Toronto’s acclaimed Why Not Theatre is behind the annual RISER Project staged at the Theatre Centre. Called “A Collaborative Producing Model”, the aim is to provide performance opportunities for emerging artists with Why Not helping out with production infrastructure to allow the newbies maximum creation time. Four groups are chosen and appear two by two. The second set of RISER offerings has just opened and runs until May 12 featuring Speaking of Sneaking and Everything I Couldn’t Tell You. –Read More

Recent Blog Posts

TIFF Movies 2016 – Best and Worst

Saw 21 films, almost all of them enjoyable. Due to a broken neck, (I kid you not), caused by a very bad fall in early August, I had to construct a list of films where I didn’t have to switch theatres during the day. I also needed decent access because of my walker, so there are more big-budget English language movies than I would usually choose. My directors were largely women, although that was happenstance and not design. By coincidence, –Read More

Paula’s Picks and Pans

This week/weekend there is a deluge of openings. In dance, there’s ProArteDanza, Kathleen Rea, and Red Sky, not to mention Theatre Gargantua and the new music concert Unsound. One hopes they all find an audience.

Regarding Rob Ford

First let me point out that the death of a relatively young man with a young family is a very sad story indeed. Rob Ford was only 46, after all. Nonetheless, within the adage of you don’t say anything bad about dead people, i’ve been very amused how Canada’s politicians have struggled to find the positives to say about the late Mr. Ford. My favourite is, “He was very dedicated to the city”. I wonder who thought up that bit –Read More

Fall for Dance North Festival – Opening Night

Fall for Dance North is a triumph. The packed house was really stoked and you could feel the buzz in the Sony Centre. It was palpable excitement and each performing group was cheered wildly. Artistic director Ilter Ibrahmof mounted a dream program. What a boon for the city. Program two is tonight and tomorrow and I am in breathless anticipation.

No one will ever again say Fall for Dance what? The tickets for next year’s festival will go like wildfire.

Recent Reviews

Dance Review: DanceWorks/Hanna Kiel’s Chasing the Path

Photo credit Sam So

The cheers, whistles and standing ovation that greeted choreographer Hanna Kiel’s new work Chasing the Path was heartfelt and profound. Clearly her exploration of the intersection between memory, experience and life had touched people’s very soul. Choosing to choreograph abstract themes can be difficult to convey, but Kiel has been able, in this work, to command the bodies of her excellent dancers to express the inexpressible, as it were.

Photo credit Sam So

Four characters –Read More

Interview with Elena Lobsanova, Principal Dancer, National Ballet of Canada

INTRODUCTION

Elena Lobsanova, 31, is considered one of the finest purveyors of classical technique in the National Ballet of Canada. Born in Moscow, she immigrated with her family to Toronto when she was four. After graduating from Canada’s National Ballet School, she joined the company in 2004, and was promoted to principal dancer in 2015. Her prowess as both a classical and contemporary dancer was acclaimed when she won the prestigious Eighth International Competition for The Erik Bruhn Prize in –Read More

Mini Dance Review: Peggy Baker Dance Projects/Map by Years

Peggy Baker “unmoored”

Peggy Baker’s newest dance show Map by Years is divine. The choreographer/dancer has always had the knack of handing off her work to the ideal person, and veterans Jessica Runge, Andrea Nann and Kate Holden do her proud in vintage Baker solos (Her Heart, Krishna’s Mouth and Portal respectively). Natasha Bakht and Mairi Greig alternate with Nann and Holden at different performances. Baker herself performs her haunting new work unmoored (created with Sarah Chase), a “dance –Read More

Dance Review – DanceWorks 40th Anniversary Presentation

DanceWorks 40th Anniversary Presentation takes place at Harbourfront Centre Theatre, Nov. 16-18.

Mimi Beck

When DanceWorks began 40 years ago, it was one of several presenter dance series in Toronto. Now, as it celebrates its 40th anniversary, it is almost the only game in town, which makes its longevity all the more notable.

One expects tributes to the past on such an anniversary and DW curator Mimi Beck’s program certainly gives us that look back. There are also several premieres, and –Read More