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NextSteps launches its spectacular winter/spring series with Dance Ontario’s sizzling performances, January 19-20

TORONTO, January 16, 2008Harbourfront Centre is pleased to launch the exciting winter/spring edition of NextSteps with Dance Ontario’s dance weekend (January 19-20), featuring extraordinary dance companies, world premieres and hundreds of dancers and musicians. NextSteps, bringing together an exceptional selection of contemporary dance companies, is presented from January to May in Harbourfront Centre’s Premiere Dance Theatre (207 Queens Quay West) and Harbourfront Centre's Enwave Theatre (231 Queens Quay West). For tickets and information, the public can call 416-973-4000 or visit www.harbourfrontcentre.com/nextsteps.

"NextSteps offers audiences a window into the richly diverse community of creators and performers who call the stages of Harbourfront Centre their own,” says Harbourfront Centre dance programmer, Jeanne Holmes. Harbourfront Centre's programme presents a variety of expressions in contemporary dance, all in NextSteps, one easy to navigate fabulous series.

For over 30 years, Harbourfront Centre has been a primary supporter of Canadian dance performance, presenting seminal work by such noted groups as Compagnie Marie Chouinard, Ballet British Columbia, Dancemakers, O Vertigo, Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company, Toronto Dance Theatre, The Holy Body Tattoo and Danny Grossman Dance Company to name just a few. NextSteps gives rise to the new generation of contemporary dance in the Greater Toronto Area.

NextSteps Winter/Spring 2008 Participants:

Dance Ontario Dance Weekend 2008
January 19-20, 1pm
Premiere Dance Theatre
Admission by $10 donation at the door

Warm up your winter with Dance Ontario's weekend of sizzling performances from Toronto's hottest dance artists. Featuring extraordinary dance companies, world premieres, and hundreds of dancers and musicians—guaranteed to stir your senses and break up the winter blues! For additional information, please visit www.danceontario.ca. Presented in association with Harbourfront Centre.

Menaka Thakkar Dance Company
Moving to Rhythm
February 15-16, 8pm
February 17, 2pm
Premiere Dance Theatre
Single Tickets: $30, $25, Student/Senior: $24, $20
NextSteps Package Price: $25.50, $21.25, Student/Senior: $24, $20

The year-long celebration of Menaka Thakkar’s legacy continues February 15-17th with an exciting new show featuring dancers who have studied with Menaka throughout her 35 years in Canada. The Menaka Thakkar Dance Company, under the Artistic Direction of Menaka Thakkar will present a re-mount of Love’s Folly, an amusing piece about the frustrations and joys of romance, along with a newly created contemporary choreography Moving to Rhythm inspired by Ravel’s Bolero. Two rising bharatanatyam stars from India, Pavitra Bhatt and Kalishwaran Pillai will join the company for these productions. In addition, two of Menaka¹s early students who are now renowned, international dancers in their own right will pay tribute to Menaka through solo pieces. Canada’s Nova Bhattacharya will perform an original modern dance and Niharika Mohanty from San Francisco will perform an exquisite Odissi work. For additional information, please visit menakathakkardance.org.

COBA – Collective of Black Artists
YEBO
February 29-March 1, 8pm
March 2, 3pm
Premiere Dance Theatre
Single Tickets: $30, $25, Student/Senior: $25, $20
NextSteps Package Price: $25, $20, Student/Senior: $25, $20

YEBO (pronounced yeah-bo) is a Zulu word meaning "yes," an exclamation or affirmation of success. COBA—Collective of Black Artists celebrates its 15th anniversary season with a dynamic evening of works featuring new and innovative choreography by founding artistic director BaKari E. Lindsay, guest choreographer Sis Robin Hibbert, and critically-acclaimed Bodika/Sessions by Vincent Sekwati Mantsoe. For additional information, please visit www.cobainc.com.

DanceWorks DW170 - Sashar Zarif Dance
Choreographies of Migration
March 6-8, 8pm
Enwave Theatre
Single Tickets: $27, Student/Senior: $17
NextSteps Package Price: $25, Student/Senior: $16

In a richly layered programme, Azerbaijani artist Sashar Zarif draws from personal experiences to ponder how migration has transformed traditional dance. Through two linked premieres, we are invited to consider our own origins. Anar (Pomegranate) is a quartet for seasoned dance artists Holly Small, Carol Anderson, Susan Cash and Terrill Maguire. Life is the Feeling of a Migrating Bird is an autobiographical solo created and performed by Zarif, along with his award-winning collaborations with Holly Small, In The Letters Of My Name, commissioned by Dance Ontario, and his compelling trio, Wait, with original music by Mohammad Tabrizi-zadeh.

Kaeja d'Dance
Abattoir
March 25, 27-29, 8pm
Premiere Dance Theatre
Single Tickets: $30, $24, Student/Senior: $18
NextSteps Package Price: $18

Dense with hard-edged kinetics and signature partnering, two award winning choreographers converge in Abattoir. Allen Kaeja's aesthetic meets Karen Kaeja's liquid, sensual athleticism, to create a major new work full of depth and disturbing beauty. Allen's vision of our capacity for innocence ignites this multi-disciplinary dance production.

Known for their "beautifully evocative, powerfully realized and ultimately uplifting work" (Washington Post), Abattoir features the Company's world-class performers, in collaboration with the exceptional and fiery talents of writer Jason Sherman, new opera singer Fides Krucker and composer Edgardo Moreno. For more information, please visit kaeja.org.

The Chimera Project
The Hidden Spot
April 3-5, 8pm
Enwave Theatre
Single Tickets: $30, Student/Senior/CADA: $20
NextSteps Package Price: $27, Student/Senior/CADA: $15

Known for its fearless, muscular physicality, The Chimera Project brings its unique urban edge to their newest creation, The Hidden Spot. Inspired by iconic images of faith, Artistic Director/Choreographer Malgorzata Nowacka explores our thirst for symbols and tangible reference points in an increasingly secular society, taking us on a mysterious journey through the precarious and forbidden nature of the sacred.

Dancemakers
Double Bill #1
April 9-12, 8pm
April 12, 3pm
Premiere Dance Theatre
Single Tickets: $38-$22, Student/Senior/CADA: $33-$20
NextSteps Package Price: $33-$20, Student/Senior/CADA: $24-$15

Double Bill #1 is the inaugural project of a three-year cycle of exciting new collaborations between Dancemakers resident choreographer Michael Trent and an invited creator. This edition welcomes Ame Henderson, artistic director of Public Recordings whose bold, in-your-face aesthetic thrilled audiences in 2006. Riffing on each other's compelling and distinctive voices, Trent and Henderson will deliver what promises to be an unforgettable evening of movement, sound and image. For more information, please visit dancemakers.org.

Ballet Creole
Spring Works
April 17-19, 8pm
Premiere Dance Theatre
Single Tickets: $35, $25, Student/Senior: $25, $20
NextSteps Package Price: $30, $25, Student/Senior: $25, $20

Under the artistic direction of Caribbean-born dancer, choreographer and percussionist Patrick Parson, Ballet Creole provides a multicultural forum for choreographers, dancers and musicians. Its high-energy works range from African ritualism to abstract modern, with a repertoire, driven by the rhythm of the drums.
An evening of mixed repertoire exploring strength and humanity includes a collaboration between Patrick Parsons and Canadian dance icon Danny Grossman, and new works by former Alvin Ailey member, Milton Myers and resident choreographer Gabby Kamino. For more information, please visit balletcreole.org.

DanceWorks DW171 - Heidi Strauss
Adelheid Solos
April 24-26, 8pm
Enwave Theatre
Single Tickets: $27, Student/Senior: $17
NextSteps Package Price: $25, Student/Senior: $16

Heidi Strauss performs the world premiere of a newly created solo and remounts her 2002 collaboration with designer/director Jan Komarek, Das Martyrium. Inspired by the Joan of Arc story, Das Martyrium is a haunting portrait of heroism and madness. For additional information, please visit danceworks.ca

CanAsian International Dance Festival showcases a different programme each night.
May 1-3
Enwave Theatre
Single Tickets: $25 (see 2 shows for $40, see 3 shows for $55)
Student/Senior/CADA members: $20 (see 2 shows for $35, see 3 shows for $50)
NextSteps Package Price: $20

May 1, 7pm & May 2, 9pm
• Tribal Crackling Wind with the Evergreen Gamelan Club – Mind's Hammer
• inDANCE – Uma

May 1, 9pm & May 3, 7pm
• Wen Wei Dance – One Man's
• Soojung Kwon – The Choon Heng Mu Project
• Chitralekha Odissi Dance Creations – Kedar Pallavi

May 2, 7pm & May 3, 9pm
• Fujiwara Dance Inventions – Sumida River

Known for the presentation of world-class, pan-Asian dance that ranges from rarely seen traditional dances to cutting edge contemporary forms, striking design and live
music, the 2008 CanAsian International Dance Festival will showcase outstanding artists from across Canada. For more information, please visit canasiandancefestival.com.

Andrea Nann Dreamwalker Dance Company
The Whole Shebang
May 9-10, 8pm
Enwave Theatre
Single Tickets: $35, Student/Senior: $25
NextSteps Package Price: $22, Student/Senior: $20

Now in its fourth year, The Whole Shebang - Celebrating the Individual Voice within the Collective, is an annual programme created by Andrea Nann Dreamwalker Dance Company, featuring contemporary dance, literature, music, visual art, film and video that reaches across artistic disciplines. The programme brings together culturally and artistically diverse performers as a showcase of the richness of Canadian talent. For more information, please visit dreamwalkerdance.com.

dance Immersion
2008 Showcase Presentation: Cleo Parker Robinson Dance
May 29-31, 8pm
May 31, 1pm
Enwave Theatre
Single Tickets: $30, Student/Senior: $25
NextSteps Package Price: $25, Student/Senior: $20

dance Immersion is a not-for-profit charitable organization that presents, cultivates and promotes dancers and dances of the African Diaspora. This year's dance Immersion showcase features Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, an international, cross-cultural, dance-arts and education institution rooted in African American traditions. In a mixed repertoire, guided by a vision of dance as the universal language, individual expression, and a path to healing and peace, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance honors diversity and inclusiveness through this special Toronto debut of the company. For additional information, please visit danceimmersion.ca.

Lata Pada – Sampradaya Dance Creations
shunya and
May 30-31, 8pm
May 31, 2pm
Premiere Dance Theatre
Single Tickets: $40-$20, Student/Senior: $35-$15
NextSteps Package Price: $35-$15

Lata Pada and Sampradaya Dance Creations present the world premieres of shunya and in a riveting double bill of contemporary Indian dance. Redefining Indian dance, these compelling new works challenge and contradict prevailing perceptions of the east/west matrix. shunya, choreographed by Lata Pada is a multi-disciplinary, multi-sensory exploration of the concept of zero. Expressed through the aesthetics of several world cultures, shunya evokes the mystery of this abstract and esoteric symbol. is a daring exploration of the confluence of bharatanatyam and ballet choreographed by UK's avant-garde, Mavin Khoo, for Sampradaya Dance Creations and Ballet Jorgen Canada. For more information, please visit sampradaya.ca.

Please Note: The Danny Grossman Dance Company will not be performing at the Premiere Dance Theatre in January 2008, as announced in the Fall. Revised season programming information is available at dannygrossman.com or by calling
416-408-4543.

FOCUS: Sacred
From January to June, Harbourfront Centre asks the big question—What is Sacred? What is held sacred varies from culture to culture, country to country and person to person. What do you believe in? Are there universal truths in the world we live in? How important is ritual and belief to contemporary life? Have we reached a point where nothing is sacred anymore? Sacred is part of an ongoing exploration of ideas in programming at Harbourfront Centre. Our Lens. Your View.

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Media Contacts:
Individual companies through Harbourfront Centre media assistance
Linda Liontis
416-973-4381
lliontis@harbourfrontcentre.com
Shane Gerard
416-973-4518
sgerard@harbourfrontcentre.com
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