mabou Mines was a performance company, taking as its first principle the idea that life is performance, that the study and practice of one is the study and practice of the other. Mabou Mines believes in a drama of fusion, a drama where virtually anything – religion, politics, sociology, anthropology, even biology and physics – should be considered a proper mode of discourse from the footlights when they are partnered with camp, puppetry, music, poetry and visual art. Ultimately, however its laughter that has most consistently defined Mabou Mines over its entire history because this is a company that was born and lives in the comic mode.

Helmer, Rank and Krogstad are played by actors whose heights range from 3’4” to 4’2”. Nora and Kristine are tall and Helene, the maid, is a full 6 feet. Nothing characterizes Ibsen’s patriarchy more clearly than the image of these little men dominating and commanding women nearly twice their size. The entire play takes place in the children’s room where for Christmas, Nora has given her “little ones” (who are as tall as the men) a playhouse size dollhouse, complete with period furniture in a scale fit for a kindergarten. Progressively the production becomes what Ibsen’s A Doll House has come to be—not a cutting edge feminist tract, but an “anthem”. In Act II Narelle Sissons’ set design, Catherine Jane Shaw’s puppets and ML Geiger’s lighting combine to unveil a classic “doll opera house” with formally dressed Victorian doll couples (puppets) watching the play from behind the action, echoing Nora’s declarations of freedom in an oratorio of doll-like voices. Eve Beglarian’s score, a collage of Edvard Grieg’s piano works, accompanies each scene—it’s as if we’re at a silent movie—while the choreography deconstructs the melodramatic posturing and synthesizes it into dance. Mabou Mines DollHouse turns bourgeois tragedy into high comedy with a deep political bite. Meganne George’s designs for costume and hair are pointedly Victorian. Norwegian accents become, naturally, de rigueur.

2007 New World Stage International Performance series runs January 24 through June 10, 2007. This signature programme presents a new, contemporary format featuring 17 productions, encompassing multiple performance disciplines including theatre, dance, music and cabaret.

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 redeem New World Stage Passports, a unique gift certificate/credit offer, in order to facilitate their tailor-your-own-experiences. Packages and Single tickets are on sale now. Package offers include 10, 15 and 30 percent discounts with assigned, value-added benefits per package. For tickets and information about this new series call 416-973-4000 or online www.harbourfrontcentre.com/nws.

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.

-30-

Media Contact:
Harbourfront Centre Media Relations
Bill Bobek
wbobek@harbourfrontcentre.com
416.973.4428



NEW WORLD STAGE PARTICIPANTS TO FOLLOW...


...it’s only a rehearsal
zero visibility corp. (Norway)
February 7-10, Enwave Theatre
CANADIAN PREMIERE

“…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, the audience 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
NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE

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.

kuumba
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
CANADIAN PREMIERE

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 ...life 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 hatch@harbourfrontcentre.com for updated information about the first HATCHLab workshop.


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

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
(Brazil)

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.

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

The Passenger
Sarah Chase Dance Stories
(Hornby Island - Vancouver)

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


Revisited
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


Unbound
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, he 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 connectedwith 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
WORLD PREMIERE

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. In addition 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
CANADIAN PREMIERE

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
NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
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 new theatre 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
Produced by Luminato and Harbourfront Centre

Rite of Spring & Re
Shen Wei Dance Arts (China/USA)
June 6-9, Premiere Dance Theatre
CANADIAN PREMIERE
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 from the 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.
WORLD PREMIERE

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!


Truedeau: 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
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. (librettist), this staged recital gives audiences a rare glimpse into the process of opera in its early stages, before its ultimate premiere.

Box Office 416-973-4000 www.harbourfrontcentre.com/nws


Desire
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.


Bill Bobek <wbobek@harbourfrontcentre.com>
Media Relations Associate
Media Relations
Harbourfront Centre



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