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Harbourfront Centre's World Stage 2008 Series Launches January 22, 2008
Complete Series Event Line Up and Production Details Below:
Media kits, pictures and more at www.harbourfrontcentre.com/worldstagemedia

TORONTO, January 17, 2008 – Harbourfront Centre's World Stage 2008 series of 10 provocatively innovative productions launches January 22-26 with Canadian premiere performances of Australia's acclaimed small metal objects at the Toronto Eaton Centre. Running from January 22 to May 10 the World Stage 2008 line-up includes an eclectic mix of international theatre, dance and opera companies hailing from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom. Tickets are now on sale at the Harbourfront Centre Box Office at 416.973.4000 or at www.harbourfrontcentre.com/worldstage

World Stage 2008 begins with small metal objects, an ingenious theatrical gem from Australia’s Back to Back Theatre, running from January 22 to 26 in the bustling public space that is the Toronto Eaton Centre. Back to Back’s philosophy and process places artists with disabilities at the creative core of the company.

World Stage 2008 continues with the World Premiere of Transmission of the Invisible from Canadian choreographer Peter Chin and Tribal Crackling Wind (February 6 to 9). Combining the talents of Canadian and Cambodian dancers alongside video projections by Cylla von Tiedemann, Chin’s Transmission of the Invisible explores the tragic impact of the Khmer Rouge genocide on Cambodian culture while emphasizing the urgent need to nurture the heritage that remains.

Toronto’s Tapestry New Opera Works sings up next starting February 15-17 and February 20-23. Heralding its latest version of Opera To Go 2008, Tapestry's respected series feature six world premiere short operas, and the Bravo!Fact film A Perfect Match, that individually incorporate animation, puppetry and more.

The U.K.'s outrageous and hilarious Spymonkey sketch their comedy in the footsteps of Monty Python and Kids in the Hall. A headliner at last year's Just For Laughs festival, the ensemble is known for their association with Cirque du Soleil (they performed Zumanity - Another Side of Cirque du Soleil for two years in Las Vegas). Their Toronto premiere of Cooped is an over-the-top romp filled with slapstick, naughtiness (yes, a bit of nudity) and roll-on-the-floor fun (March 5 to 14).

In a first ever partnership Harbourfront Centre joins forces with Toronto’s Theatre Centre to present FreeFall, a biennial festival that showcases Canadian experimental interdisciplinary performance. World Stage 2008 showcases seven productions from March 6-16. Performances take place at Harbourfront Centre, the Theatre Centre and other locations. This inaugural partnership will also have a conference on issues currently facing artists in the Toronto community.

Winnipeg-based media artist Daniel Barrow presents the world premiere of his live animation presentation Every Time I See Your Picture I Cry on April 10-12 (presented with the 21st annual Images Festival). This graphic performance traces the drawings and dialogue of a jaded garbage man/artist wandering the city streets followed by a deranged lunatic who kills off each citizen he draws. Barrow has been featured prominently at exhibitions throughout North America.

From April 16-19 an icon of contemporary dance, the Bill T Jones / Arnie Zane Dance company from the U.S. makes a rare Toronto appearance and an exclusive Canadian premiere. Using spoken word, live music, song and an outstanding company of dancers Chapel/Chapter explores the spiritual and moral polarities in today's society in an intimate and thrilling experience performed in the round.

Scotland’s Traverse Theatre Company returns to Toronto with a commissioned work by one of that country’s leading contemporary playwrights, David Greig. The Canadian premiere of Damascus runs from April 22-26 in the Premiere Dance Theatre. This story of language, love and misunderstandings is set in the jewel of the Arab world, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities at the crossroads of the Middle East. A Scottish businessman desperate to get home to spend Valentine's Day with his wife finds himself at the centre of laughter, romance and tragedy. This production marks a preview of an annual focus on contemporary Scottish culture at Harbourfront Centre. The Scotland Funds and The Traverse Theatre will join other Scottish supporters partnering with Harbourfront Centre in the ongoing development and import of Scottish culture to Canada in Spring 2009.

World Stage 2008 comes to a close with presentations from New Zealand and Australia at the Premiere Dance Theatre. From April 30 to May 3, New Zealand’s Black Grace brings the raw power and energy of its all-male troupe to Short Works. Combining Pacific Islander traditions with contemporary dance practice, the company will thrill audiences in an evening of mixed repertoire, their testosterone-driven renditions of the Samoan slap dance and the sacred art of Tatau (tattoo).

>From May 6 to 10, circus gets a contemporary spin when Australia's C!RCA presents The Space Between - a performance reveling in our desires to be together while revealing the things that keep us apart. The Space Between has been performed in more than 10 countries over 4 continents fusing dance, contemporary circus and rock’n’roll. C!RCA tailors their talents to younger audiences with an all-ages performance on May 7 entitled 46 circus acts in 45 minutes. This matinee performance includes intrepid acrobats and circus masters playing sharp with the clock testing their own limits as they tumble, fly, contort, juggle and balance in this delightful and joyous spectacle.

Tina Rasmussen, Artistic Director of World Stage 2008 says "The productions selected as part of World Stage represent, each in their own unique way, current trends in theatre, dance and music that are emerging internationally and at the same time have resonances here at home. This line up boasts collaborations and new partnerships, investigation of public space and everyday life, authentic outreach and new forms, expanding the scope of the performing arts across the board. They are accessible, innovative, thought provoking and beautiful. These companies stand for something and it is my hope that World Stage continue to provide a context for questions to be posed and discussed, as we have done here with our international programming at Harbourfront Centre for over 30 years"

“I find it personally gratifying that some of the most innovative ideas for performance are originating here in Canada.” added William J.S. Boyle, Harbourfront Centre's CEO. “The productions from Canada included in this series are deservedly front and centre when it comes to exploring new performance territory.”

World Stage 2008 season tickets: Group and Single Tickets now on sale (package discounts up to 20%)
Most tickets in the $30 to $40 range - please call Box Office or visit the website for exact pricing
(Free Fall tickets $20, Every Time I See your Picture I Cry tickets $15, 46 Circus Acts in 45 minutes tickets $15)
Student/Senior 13/13 rush ticket programme: students and seniors can purchase one $13 ticket
(with per valid ID, cash only) 13 minutes before curtain (subject to availability)
For more ticket and event information call 416-973-4000 or visit online at www.harbourfrontcentre.com

World Stage 2008 presents a diverse collection of innovative and exciting performing arts events in one visionary series. The season features a number of World and Canadian premieres of some of the world’s most exceptional artistic endeavours stretching both form and function of contemporary performance.

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World Stage 2008 Participating Companies and Performance Schedule
Public website atwww.harbourfrontcentre.com/worldstage
Media website atwww.harbourfrontcentre.com/worldstagemedia

small metal objects - Back to Back Theatre (Australia)
January 22-26 at the Toronto Eaton Centre - Canadian Premiere
Company and production info at: www.backtobacktheatre.com

Challenge the way you look at theatre: wire into this unique, site-specific drama, set against the backdrop and pedestrian traffic of the Toronto Eaton Centre. Gary and Steve are the type of men that usually go unnoticed. Here, they play a pivotal role in the lives of two ambitious executives they've arranged to meet for a transaction. Back to Back Theatre is driven by an ensemble of six actors with intellectual disabilities. The company’s work defies convention, challenges logic and questions the imperative to be ‘normal’. A refreshing take on the things we take for granted.

“Shakespeare’s suggestion that ‘all the world’s a stage” has seldom been better demonstrated, and the achievement of small metal objects is that it not only makes you look, it makes you see.” - The Guardian, London (Critics’ pick)


Transmission of the Invisible - Peter Chin/Tribal Crackling Wind (Cambodia/Toronto)
February 6-9 at the Enwave Theatre - World Premiere
Company and production info at: www.tribalcracklingwind.ca

How is tradition preserved when almost an entire community is massacred? Peter Chin’s riveting world premiere explores the urgency to nurture and reinvigorate the essence of Cambodian culture in the aftermath of the Khmer Rouge genocide. How does creative energy pass from person to person, from nature to person or from a culture to a person? Chin explores through a fusion of traditional and contemporary dance the importance of this creative generational exchange. This multi-media work is a powerful and passionate expression of how tradition and meaning is so easily torn by the cruel cuttings of war.

“A choreographer at the height of his powers…Chin … keeps breaking the rules about what dance should be.” - Globe and Mail


Opera to Go 2008 - Tapestry New Opera Works (Toronto)
February 15-17 & 20-23 at the Enwave Theatre
Company and production info at: www.tapestrynewopera.com

A new vintage of opera – Tapestry presents a sampling of seven impressive world premiere short works created by a talented cross section of Canadian artists – six are performed as 15-minute operas and one is screened as a 5-minute Bravo!FACT. Embracing film, electronic music and puppetry, these pieces push the boundaries of the operatic medium to reflect the world we live in. Opera to Go at World Stage 2008 includes genres ranging from black comedy and romance to a mythic journey - all reflecting contemporary stories and human relationships to each other and to their environment.

“…where the future of Canadian opera is being made today.” - Toronto Star


Cooped - Spymonkey (UK)
March 5-14 at the Premiere Dance Theatre - Toronto Premiere
Company and production info at: www.spymonkey.co.uk

Laura du Lay arrives at a remote country house to uncover a tale of murder, love and mistaken identity. Is the handsome Forbes Murdston insane? Is his mysterious manservant Klaus who he says he is? And are Laura’s terrible dreams a warning of further tragedy? Spymonkey’s Cooped overflows with brilliant characters, visual humour, slapstick comedy, naughtiness and nudity – a sure-fire hit where ever it goes! A headliner at last year's Just For Laughs festival, the Spymonkey quartet of performers have been to 17 countries around the world since first meeting in 1997. In 2003 Spymonkey and director Cal McCrystal were invited by Cirque du Soleil to create and perform the comedy numbers for ‘Zumanity - Another Side of Cirque du Soleil’, the adult cabaret they were creating in Las Vegas. Their surreal and irreverent style made them the uproarious highlight of the show.

“Utterly infectious... a perfectly paced hybrid of The Pink Panther and Psycho.” - The Independent UK


FreeFall - The Theatre Centre (Toronto) in partnership with World Stage 2008
March 6 to 16 at multiple downtown Toronto locations
Company and production info at: www.theatrecentre.org

For the first time, Harbourfront Centre’s World Stage partners with Toronto’s Theatre Centre to present FreeFall, a biennial festival of experimental interdisciplinary Canadian performance. The Theatre Centre has co-produced a number of highly successful and widely recognized productions, garnering over twenty Dora nominations and awards in its twenty-six year history. Performances and ancillary activities will be happening at Harbourfront Centre, the Theatre Centre, and at a variety of downtown locations. Selected performance highlights include an interactive performance by Governor General winner Istvan Kantor, a new opera featuring performances by Patricia O'Callaghan, Christine Duncan and Neema Bickersteth, and Montreal master puppeteer Marcelle Hudon.


Every Time I See Your Picture I Cry - Daniel Barrow
April 10-12 at the Brigantine Room - World Premiere
Presented as part of the 21st annual Images Festival
Company and production info at: www.danielbarrow.com

Winnipeg-based media artist Daniel Barrow premieres his new live animation presentation Every Time I See Your Picture I Cry. Barrow uses an overhead projector to relay ideas and short narratives by projecting, layering and manipulating drawings on mylar transparencies. This graphic performance develops the interior dialogue of a jaded garbage man/artist as he wanders aimlessly through city streets collecting garbage, drawing pictures of people as they sleep and gleaning what he can of people’s lives through their trash. What he doesn’t know is that a deranged lunatic is trailing him, killing off each citizen he records in his book, thus rendering his catalogue efforts obsolete. Barrow works in performance, video and installation and has exhibited at The Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles), New Langton Arts (San Francisco) and The Contemporary Art Gallery (Vancouver) as well as on select dates with music group The Hidden Cameras.


Chapel/Chapter - Bill T Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company (USA)
April 16-19 at the Enwave Theatre - exclusive Canadian premiere
Company and production info at: www.billtjones.org

Three stories – two highly visible news items and one personal confession – set the narrative mood of an intimate exchange between the audience and one of the world’s most renowned dance choreographers, Bill T Jones. People die in tragic ways in each story, people find beauty and lasting hope in each story. This virtuosic piece vividly contrasts the extremes of today's spiritual and moral politics as the play out on an individual and mass media consciousness. Through spoken word, live music, song and an exceptional company of dancers - Chapel/Chapter is an exhilarating experience performed in an intimate round setting of a theatre draped in red fabric reminiscent of the sanctuary of a church. This emotionally powerful work will long linger in audiences’ memories.

"Chapel/Chapter is a riveting experience. "…the visceral impact of the piece is inescapable.” - New York Times


Damascus - Traverse Theatre Company
April 22-26 at the Premiere Dance Theatre - Canadian Premiere
Company and production info at: www.traverse.co.uk/traverse.html

Scotland’s Traverse Theatre Company returns to Toronto with a commissioned work by one of that country’s leading contemporary playwrights, David Greig. This story of language, love and misunderstandings is set in the jewel of the Arab world, the crossroads of the Middle East. A Scottish businessman desparate to get home to spend Valentine's Day with his wife finds himself at the centre of laughter, romance and tragedy. Now in its 45th year, Edinburgh's Traverse Theatre is Scotland's new writing theatre, with a record of excellence since 1963. With quality, award-winning productions and programming, the Traverse receives accolades at home and abroad from audiences and critics alike. This production marks a preview of an annual focus on contemporary Scottish culture at Harbourfront Centre. The Scotland Funds and The Traverse Theatre will join other Scottish supporters partnering with Harbourfront Centre in the ongoing development and import of Scottish culture to Canada in Spring 2009.

"David Greig's new play is terrific - the best thing I've seen so far at Edinburgh" (Andrew Dickson - Guardian Unlimited arts editor - 2007)


Short Works - Black Grace (New Zealand)
April 30 - May 3 at the Premiere Dance Theatre - Toronto Premiere
Company and production info at: www.blackgrace.co.nz

Black Grace presents an exhilarating fusion of contemporary movement with traditional style of the Pacific Islanders in the Toronto premiere of Short Works. From their Samoan slap dance to their interpretation of the sacred Samoan art of Tatau (Tattoo), this dynamic all-male contemporary dance company delivers an infectious, testosterone-driven energy on stage with warrior-like grace. Known worldwide for their artistry, acrobatics, creative excellence and innovation, Black Grace redefines and refines the traditions of their native Samoan and Maori cultures into a multifaceted rhythmic celebration of dance.

“…they deliver…through every flex and spring, stamp and shudder...” - New Zealand Herald


The Space Between - C!RCA (Australia)
May 6-10 - Premiere Dance Theatre - Toronto premiere
also performing46 circus acts in 45 minutes
May 7 - Premiere Dance Theatre - Matinee all ages performance
Company and production info at: www.rocknrollcircus.com

C!RCA has a unique vision of circus as a delightful, challenging and contemporary art form featuring amazing skills pulled apart and re-invigorated.With its explosive acrobatic encounters, lyrical duets and supple physical contortions, The Space Between is a powerful exploration of the things that keep us apart and our desire to be together. A combination of dance, contemporary circus, and rock and roll - this is stripped back circus of the heart. This highly original Brisbane, Australia-based group tailor their talents to younger audiences with 46 circus acts in 45 minutes. This matinee performance includes intrepid acrobats and circus masters playing sharp with the clock testing their own limits as they tumble, fly, contort, juggle and balance in this delightful and joyous spectacle. Since 2004 The Space Between has been performed in more than 10 countries over 4 continents worldwide. Each year C!RCA performs to over 50,000 people.

“a seamless and utterly captivating production that redraws the limits to which circus can aspire” - The Age (Melbourne)


For World Stage 2008 public ticket and event information call 416-973-4000 or visit online at www.harbourfrontcentre.com

From January 22 to May 10 World Stage 2008 presents a diverse collection of innovative and exciting performing arts events in one visionary series. The series features a number of World and Canadian premieres of exceptional artistic endeavour - stretching both the form and function of contemporary performance.

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:
Linda Liontis (416-973-4381 or lliontis@harbourfrontcentre.com)
Shane Gerard (416-973-4518 or sgerard@harbourfrontcentre.com)
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