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Hot Spot Summer 2011 features an incredible lineup of
theatre and dance events from around the world

Come and celebrate all summer long at the heart of Toronto’s waterfront

TORONTO, ON (Wednesday, May 19, 2011) Harbourfront Centre along with its lead summer partner, The Toronto Port Authority, is proud to reveal the preliminary dance and theatre programming for summer on the waterfront. Hot Spot Summer 2011 features performances for all ages throughout the newly-expanded festival season, the majority of which are FREE of charge.

Experience performing arts from around the globe including cumbia and hoop dancing at On the Pulse, Mexican folkloric at Corazón de México presented by WestJet Vacations, Cuban rumba at Island Soul, and a multitude of South Asian dance forms at Masala! Mehndi! Masti!. Theatre events include improv with The National Theatre of the World and Canadian Improv Games, and an amazing puppet theatre presentation from Mexico.

Be transported by amazing performances and get yourself moving all summer long at Harbourfront Centre. New this year, visitors are invited to take part at Dancing on the Pier every Thursday evening starting June 23. Learn how to salsa, jive or samba right by the water with dance experts, choreographers and DJs heating up the boardwalk!

For additional information and complete event listings, the public may visit or call the Information Hotline at 416-973-4000. Harbourfront Centre is located at 235 Queens Quay West in the heart of downtown Toronto’s waterfront.

Join us this summer as we explore “Hot Spots” of intensity, artistic brilliance, connectivity, and regions of conflict that shape the impressions we have of ourselves and our world. This theme is programmed into each weekend festival to bring together rich artistic traditions from our own backyard and around the globe! It also presents a unique opportunity to experience top Canadian and international artists in a fun, family-friendly environment without ever leaving the city!

Hot spots may not always be comfortable, but they are conduits of change. Embrace change or defy it – it is ultimately up to you. This summer, Harbourfront Centre presents programming that asks: What’s your hot spot?


Co-produced with La Franco-Fête de Toronto
Franco-Fête is one of the most important French-language events in Ontario, being Toronto's premier francophone music, arts and culture festival.

• Boucar Diouf
Saturday, June 25, 8:30 p.m. (WestJet Stage)
Comedian Boucar Diouf has lived in Québec since 1991. Sixth in a family of nine children, he was born and raised in the province of Sine, in Senegal. In a show that reflects tolerance and emotion, Diouf showcases his adopted land with humour, talent and great humanity.

• La Diva Malbouffa
Sunday, June 26, 3 p.m. (WestJet Stage)
Nathalie Choquette, an incredible award-winning soprano plays La Diva Malbouffa! She has a huge passion for opera that she loves to share with the whole family.

ON THE PULSE: July 2-3
Come embrace the element of surprise! On The Pulse is a two-day weekend festival of discovery in music, theatre and dance for the whole family! This festival provides the opportunity to witness artists who are pushing the boundaries of creativity, and artists that embrace participation, technology and interconnectivity!

• Cumbia with Me
Saturday, July 1, 1:30 p.m. (Redpath Stage)
Caliente Drum & Danz hosts this dance workshop teaching audiences the steps of cumbia, from its folkloric roots in Colombia to its evolution across South America.

• Hoop Dance Workshop with Beany John
Sunday, July 2, 4:30 p.m. (Redpath Stage)
Beany John performs and leads a hoop dance workshop for audiences to learn about the rich form of storytelling dance. Hoop dancing incorporates anywhere from one to 30 hoops, which are used to create static and dynamic shapes and storytelling elements.

• The Carnegie Hall Show
Saturday, July 2, 5 p.m. (Redpath Stage)
The National Theatre of the World is made up of four of Toronto’s finest comic minds: the Canadian award-winning Matt Baram, Ron Pederson, Chris Gibbs and Naomi Snieckus. At On The Pulse they present their original take on improv performance on the outdoor Redpath Stage.

• Canadian Improv Games’ Intro to Improv
Saturday, July 2, 2-3 p.m., 4-5 p.m. & 5-6 p.m. (South Orchard)
Intro to Improv will introduce participants to the wonderful world of spur-of-the-moment entertainment. Stories, narratives and character work will be apart of this interactive performance.

• Second City’s Absolutely Positively Completely Made-Up Show
Saturday, July 2, 3 p.m. (Redpath Stage)
Second City’s Absolutely Positively Completely Made-Up Show tickles the funny bone of young and old with an hour of interactive improvisation and theatre games for the whole family. Pulling ideas from the audience, Second City’s performers reach deep into their imaginations to create original stories and songs, all made-up right on the spot!

• Maori with Attitude!
Sunday, July 3, 1-2 p.m. (Redpath Stage)
Members of Moana & The Tribe host the workshop exploring the traditions of Maori music that originates from New Zealand. The interactive workshop is led by members who are skilled in haka (traditional Maori posture dance), pot (Maori dance), taonga puoro (traditional Maori instruments) and waiata-a-ringa (Maori action song dance).

Presented by WestJet Vacations
Bringing together the traditional and the modern, the Corazón de México (Heart of Mexico) festival will showcase the sights and sounds of a culture always moving and spreading outward. It is a culture that reflects hard realities and the vibrancy and warmth of its people.
Generously supported by the Mexican Consulate.

• Mariachi Fashion Dance Fiesta
Sunday, July 10, 4 p.m. (WestJet Stage)
For the grand finale of the Corazón De México festival, Toronto’s top Mariachi bands, Mariachi Amigo and Viva Mexico Mariachi, accompany a Mexican-themed fashion show. The event also features the Mexican Folkloric Dance Company who present the authentic dances, costumes and traditions of regions within Mexico.

• Marionetas de la Esquina
Saturday, July 9, 3 p.m. & Sunday, July 10, 3 p.m. (Redpath Stage)
Marionetas de la Esquina is a puppet theatre company from Mexico that has entertained children and adults since 1975. Since their creation, the company has helped develop the art of puppetry in Mexico with a repertoire of 10 enchanting shows.

COLOMBIAN COLOURS – Il Diaspora Festival : July 15-17
COLORES DE COLOMBIA – Il Festival de la Diáspora
This festival will showcase the diversity, infinite cultural expressions and ethnic diversity of Colombian culture by highlighting the work of Colombian diaspora artists.

• Ballet Raices de Colombia
Friday, July 15, & Saturday, July 16, time and location TBA
Formed by Colombian artistic director Carlos Reyes in Montreal in 2001, Ballet Raices de Colombia currently features 20 young dancers from different countries that have fallen in love with Colombian dance and culture. Considered the best Colombian folkloric group in Canada, they present Encuentro con la Patria (Encounter with Motherland), a showcase of Colombian rhythms, cadences, colours and festivities.

• Crisalida Cultural Project
Dates, times and location TBA
Crisalida is a non-profit arts organization founded in 2006 whose mission is to build vibrant, healthy, civically engaged communities through innovative, community-based arts practice among the Hispanic community of the GTA. People from different ages and walks of life converge in an artistic experience that allows them to be truly heard and acknowledged, reconnect with their roots, explore hidden talents, extend their social networks, and develop a positive sense of pride and ownership of the community where they live. For Colombian Colours, the group will present four short sketches in Spanish with subtitles in English: Esto Si es Vida, La Propuesta, Diatriba de un hombre sentado and Me enviaron flores.

Presented by Liberty Development
Is eternity timelessness? Boundlessness? Or an ideal? At the Tirgan Festival, come explore the multi-disciplinary artistic and cultural ideals of the theme, Visions of Eternity. Tirgan will be the Hot Spot this weekend, sizzling with Iranian art, culture, cuisine, activities, entertainment and shopping!

• Silk Road Dance Company
PERFORMANCE: Saturday, July 23, 4:30-5:30 p.m. & Sunday, July 24, 3:30-4:30 p.m. (WestJet Stage)
WORKSHOP: Sunday, July 24, 12:30-1:15 p.m. (Redpath Stage)
Silk Road Dance Company presents the Canadian premiere of a repertoire of folkloric dances as well as a workshop in Persian dance.

• Les Ballets Persans: Ballet, Iranian Style
Friday, July 22 & Saturday, July 23, 7:30 p.m. (Fleck Dance Theatre)
The closure of the Iranian National Ballet after the 1979 revolution in Iran was a great loss to dancers, choreographers, and dance educators. In 2002, Nima Kiann founded Les Ballet Persans in Stockholm as the reincarnation of the former Iranian National Ballet. The company’s thematic repertoire ranges from classical ballets to neoclassical works and contemporary productions inspired equally by Iranian literary and spiritual masterpieces and current social issues.

• Golden Puppet Theatre
Sunday, July 24, 3-4 p.m. (Brigantine Room)
Vida Ghahremani brings puppets to life on stage with the story of The Fairy King’s Daughter. Vida also hosts a workshop to teach children 12 and under how to make puppets and perform a show.

7:30-10 p.m. (WestJet Stage)
An entertainment-packed two and a half hour showcase featuring eight of the most wildly popular and original calypso songs of the 2011 Calypso Tents Music Series (CTMS), presented by the Organization of Calypso Performing Artistes. This evening of music, dance and carnival features four top Canadian soca artists, a virtuoso steelpannist Gareth Burgess, rhythm section band, interactive Sailor Dancers from Afro-Caribbean Dance Co. and Moko Jumbie characters from Swizzlestick Theatre. The Calypso All STARS house band for the evening is led by award-winning arranger/producer Ossie Gurley.

ISLAND SOUL: July 29-Aug. 1
Island Soul 2011 celebrates Riddim & Resistance with the historical self-transformation of the Caribbean islands from a colonial Hot Spot of cultural conflict into a creative hot spot of carnival culture! The Caribbean is celebrated through music, dance, storytelling and carnival characters at this year’s Island Soul festival!

• JOUVAY! An Ole Mas Carnival Parade!
Friday, July 29, 8-9 p.m. (Redpath Stage)
Traditional Trinidad and Tobago carnival characters come alive! Starting from the Redpath Stage and accompanied by steelpan, the midnight robber costumed characters and blue devils display Ole Mas Placards, stopping to re-enact them to spectators with satirical parody, spoken word and dance.

• Kalinda Stick Fight Performance & Workshop
Saturday, July 30, 2 p.m. (South Orchard Tent)
Calypso singing as an art form originally derived from kalinda chants sung in the gayelle
(stickfighting arena) to charge up the stickfighters in duel. The kalinda (stickfight), like capoeira, is an African martial art, a folk music of drum riddims, and a dance of nimble foot movements. Watch the performance, join in singing the lavweys (songs) to cheer on the stickfighters, and learn the basics to compete in your own stickfight at the Island Soul gayelle, with the drummers and dancers of the Keith Pascall Performing Company.

• Caribbean Island Rhythms
Saturday, July 30, 2:30 p.m. (Redpath Stage)
The Caribbean in this captivating dance performance is about the Caribbean people, how they move their moves, and how their resistance in the face of challenges and obstacles creates culture. If you love reggae, dancehall and soca, you will definitely enjoy this hour-long dance show capturing the one hot spot that everyone visits to let go and enjoy themselves. Choreographed, directed and produced by Kay-Ann Ward.

• Limbo Dance Workshop
Sunday, July 31, 2:30 p.m. (South Orchard Tent)
Choreographed to deliver maximum entertainment, this routine shows masculine and feminine prowess in competition, as well as athleticism, flexibility and suspenseful drama.

• RITMO: Cuban Clavé and Drum Rhythms Family Event!
Sunday, July 31, 3 p.m. (Redpath Stage)
Families are invited to explore the Cuban clavé (a percussion instrument) at an hour-long, interactive drumming, dance and song workshop exploring the roots of African riddims in Cuban music. This workshop is open to all skill levels.

• Dancehall Reggae Dance Class
Sunday, July 31, 4 p.m. (South Orchard Tent)
Enjoy 30 minutes of fun, low-impact dancehall reggae. Learn a dancehall reggae routine that is sexy and fun. Taught by choreographer Kay-Ann Ward.

• Soca/Calypso Dance Class
Sunday, July 31, 4:30 p.m. (South Orchard Tent)
Get your flags and your towel, and get ready to jump up and wave! Learn a fun, low-impact soca dance routine taught by Kay-Ann Ward.

• Socacize Jam Session with Live DJ!
Sunday, July 31, 5:30 p.m. & Monday, Aug. 1, 1:30 p.m. (South Orchard Tent)
A vigorous and exciting Caribbean workout that proves there can be gain without pain! Caribbean riddims to make you dance, exercises to build stamina and tone muscles - lose inches and boost confidence!

• Carnaval Cubano!
Sunday, July 31, 7 p.m. (Redpath Stage)
Drummers, dancers, traditional Cuban carnival characters and audience interact to celebrate a colourful and vibrant parade amidst the cries of the pregones (street vendors), the classic Cuban rumba, the songs and dances of the Orisha (deities), ending in a participatory public conga-line grand finale.

• Sweat B4 U Sweat Dance Workout
Monday, Aug. 1, 1 p.m. (South Orchard Tent)
Designed to make you feel good and get results. Sweat B4 U Sweat Dance Workout is an exciting, energetic and body-sculpting workout that uses Caribbean and urban dance movements to tone and shape all the right areas. Done to the hottest and latest dancehall reggae, soca and urban dance music.

What’s on the menu as we explore the Hot Spots of Pan-Asian cuisine? Through food, dance and music, this festival will focus on the culinary energy of Asian hot spots and how this energy has rippled out to influence food across the globe.

• Rhythm & Motion
Friday, Aug. 5, 7 p.m. & 9 p.m. (Redpath Stage)
Artistic Director of Rhythm & Motion Dance Studio, Elizabeth Sadowska, enlists the help of her students for a tango dance demonstration that traces the variety and history of tango from the clubs of Buenos Aires to Toronto.

• Featured Guests: Tango Soul
Friday, Aug 5, 8 p.m. (WestJet Stage)
Featured guests Bryant and Faye Lopez of Tango Soul, will perform with Quartango.

Canada's favorite South Asian festival returns to Harbourfront Centre, celebrating the rich, dynamic and diverse cultures from all regions of this global Hot Spot!

• GhuMMMo!
Saturday, Aug. 20 & Sunday, Aug. 21, time TBA (WestJet Stage)
GhuMMMo! presents audiences with an hour of outstanding dance performances that celebrate dance techniques from South Asia with famed choreographers Shimak Davar, Diyas and Entertainment and 7 Arts Dance Academy.

TELUS TAIWANfest: Taiwan Rising: Aug. 26-28
Co-produced by ACSEA
Celebrating the cultural treasures of Taiwan with performances by artists from the island of Taiwan and from around Canada. A Hot Spot of energy and connectivity, influxes of various cultures have not only impacted the formation of new Taiwanese culture, but have also become the foundation of new expressions in art.

• The Techno Prince
Friday, Aug. 26, time TBA (Redpath Stage)
One of the most popular programs during the 2009 World Games in Kaohsiung, The Techno Prince is a contemporary brand of dance which features a funky and dynamic step that everyone can do!


Dancing on the Pier
Thursdays, June 23 to Sept. 1 (Various locations on the waterfront)
Explore culturally hot dance trends and movements from across the globe that will heat up the Harbourfront Centre site and its surroundings! The waterfront will be filled with sizzling flavors, movement and sounds from the best choreographers, social dance clubs and DJs to light up the boardwalk!

Hot spots may not always be comfortable, but they are conduits of change. Embrace change or defy it – it is ultimately up to you. This summer, Harbourfront Centre presents programming that asks: What’s your hot spot?

Harbourfront Centre is an innovative, non-profit cultural organization which provides internationally renowned programming in the arts, culture, education and recreation, all within a collection of distinctive venues on a 10-acre site in the heart of Toronto's downtown waterfront. For more information visit

The Toronto Port Authority, Harbourfront Centre’s lead summer partner, owns and operates the Port of Toronto, the Billy Bishop Airport, and the Outer Harbour Marina. It is committed to building a waterfront community that is vibrant and enjoyable for Torontonians and visitors, by working with partners to create a clean, green, prosperous water’s edge. For more information visit

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Althea Linton

Rosie Shaw

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