Luminato Festival

Review: Rite of Spring (Luminato with Yang Liping and Peacock Contemporary Dance Company)

Luminato presents dance by Chinese choreographer Yang Yiping for Toronto audiences

Rite of Spring, playing this weekend at the MacMillan Theatre as part of the Luminato Festival, is a sumptuous dance experience that is a feast for the senses. For her first Canadian presentation, dancer and choreographer Yang Liping brings this stunning piece set to the score of the same title by Igor Stravinsky to Toronto audiences.

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RIOT is a dazzling display of song, dance, circus arts and spoken word, at the Toronto Luminato Festival

Just in time to kick off a month of Toronto Pride celebrations and to launch the city into summer arts festivals season, The 2018 Toronto Luminato Festival welcomes THISISPOPBABY — a dazzling troupe of circus artists, dancers, singers, spoken word performers, and a delightful drag MC hailing from Ireland. Their production of RIOT is exactly that: 100 minutes of a variety show that assaults the senses in a display of dance, song, aerial artistry, politically charged spoken word,  and unabashed sexuality. What’s not to love?

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Review: Uncle Vanya (Show One Productions/Luminato)

Photo from Uncle VanyaUncle Vanya played to sold out crowds as part of the 2017 Luminato Festival in Toronto

I’ll admit that I approached seeing Uncle Vanya, the classic play about a family caught between between tradition and transformation, with trepidation. The play written by Russian playwright Anton Chekhov was performed during the 2017 Luminato Festival in Russian by Moscow’s Vakhtangov State Academic Theatre. Continue reading Review: Uncle Vanya (Show One Productions/Luminato)

Review: Bearing (Luminato)

Bearing is an eye-opening opera about residential schools, part of the 2017 Toronto Luminato Festival

The hero quote on the Luminato  page for Michael Greyeyes and Yvette Nolan’s Bearing is Michael Greyeyes searing comment: “Every person in Canada is surviving residential schools, because if you’re Canadian you’re part of it.” My relation to residential schools is not personal – there are no residential school survivors in my family – but the need to learn about them, and to engage in reconciliation comes through ethical and treaty obligations. I am a treaty person, because I live on land that was part of the Toronto Purchase.*  With this in mind, I went to see Bearing expecting to be implicated, to learn, and be moved. I did not have the experience I expected.

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Review: En avant, marche! (NTGent & les ballets C de la B)

Photo from "En avant, marche!"“Fearless” Luminato show takes to the Toronto stage

It was a huge pleasure to attend En avant, marche!, co-produced by NTGent & les ballets C de la B and presented by  Luminato. This wonderfully entertaining multidisciplinary show filled the stage at the St Lawrence Centre for the Arts with music, dance, and heart. With four actor-performers, seven Belgian musicians, and a brass band, there was never a dull moment.

The show centers around a musician (Wim Opbrouck) whose cancer diagnosis has forced him to trade his beloved trombone for a pair of cymbals. Far from being melancholy, however, En avant, marche! ricochets joyously from one feeling to another: it is at times funny, bizarre, profound, raunchy, and filled with visual and musical delights.

Continue reading Review: En avant, marche! (NTGent & les ballets C de la B)