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Harbourfront Centre unveils rare wonders of dance in 2004

2003-2004

Dance Season

Featuring:
Canada, India,
France,
Taiwan
U. K. and
U.S.A.

TORONTO, January 21, 2004-The second half of the Harbourfront Centre dance season delivers a stunning lineup of renowned Canadian and international dance ensembles that take the stage at the Premiere Dance Theatre and Harbourfront Centre Theatre.
"From January to May our season is chock-a-block with contemporary world voices whether coming to us from across the globe, or in the global perspective of Toronto-based dance makers." said Harbourfront Centre Dance Programmer, Jeanne Holmes: "The second half of our season offers the chance for the public to experience the legendary greatness of Bill T Jones and the remarkable new perspective of Compagnie Kafig's Mourad Merzouki, the Toronto debuts of Tai-Gu Tales and Charles Linehan Dance and the international journeys of Danny Grossman, Serge Bennathan and Menaka Thakker, all in one place. Harbourfront Centre brings the world's best to Toronto's dance audiences."

It all begins January 28-February 1, 2004 when the Danny Grossman Dance Company performs the Canadian premiere of Anna Sokolow's 1955 creation, Rooms. One of her most definitive works, Rooms is a Sokolow interpretation of the psychological alienation of eight individuals, each in a separate room in a New York hotel. The other works on the programme are Grossman's own National Spirit celebrating sports and patriotism, and Couples - a mechanically-tuned and clockwork-like dance that humorously examines human relationships.

Taiwan's Tai-Gu Tales Dance Theatre presents the Life of Mandala, February 3-7. Drawing on modern dance training, traditional movement exercises and the acrobatics of Chinese opera Life of Mandala is a search for the essence of life and transcending suffering in images of the human body. Performed to a new-age score by Chieh-Yun Shih, the four-part dance explores the four stage journey to achieving spiritual awakening. Established in 1987 and led by Hsiu-Wei Lin, a choreographer whose work is described by dance critic Paula Citron as "epic, cerebral, philosophical, yet emotionally charged," the company consists of women trained in modern dance traditions and male dancers from the Chinese opera.

February 24-28, 2004 sees the return of Toronto Dance Theatre in Retro Vista, a celebration of Christopher House's 25th year as a choreographer with TDT and his 10th as Artistic Director. Audiences will rediscover many of House's ground-breaking works as TDT presents two programs featuring such critically acclaimed works as Glass Houses, Four Towers and Vena Cava. Internationally recognized as one of Canada's leading contemporary dance companies, TDT produces intelligent and passionate contemporary creations. House is one of Canada's leading choreographers whose works have been praised for their rich movement invention, subversive wit and deft handling of multiple layers of meaning. His piercingly inventive choreography continually earns accolades both at home and abroad. Christopher House adds, "I am very excited to be revisiting these works with the current dancers of TDT. The rehearsal process is going to be very stimulating, resulting in a wonderful variety of dance for our audience."

March 2-6, Compagnie Kafig, under the artistic direction of Mourad Merzouki, premieres Corps et Graphique. Calligraphy, choreography and male/female relations are the trinity of this new creation which premiered in Lyon, France in September 2003. Kafig's Mourad Merzouki and Kader Attou of La Compagnie Accrorap join forces and experiences in this latest creation which also includes the collaboration of Algerian calligrapher Hachmi Mokrane. Heralded for bringing hip hop to the contemporary dance stage, Compagnie Kafig struck a chord among younger dance enthusiasts during their successful first visit to Harbourfront Centre two seasons ago.

March 16-20, New York's Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company features an evening of mixed repertoire in commemoration of its twentieth year in the American dance scene. The programme includes There Were, Power/Full and 2003's Reading, Mercy and the Artificial Nigger. Producing riveting theatrical performances with a social and political edge, Jones is known as an experimental choreographer and storyteller. Famous for its virtuosic technique and boundless energy, the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company will light up the evening with this diverse repertoire.

Harbourfront Centre and DanceWorks present *Parallel Ports featuring Charles Linehan Dance March 25-27 in the Harbourfront Centre Theatre. The Award-winning, UK-based choreographer Charles Linehan makes his Toronto debut with two expressive pieces, Grand Junction and New Quartet.Grand Junction examines the shifting psychology and terrain of the relationship between dancers Greig Cooke and Andreja Rauch. His latest work featuring his signature movement style, New Quartet, premiered in October 2003 and includes William Basinski's recordings of disintegrating tape loops of piano fragments.

Inspired through the artistic direction of Serge Bennathan and co-produced with Harbourfront Centre, Toronto's premiere contemporary dance company, Dancemakers, presents Tziganes April 20-May 1, 2004. Dancemakers' newest creation is a full-length production which uses the musical metamorphoses of the voyaging Tziganes from Eastern Europe to Spain as a metaphor for the freedom of the human spirit. Composer John Gzowski's score, fusing jazz with the pulse of Eastern European Romany music, will be performed live on stage for a captivating evening. Joining Gzowksi and choreographer Serge Bennathan to form the creative team are musicians Andrew Downing, Rick Hyslop, Bob Stevenson and Jeff Wilson; set designer Yannik Larivee; film designer, John Price; lighting designer Bonnie Beecher; and costume designer Heather MacCrimmon.

The season closes with Canada/India's Menaka Thakkar Dance Company May 12-16. Her latest work, Pattano Pradesh (Queen of Spades), for 52 dancers includes five of India's classical dance traditions: Oddisi, Mohiniattam, Bharatnatyam, Manipuri and Kathak. Through these dance styles the piece explores themes of freedom and the removal of barriers in a society strictly separated by social groupings. The message of class freedom is symbolized by the fusion of these dances. Set within the framework of a two-act fantasy, the performance is driven by a gripping story line and vibrates with colourful costumes and sets.

Performances are at Harbourfront Centre's Premiere Dance Theatre, 3rd floor, Queen's Quay Terminal, 207 Queens Quay West (*except Parallel Ports, see above). All evening performances begin at 8 p.m., Sunday matinees at 3 p.m. Tickets from $21 to $35.75 on Tuesday through Thursday evenings and Sunday matinees. Friday and Saturday evenings, tickets are $22 to $37.50. Special rates available for students, seniors and dance professionals. Parallel Ports single tickets are $22. Seniors, students, and CADA tickets are $15. For tickets call Harbourfront Centre Box Office at 416-973-4000 or through the website at: www.harbourfront.on.ca .

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Media Contact:
Bill Bobek - Media Relations, Harbourfront Centre; 416-973-4000
wbobek@harbourfront.on.ca
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