Page 1

JUNE 14–25 2017


Join us at

The Famous Spiegeltent in David Pecaut Square JUNE 14–25

First Friday is FREE! Kick off your weekend with a night of free programming in The Famous Spiegeltent.

Throughout the festival, there will be daily shows at lunch hour and in the evening. Visit for the schedule and full line-up.

photo: Š Thierry Franco / O2TF for the Famous Spiegeltent

All shows presented on Friday, June 16 are offered free of charge, made possible by our partners the Province of Ontario and OLG. Reserve your spot in advance at (Limited capacity)

Photo by Mark Savage

Into the Second Decade 2017 is a special year for Luminato — it’s the festival that launches our second decade, with Josephine Ridge as Luminato’s new Artistic Director. You will find in these pages many focuses familiar from previous years of Luminato, but as you explore this year’s program you will also find the first shoots of some exciting new strands and flavours that will become signatures of our second decade. We are building on the strong foundations of Luminato’s first decade, which included nearly 100 premieres and new commissions and a wide-ranging international menu of today’s most exciting artists bringing us their most distinctive work. Our commitment to premiering new work and presenting the world’s most exciting artists will continue, to which this year’s program adds breadth. In these pages you will find a broad range of different artforms and kinds of work presented at a spread of venues wider than we’ve recently visited, all reflecting our wish to see Luminato reaching out, engaging with a broader cross-section of our communities, and making a more pervasive contribution to the cultural life of Toronto. You will also see us working more closely in partnerships with Canada’s own artists and arts organizations, so year by year Luminato also becomes their international platform, showing off their most distinctive work and reflecting their ambitions and aspirations. We are living at a time of extraordinary richness in Canada’s arts ecology, and in Luminato’s second decade we will reflect and celebrate those riches — alongside (and sometimes linked with) the international artists we will continue to invite to Toronto each year. Luminato will also be connecting more meaningfully with Canada’s Indigenous communities and their cultures, reflecting those cultures more consistently in the festival, and this year we launch that new strand proudly on our opening night. These developments and others yet to come all signal Luminato’s evolving identity and sense of long-term purpose in our second decade, recognizing that today’s teeming Toronto is a very different, more plural and ambitious city than the 2007 Toronto in which Luminato was born. Our journey is made possible by many individuals and institutions to whose generosity and sustained friendship we are deeply indebted. The Province of Ontario were our founding partner at the start of our journey and we are profoundly grateful for their latest 3-year commitment, and to our friends in the Federal and City Governments who have also been committed supporters to Luminato during our first decade. Many visionary individuals have made generous personal contributions to our work, and we have also been very glad to work with so many corporate partners whose products and services (or whose personal enthusiasms) are aligned with our own direction of travel. There would be no Luminato without the friendship and support of all of those individuals and institutions, and I am deeply grateful to every one of them. I hope you will be as excited by this journey as we are and that through these fresh developments, building on Luminato’s original city-building foundations, we will spread the word and start conversations locally, nationally, and internationally about all that is most exciting in present-day Toronto, and about the vivid and distinctive cultures of Toronto, of Ontario, and of Canada. By Anthony Sargent CBE CEO, LUMINATO LUMINATO.COM


Table of Contents �


Into the Second Decade

Tributaries: Luminato Opening Event


The Famous Spiegeltent

By Anthony Sargent CBE


Message from the Artistic Director By Josephine Ridge


What’s on at the Famous Spiegeltent


Note from the Board Chair By Tony Gagliano


Until the Lions

Akram Khan Company


How to Festival 40

Life Reflected


NAC Orchestra

Getting Here


Vertical Influences



Le Patin Libre



Artistic Director Josephine Ridge in Conversation with Richard Ouzounian

Signal Theatre




Join Us in David Pecaut Square

En avant, marche!

les ballets C de la B & NTGent

JUNE 14–25 2017


Table of Contents 63


King Arthur’s Night

Welcoming the Community

Neworld Theatre

By Leah Faieta



Breakin’ Convention

Welcoming the World

Sadler’s Wells

By Saskia Rinkoff



Uncle Vanya

Thank you to our donors

Vakhtangov Theatre


Festival Staff & Board



Jean-Michel Blais & CFCF 83

Festival Partners


Natural Orders Dancemakers


Skateboarders vs Minimalism Shaun Gladwell


Towards Artistic Excellence 77

CHARLOTTE: A Tri-Coloured Play with Music Theaturtle



Photo by Prudence Upton

Message from the Artistic Director


In 2017, Luminato kicks off in an entirely new The heart of Luminato in 2017 will be The way. By opening with a free celebration of con- Famous Spiegeltent, a 1920s Belgium mirror tent temporary Indigenous culture we signal the nestled into David Pecaut Square. Including it start of a new conversation with the people comes from this place of wanting to create intimof Toronto. This is not the same city, nor is it ate moments of entertainment and discovery in the same world, that existed when Luminato an environment that offers a quintessentially was conceived in 2007 and, to ensure that we festival experience. Throughout the 12 days of remain relevant and engaged, we will listen, Luminato, this exquisite venue will be home to watch, anticipate, and respond to those things international and local musicians, theatre and that define Toronto as we approach the third cabaret artists, and I invite you to come often to decade of the 21st century. enjoy its unique ambience. To do many of the things that we want to The multi-cultural nature of Toronto is one achieve will take time but what I hope you, our of its most defining and valuable characterisaudience, will discover in this year’s program tics. Over the coming years we will engage with is a festival that is curious about the world, audiences and artists from across the city which interested in the vibrant diversity of the com- will, by design, also take us around the world on a munities that comprise Toronto today, eager journey celebrating the wealth of local talent, but to engage in discourse, but also ready at all also introducing the best of what is to be found times to have fun and to celebrate the marvel- internationally. So, we begin this exploration in lous qualities of this great city. Importantly, as 2017 where we should, with the oldest and founda festival, we invite you to come together to ing culture of this territory, that of the Indigenexperience Luminato, to share what it has to ous people. Tributaries, the opening Indigenous offer and to relish the enduring memories it event on June 14 in David Pecaut Square, will be leaves us with. as joyous and powerful as it will be significant. JUNE 14–25 2017


“We will listen, watch, anticipate, and respond to those things that define Toronto.” An iconic Sanskrit epic poem is revisited with Akram Khan’s Until the Lions, a timely interpretation of one story from the Mahabharata in which the traditional male dominance is reversed and instead it’s given to Amba, a powerful female protagonist. From South Asia, you can then immerse yourself in the richness of Islamic culture when Luminato hosts an iftar with music at the breaking of a Ramadhan fast. In this way, a festival exists to enrich our cultural landscape and also to provide the chance for local artists to collaborate with others from elsewhere in the country and the world. En avant, marche! brings the opportunity for local artists, in this case the Weston Silver Band, to work with international artists. These sorts of activities create ripples that resonate well beyond the festival period. Commissioning is also important in this context and Luminato is committed to commissioning artists to realize their dreams. The process of creating new work is complex and takes time, therefore I am immensely proud that a work commissioned prior to my arrival will have its world premiere during the 2017 festival when Vancouver’s Neworld Theatre unveils King Arthur’s Night. There are plans underway already for many such collaborations in future years.

In 2017 there are other exceptional artists coming from overseas, like Alain Platel and his company les ballets C de la B, whose work has been central to some of the most exciting developments in theatre and dance in the past 20 years; there are artists from elsewhere in Canada like Montreal’s Le Patin Libre — a contemporary dance company who just happen to dance on ice-skates; there are local artists and organizations such as Michael Greyeyes’ Signal Theatre with the sort of large-scale work that Luminato exists to make possible. There are partnerships with some of Toronto’s most important organizations such as the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, with whom we present the international hip hop dance phenomenon Breakin’ Convention, the Art Gallery of Ontario and The Theatre Centre, with whom we are announcing an ongoing relationship to support the creative development of the most promising works to come out of their Residency program. Throughout the program this year, and into the future, we will continue to look for ways to contribute, to add meaning and to reflect, respond to and celebrate Toronto. I thank all our audiences, artists and supporters for being an important part of the Luminato journey so far and I look forward very much to welcoming you to the 2017 festival. LUMINATO.COM


As a charitable cultural organization, Luminato relies on the support of our donors — people like you! Donations of all sizes help us present new work, showcase international and Canadian art, and offer free and accessible programing for all to enjoy. Donate today and together we will kick off Luminato’s second decade with creative strength and fresh ideas for the future.

City Lights Program Light up our city with creativity by joining the Luminato City Lights program. Your gift of $25-$999 will support accessible and diverse programming and help Luminato reinforce Toronto’s identity as a city of limitless creativity for everyone to explore and enjoy. Patron Circle Join a group of dedicated arts lovers whose vital contributions help present the best and the brightest artists to Toronto. With a $5,000 gift, Patron Circle members enjoy exclusive benefits year-round, including invitations to VIP events, concierge ticketing service, and festival passes.

Donations can be made online at If you would like learn more about supporting Luminato, please email us at CHARITABLE REGISTRATION NUMBER :

81​163 7347 RR0001 JUNE 14–25 2017


Photo by George Pimentel

Become a donor

Note from Board Chair Tony Gagliano

Photo by V. Tony Hauser

Let me start with a very warm welcome to Josephine Ridge, Luminato’s third artistic director, who has re-energized and refined our commitment to city-building with the programming of the first festival of our second decade. We’re honoured and proud that an artistic curator and cultural leader with a global reputation such as Josephine’s has chosen Canada’s largest and most ambitious city in which to live, work, and create. This year, Luminato will bring the city to life, once again animating venues across the downtown core. David Pecaut Square will be transformed by The Famous Spiegeltent, bursting at the seams with a diverse array of exciting performers and serving as the beating heart of this year’s festival. With world premieres, new commissions, and thought-provoking work from the best local and international artists, there will be no shortage of things to do, see, and talk about from June 14 to 25. As Canada celebrates 150 years, we open the festival with an incredibly special opening event supported by Ontario 150 and our Founding Government Partner, the Province of Ontario. Without the ongoing support of the province, our government supporters at all levels, our innovative corporate partners, our passionate individual donors and visionary Luminaries, we wouldn’t be where we are today — launching our second decade as one of the world’s top multi-arts city-based festivals. Our board of directors, staff, artists, and an army of volunteers have been working tirelessly to ensure this year’s festival is our best yet. Thank you for your hard work, commitment, and passion. After a decade as board chair, I reflect with immense pride and gratitude on all that we’ve accomplished so far. As a city, Toronto continues to strengthen and grow — and as a festival of this city, so does Luminato. Here’s to the next 10 years. By Tony Gagliano CO-FOUNDER AND LUMINATO CHAIR



How to Festival Here’s what you need to know about making the most of your Luminato experience.

Where to go Everywhere! Luminato has programming throughout Toronto in venues along Front Street East and Berkeley Street, at David Pecaut Square, Ryerson’s Mattamy Athletic Centre and the John Basset Theatre in the core, at the Theatre Centre and Drake Commissary in the west end, and Don Montgomery Arena in Scarborough. (Map on pages 10 & 11) How to get there All of our venues are accessible by TTC. Many of them are within walking distance of each other. You can also bike, drive or use your favourite taxi or car-share service.

Parking We’ve partnered with VenueParking to provide parking options near our venues. You can purchase parking in advance with your ticket order. The option will pop-up when you checkout online. You’ll select a parking lot when you book parking, and then you’ll be emailed instructions about how to display your proof of payment from VenueParking. Paid street parking and independent lots can be found throughout much of the city as well. When to come Luminato runs June 14–25, 2017. There are shows every evening as well as weekend matinees and weekday lunch hour concerts at The Famous Spiegeltent at David Pecaut Square. The program is designed so that you can catch more than one show in a day, especially on weekends! See the full schedule on pages 12 & 13.


JUNE 14–25 2017


Land Acknowledgment Luminato acknowledges this land, known as Tkaronto, and honours the stewardship, past, present and future of the Huron-Wendat, the Iroquois-Haudenosaunee, the Anishinaabe and, most recently, the Mississaugas of the New Credit.

What to bring • Your tickets! On-site box offices will be open one hour before each performance if you want to get additional tickets when you arrive. • If you’re seeing Vertical Influences, please dress warmly! The venues for this show are skating rinks and will be as cold as you’d expect. Bundle up! • An openness to discover, have fun, and celebrate! What to do after a show There is late night programming every evening at The Famous Spiegeltent. Stop by for a show or to enjoy a drink on the licensed patio in David Pecaut Square. You just might stumble upon your favourite food truck or a fun partner activation. Where to stay Need somewhere to stay in Toronto? Find a list of our partner hotels on our website.

How to get tickets We recommend buying tickets in advance: ONLINE


416 368 4849

Until June 13: Monday to Friday, 12–5 pm June 14-25: Tuesday to Saturday, 12–8 pm; Sunday & Monday, 12–5 pm

IN PERSON There will be an on-site box office at each venue, open one hour before the show.

See more shows and save See three or more shows and save 15% on tickets! This offer is only valid on select shows: Until the Lions, Bearing, Vertical Influences, En avant, marche!, King Arthur’s Night, and performances in The Famous Spiegeltent (subject to change). Multi-show savings are calculated at check-out online, no promo code required. Tax extra, no refunds. Subject to availability. Prices subject to change.

Accessibility Luminato is committed to being a festival that is accessible to people with disabilities. Among our new accessibility initiatives this year we are offering specialized performances: a Relaxed Performance for patrons with an Autistic Spectrum condition, sensory or communication disorder, a learning disability, or anyone who would benefit from a more relaxed environment; an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreted performance; and an Audio Described performance for patrons who are blind or have vision loss. Advance information about each venue’s accessibility is available to help you plan your visit to the festival. For more information on festival accessibility, visit our website at or contact Stephen Barber at or 416 368 3100 x 254. We welcome your feedback as we strive to expand our accessibility offerings in the coming years.

Stay Connected Share your #Luminato experience with other festival goers on the web. Tag us to let us know what you think! @Luminato /LuminatoFestival @LuminatoFestival


Sign up for our e-newsletter for insider news and to keep in touch year-round.



Getting Here Downtown Venues 3

Queen’s Park TTC











St. Patrick TTC TTC
















St. Andrew







































2 John Bassett Theatre

Metro Toronto Convention Centre North Building, 255 Front Street West June 24 & 25 UNCLE VANYA

4 Sony Centre for the Performing Arts 1 Front Street East June 18, June 23 & 24

6 Canadian Opera Company

Joey & Toby Tanenbaum Opera Centre 227 Front Street East June 15–18, June 22–24


5 Bluma Appel Theatre

St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts 27 Front Street East June 21–24, June 14–25 EN AVANT, MARCHE! IMPOSITION OF ORDER (facade of building)

3 Ryerson’s Mattamy Athletic Centre (Formerly Maple Leaf Gardens) 50 Carlton Street June 22 & 23


7 Berkeley Street Theatre 26 Berkeley Street June 15–18



Dancemakers 15 Casegoods Lane, Studio 301 June 22–24 NATURAL ORDERS



West End Venues Lansdowne















10 The Drake Hotel 1150 Queen Street West June 14–25 SKATEBOARDERS VS MINIMALISM (FILM)



Drake Commissary 128A Sterling Road June 24





The Theatre Centre 1115 Queen Street West June 16–18

12 11


Longboat Hall at The Great Hall 1087 Queen Street West June 24 CASCADES

Scarborough 13 EGLINTON AVE E TTC





Don Montgomery Community Recreation Centre 2467 Eglinton Avenue East Scarborough June 24–25 VERTICAL INFLUENCES



Each venue has different accessibility features.

We’ve partnered with VenueParking to provide parking options near most of our venues. You can purchase parking in advance with your ticket order. Visit our website to learn more.

For detailed information, visit or contact Stephen Barber at or 416-368-3100 x 254.

Maps are not to scale. Transportation, venue information, and programming correct at time of printing but subject to change. LUMINATO.COM





David Pecaut Square

Tributaries: Luminato Opening Event

Music at the Market

6–11 pm | p. 23


The Famous Spiegeltent

Canadian Opera Company Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Opera Centre

Daily evening and weekend programming in the tent




Iftar with music 9 pm | 120 mins p. 78 | FREE

12 pm | 90 mins

Jean-Michel Blais p. 27

Lunchtime music 12 pm | 90 mins

Lunchtime music 12 pm | 90 mins




Pss Pss p. 29

Pss Pss p. 29

Jeremy Dutcher p. 27

Notes of a Native Song Notes of a Native Song See Notes of a Native Song Notes of a Native Song p. 26 p. 26 ASL INTERPRETATION for showtimes & p. 26 p. 26 program updates! LAL Veda Hille p. 29

p. 28

Until the Lions

Until the Lions

Until the Lions

Until the Lions

8 pm | 60 mins p. 32

8 pm | 60 mins p. 32

8 pm | 60 mins p. 32

4 pm | 60 mins p. 32

Sony Centre for the Performing Arts

Life Reflected 7 pm | 80 mins p. 40

Ryerson’s Mattamy Athletic Centre Don Montgomery Arena Bluma Appel Theatre St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts

Facade of St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts

Berkeley Street Theatre

Art Gallery of Ontario: Imposition of Order King Arthur’s Night

King Arthur’s Night (OPENING)

by Jeff Thomas

King Arthur’s Night


7 pm | 80 mins | p. 63 7 pm | 80 mins | p. 63 7 pm | 80 mins | p. 63 2 pm | 80 mins | p. 63

Longboat Hall at The Great Hall John Bassett Theatre


The Theatre Centre




8 pm | 105 mins p. 77

8 pm | 105 mins p. 77

4 pm | 105 mins p. 77

Drake Commissary The Drake Hotel *Opening Night performances are on the first night of the run (unless otherwise indicated)


Skateboarders vs Minimalism (film) p. 75

JUNE 14–25 2017


Music in the Spirit of Ramadhan 7 pm | 120 mins FREE





Music at the Market

Citizenship Ceremony FREE (incl. musical performance)


Lunchtime music 12 pm | 90 mins



Ghost Rings p. 30

Ghost Rings p. 30

Ghost Rings p. 30


Breakin’ Convention Park Jam

10:30 am | p. 78 |

12 pm | 90 mins Lunchtime music 12 pm | 90 mins


12–6pm | p. 68 |

Rusangano Family p. 28

Ian Kamau p. 30

Erin Markey: Boner Killer p. 30

Rusangano Family p. 28




8 pm | 80 mins p. 52

8 pm | 80 mins p. 52

2 pm & 8 pm | 80 mins p. 52

Breakin’ Convention

Breakin’ Convention

7:30 pm | p. 68

7:30 pm | p. 68


Vertical Influences Vertical Influences 7 pm & 9 pm | 70 mins p. 46

4 pm & 7 pm | 70 mins 8:30 pm DJ Skate Party

Vertical Influences Vertical Influences 4:30 pm & 8 pm | 70 mins 4:30 pm & 8 pm | 70 mins p. 46 p. 46

En avant, marche!

En avant, marche!

En avant, marche!

En avant, marche!

8 pm | 100 mins p. 58

8 pm | 100 mins p. 58

8 pm | 100 mins p. 58


Art Gallery of Ontario: Imposition of Order

8 pm | 100 mins | p. 58

by Jeff Thomas

continues until September

Cascades 9 pm | 60 mins. p. 73

Uncle Vanya

Uncle Vanya

7 pm | 210 mins p. 70

7 pm | 210 mins p. 70

Natural Orders

Natural Orders

Natural Orders

8 pm | 60 mins p. 74

8 pm | 60 mins p. 74

8 pm | 60 mins p. 74

Skateboarders vs Minimalism Performance & Block Party 1–10 pm | p. 75

Skateboarders vs Minimalism (film) p. 75



April 18–July 11

Show dates and times are subject to change. Visit for an up-to-date schedule and additional programming.




Oxford Properties Group is a proud sponsor of Luminato 2017.

Artistic Director Josephine Ridge in conversation with Richard Ouzounian “If I’ve got a unique idea, it’s simply this: that Luminato should be the Festival of Toronto.”

For Josephine Ridge, life has been a one of the really central planks of all Festival — literally — which makes festivals in Australia is that they’re her the ideal person to lead Luminato very much about the city in which into its second decade as its Artistic they take place. Director. “And that’s what I’m bringing here Ridge has spent 30 years of her dis- to Toronto with me: a belief that the tinguished career working in almost really important part of what a fesevery aspect of the Australian per- tival has to do if it is to be relevant and forming arts and half of that time has feel connected to the city in which its been in major executive positions created, is that it’s got to be a part of with the country’s two largest fes- the zeitgeist of the city. If you get that tivals — Sydney and Melbourne — as right, then people will embrace that Executive Director of the former, as festival.” well as Artistic Director of the latter. She smiles in that serene yet solid But instead of feeling that she’s way the Luminato staff have all moving into a “brave new world” with quickly come to know and appreciate. her arrival in Canada, it seems instead “If I’ve got a unique idea, it’s simply like a logical extension of where her this: that Luminato should be the Feswhole life has been going. tival of Toronto.” “In Australia people are very pasRidge chooses her words caresionate about their festivals,” she fully, as always. In its first 10 years, said sipping at a coffee in Luminato’s Luminato has always been a festival offices. “They’re proud of them, pos- in Toronto, bringing amazing world sessive about them and I think that class artists and creations to fill its LUMINATO.COM


stages, but there’s more we can do to be really of Toronto; to capture the essence of the city, reflect it and then expand on it. She knows that this is an ongoing task. “It’s an enormous challenge to think about how you can impress yourself on this city when it’s so spread out, so huge, so varied, so many ethnicities and all changing so fast. It’s got an amazing amount of diversity, growth, and the issues that come with that.” But more than the size and scope of Toronto is the fact that it’s already a thriving hub of artistic and creative energy during all 12 months of the calendar. Ridge has spent nearly a year here and has seen the place in full swing. She finds it exciting, but a bit daunting. “There’s so much going on all year in Toronto!” she laughs. “What can we do that’s extra? What can we contribute that will allow artists to fulfill certain dreams they couldn’t otherwise fulfill? What can we present that audiences couldn’t experience anywhere else?” For Ridge, the answer can be found in more than just a festival’s content, but how that content is presented. “It’s not just about the individual events. It’s about the space between those events and how they are knitted together. I’m interested in work that can be used as a springboard to other works. At the end of each year’s festival there should be a sense that there’s a footprint left because of the work you’ve brought to light or the conversations that you’ve started. “In Australia, we say ‘We’re not just fish and chips paper’. You don’t just wrap something up in it, use it, then throw it away. You want to keep reading that paper. That’s what I want Luminato to accomplish in Toronto.” After her idealism, one of Ridge’s most admirable traits is her candour. She admits up front that “In 2017, not enough of the art will come from here. That’s a part of me arriving here when I did and the nature

of the commissioning process. It takes several years for these things to happen. But there’s a number of conversations in the pipeline for the next few seasons.” She’s delighted that she inherited from her predecessor, Jorn Weisbrodt, a work he commissioned from Vancouver’s Neworld Theatre called King Arthur’s Night, which was created by Marcus Youssef and Niall McNeil, whose life experience, like that of some of his fellow cast members, includes Down syndrome. “It marks the kind of important, new and radically inclusive work that we ought to be presenting.” Serendipity also played a part in another new relationship. “The first Canadian I met after my appointment was announced was Franco Boni of The Theatre Centre. We were together at a conference in Amsterdam and we immediately started discussing possibilities. “We’ve decided that every year, beginning in 2018, we will take one of the gems he’s developed through his Residency Program and give the artists further creative development support, then present the work as part of Luminato. It’s a perfect illustration of how I see our role. We’re enablers. We make things happen. We don’t necessarily create them ourselves.” But the clearest illustration of Ridge’s vision will come with this year’s opening event, Tributaries. “We will be presenting a free, outdoor large scale celebration of contemporary Indigenous culture. It will be a real celebration. JUNE 14–25 2017


“We’re enablers. We make things happen.”

Niall McNeil as King Arthur in King Arthur’s Night Photo by Tristan Casey

“I think one of the most important things to acknowledge about Canada’s relationship with Indigenous people is not just how they are being treated today, but how they have been treated all along and how that history is remembered. I’m sure we all have a role to play in that.”

Ching-Ying Chien and Joy Alpuerto Ritter in Until the Lions Photo by Jean Louis Fernandez

Ridge has spent much of her energy this year meeting with “the amazing artists and producers from the worlds of music, dance, visual arts and poetry to gain understanding for this event. Elder Duke Redbird has been one of the major forces, and Denise Bolduc, the Creative Producer, has led the curatorial process. One of the issues Luminato has struggled with over its first decade is the lack of a specific geographic centre with it trying its centre of gravity at various spots around the city, boldly setting up last year at the Hearn Generating Station, which is not on the table for this year. “We’re not saying we’ll never go back to the Hearn again,” Ridge states diplomatically, “but if we did it would be because a work cried out to be presented there. “For 2017, we’re going back to David Pecaut Square and we have other ideas for 2018.” LUMINATO.COM


To Ridge, there’s a central philosophical difference in how she sees the centre of Luminato. “The festival hub has previously been driven by large performances. I now want the gathering of people together to be the important thing. “People would come to one show that interested them and say, ‘I’ve been to Luminato’. No. Unless you’ve seen a half dozen shows and hung around in between you haven’t really seen the festival.” Because, to Ridge, “The mere act of programming an artist or a work from some country is just the beginning. It’s what we do with that work that matters. Many of the shows I’m interested in cause people to actively engage with them, not to just passively watch, but to really reflect and engage in diversity.” Ridge looks ahead, as though through a glass, brightly. “We want this to feel like the beginning of the second decade.”

“At the end of each year’s festival there should be a sense that there’s a footprint left because of the work you’ve brought to light.”

• Tributaries: a free opening event celebrating contemporary Indigenous artists • Free concerts every lunch hour • Music at the Metro Hall Farmer’s Market each Thursday • An iftar community meal to break a Ramadhan fast • A Canadian Citizenship Ceremony • And more! SUPPORTED BY

Photo © Thierry Franco / O2TF for the Famous Spiegeltent

Luminato takes over David Pecaut Square for twelve days with free outdoor programming as well as nightly shows in our pop-up venue The Famous Spiegeltent, a licensed patio, activations from our partners, and more! It’s your go-to place in the city from June 14–25. Featuring:

#ontario150 Paid for by the Government of Ontario


Proud to support Tributaries. We are working together with Luminato Festival to make a difference in our communities.


The TD logo and other trade-marks are the property of The Toronto-Dominion Bank.

M05234 (0314)


Luminato Opening Event June 14 6–11 pm David Pecaut Square FREE



Erika Iserhoff

The Strawberry is the Heart-berry, Ode’min. It is connected to a vast system of leaves, runners, and roots to sustain the berry’s growth. This system is parallelled to the earth’s waterways, the streams and rivers, which represents the earth’s blood. As tributaries, this vast water system is what sustains all life on earth.

June is the month of the Strawberry Moon, and for Indigenous people the strawberry represents the heart and Indigenous women represent the hearts of their nations. The opening event of Luminato in 2017 pays tribute to the immeasurable power, passion, beauty, and resilience of Indigenous women. On June 14 from 6 pm in David Pecaut Square, the compelling quality and beauty of Indigenous voices will fill the evening, welcoming audiences and participants with a large-scale celebration of contemporary Indigenous music and dance. The evening will commence inside the intimacy of The Famous Spiegeltent with a Cree Cabaret featuring master pianist, composer, and songwriter, Tomson Highway, joined by Patricia Cano, vocals, and Marcus Ali on saxophone. Moving outside onto the square, the event expands into an inclusive and varied night including new poetry by Elder Duke Redbird welcoming guests, and a new production by composer and cellist Cris Derksen, known for creating genre-defying music combining western classical and Indigenous classic music with new school electronics. As musical director, Cris will lead the production, Red Tidal Resurgence, featuring a stellar band and an extraordinary lineup of solo women’s voices including Leanne Simpson, Tanya Tagaq, Cheri Maracle, and Jennifer Kreisberg, supported by a full choir of leading and emerging women artists. Check the website often for announcements on additional artists including more exciting performers and DJ artists who will be taking this uplifting event to its close. Join us as these diverse artists bring unified messages to honour the importance of the land, the water, and Indigenous women. Together, we will gather in the spirit of generosity, inclusiveness, and kindness and, as the evening light of Ode’min Giizis (Strawberry Moon) illuminates us, Indigenous voices will launch the 2017 Luminato festival. Note: Ode’min Giizis (pronounced ‘o-DAY-min Gee-zis): meaning the Heart-berry Moon or Strawberry Moon



The Famous Spiegeltent June 14–25 Daily lunch hour, weekend, and evening programming David Pecaut Square

The heart of Luminato this year will be David Pecaut Square, featuring The Famous Spiegeltent, a 1920s heritage travelling pavilion which provides an intimate performance space for music, theatre, spoken word, and cabaret. There are only a handful of these unique “tents of mirrors” left in the world today. The Famous Spiegeltent, considered the most beautiful of the last remaining Belgian Spiegeltents, was built JUNE 14–25 2017


in 1920 by master craftsmen Oscar Mols Dom and Louis Goor. This Grande Dame has spent her lifetime at the behest of festivals and fairgrounds throughout Europe and beyond, playing host to the world’s greatest cabaret artists, musicians, and circus burlesque performers. It’s been a mainstay at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and has travelled from Melbourne to Montreal, Brighton and now Toronto.

Behind the Scenes • The Famous Spiegeltent is transported from place to place in two 40-foot shipping containers and is constructed on site at each location. It takes 16 hours to assemble. • The structure consists of approximately 3,000 pieces of wood, mirrors, canvas, and stained glass, and is detailed in velvet and brocade. • Each piece is designed to be light enough for one person to carry. • Inside, you’ll find intimate booths, an ornate bar, bevelled mirror columns, an Art Nouveau chandelier, and a trapeze rig. • The bevelled mirrors were designed so that you can see other people in the venue without being seen!

Since Marlene Dietrich sang Falling In Love Again on The Famous Spiegeltent stage in the 1930s, its magic mirrors have reflected thousands of artists, audiences, and eclectic gatherings. This June, it will be the creative heart of Toronto with free lunchtime concerts as well as evening performances featuring local and international musicians, clown artists, and more.

Accompanied by a licensed patio, unique activities, and activations from our partners throughout the festival, it will be the perfect place to relax, unwind, and discover. Read on for a taste of what’s on, and check the website for the full lineup and schedule.




What’s on

at The Famous Spiegeltent There will be free music at lunchtime during the week from 12–1:30 pm, ticketed evening programming from 6–11 pm, and extended programming on the weekends. Visit for the full schedule and additions to the lineup. First Friday – FREE! Kick off your weekend with a night of free programming in The Famous Spiegeltent. All shows presented on Friday, June 16 are offered free of charge — reserve your spot in advance at (Limited capacity). Free performances of Notes of a Native Song, and from Jeremy Dutcher and Veda Hille are made possible by our partners, the Province of Ontario and OLG.

Notes of a Native Song June 15–18 Tickets start at $29 THE NEGRO PROBLEM:

Stew Heidi Rodewald Art Terry Marty Beller Dana Lyn WORDS BY


Stew Heidi Rodewald LIGHTING DESIGN BY



Joan Grossman Canadian premiere United States

An irreverent homage to the original black-punk-novelist James Baldwin from Stew and The Negro Problem Inspired by the art of American writer and activist James Baldwin, Stew and The Negro Problem explore Baldwin’s trailblazing legacy through songs co-written by longtime collaborator Heidi Rodewald, co-creator, along with Stew, of the Tony Award-winning musical Passing Strange. An irreverent and spirited rock and roll song-cycle, Notes of a Native Song is a high-energy blast of music, video, and spoken word that captures the essence of the man who spoke uncomfortable truths about gender, race, and class division. The show confronts the more complicated aspects of Baldwin’s life and ideas, even as it celebrates his lasting impact. Stew won the 2008 Tony Award for Best Book for his Broadway hit Passing Strange, which played to sold-out crowds in Toronto earlier this year (The Musical Stage Company and Obsidian Theatre). The Broadway show was documented in a film by Spike Lee, which premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. Fronting his genre-bending band The Negro Problem in their Canadian debut, Stew narrates a highly personal and provocative account of Baldwin’s lasting influence with wild humour and an irresistible mix of psychedelic soul, art-damaged-pop, and twisted jazz. JUNE 14–25 2017


ASL Performance of Notes of a Native Song June 18 The June 18 performance will feature American Sign Language, where skilled theatrical interpreters will translate the production on stage into American Sign Language. The audience will be able to see both the interpreters and the stage action simultaneously.

Jean-Michel Blais June 15 Tickets start at $29 Canada

Photo by Isis Essery/Arts & Crafts

Jean-Michel Blais is a 33-year-old pianist from Montreal whose enchanting instrumental compositions pair melodic pop sensibilities with the breathtaking technical skill of classical minimalism. Blais grew up in a rural French Catholic town in Quebec bereft of formal music training. At age 11, he began tinkering on his family’s organ, improvising and writing original compositions. A natural talent, by 17 he was invited to the Trois-Rivières Music Conservatory and began training as a classical pianist. Gravitating towards experimentation, he left the school after three years. He later attracted the attention of playwright-director Robert Lepage, before heading to Europe and taking a break from music. Blais released his debut album of original compositions, Il, in 2016 on Arts and Crafts, condensing two years of daily improvisations into a blindingly bright exploration of piano textures that bridges ethos and musical styles. Il received fantastic reviews and was one of TIME Magazine’s top 10 albums of the year. His recent collaboration Cascades, with Grammy Award-winning producer Mike Silver (aka CFCF), for the 2016 Red Bull Music Academy was named Apple Music’s Best of the Week. Experience Blais’ solo sound in The Famous Spiegeltent on June 15 and then see him and CFCF perform Cascades on June 24 at Longboat Hall (The Great Hall), 1087 Queen Street West.

June 16 FIRST FRIDAY FREE Wolastoq

Jeremy Dutcher is a Toronto-based composer and vocal artist. An operatic tenor, Dutcher takes every opportunity to blend his Wolastoq First Nation roots into the music he creates. His style combines musical aesthetics into something entirely new, shapeshifting between classical, contemporary, traditional, and jazz. His debut release Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa (Our Maliseets Songs), slated for fall 2017, is part composition, part musical ethnography, part linguistic reclamation. The melodies come from the oldest known field recordings of the Indigenous peoples along the St. John (Wolastoq) River basin. Dutcher works with the endangered Wolastoqey language in his music in hopes of inspiring other young maliseets to learn it. Dutcher won Opera New Brunswick’s Young Artist Award in 2012 and most recently received the Canada Council for the Arts Aboriginal Music Award. He studied classical music at Dalhousie University and spent time learning from Passamaqouddy song carrier Maggie Paul. He has also been a featured soloist with the Mississauga Chamber Choir and Soundstreams Canada. See him in The Famous Spiegeltent before his album release in the fall. LUMINATO.COM


Photo by John Paille

Jeremy Dutcher


From within the deep roots of the Canadian diasporic music scene, LAL creates politically charged music and innovative recordings. The Toronto-based duo is recognized for their dedicated support of several social justice movements including Black Lives Matters and issues that face Queer/ Trans, BIPOC, and allied communities. Their soulful electronic music is fused with subtle West Indian and African rhythms and a punk attitude. On stage, live digital imaging complements the lyrical content which speaks to an array of social and environmental injustices. LAL was formed in 1998 by poet, singer, activist, and Bengali-rooted tough-guy Rosina Kazi and her life partner, producer, sound designer, philosopher, and Barbados-born king of chill, Nicholas Murray. Their music cuts deep and explores the deepest of grooves, solidifying a persistent theme throughout their evolution: fairness will prevail. They’ve supported a multitude of arts-based projects, artists, organizations and musicians, all connected and committed to the manifestation of peace and justice for all. Their most recent release, Find Safety, addresses a need to create safer spaces and masterfully blends a danceable synth-based musicality with a provocative political statement. The album combines a myriad of influences from Fela Kuti and Massive Attack, to Pete Rock and Detroit Techno.

June 17 Tickets start at $20 VOCALS


Nicholas Murray Canada Photo by Calvin Hudson Hwang

“This beat-driven piece of sonic expression described by the duo as ‘4 a.m. music’ will no doubt find its way into your playlist and stay there indefinitely.” – CJRU

Rusangano Family June 23 & 24 June 25 workshop as part of Breakin’ Convention (page 68) Tickets start at $20

Canadian premiere Ireland

Photo by Kathrin Baumbach

Rusangano Family is made up of God Knows, MuRli and mynameisjOhn — two MCs and one DJ. Based in the west of Ireland, the trio has been steadily building their own brand of dynamic bass-led music that doesn’t conform to genre clichés or style restrictions. Exploring issues such as identity and belonging, Rusangano Family deliver a hefty dose of honest double-edged lyricism over skewed soul samples, 808 beats and sliced-up breaks. They lit up the stage at SXSW in 2016 and were awarded the Choice Music Prize for 2016 Irish Album of the Year. MynameisjOhn, MuRli and God Knows first appeared in 2014 with an album called Rusangano / Family, a title that laid out where the collective exist and where they’ve come from: Ireland, Zimbabwe, and Togo; Clare and Limerick. Wearing their hip hop and electronic influences proudly on their sleeves, Rusangano Family aren’t an act JUNE 14–25 2017


willing to conform to the styles associated with their respective backgrounds. Instead of struggling with the idea of being different, they celebrate it. On their album, they trade lines about what it’s like to arrive in a new land and feel out of place and also grapple with the identity crisis of feeling just as out of place in the traditional settings of their family home because they’re trying to fit in to new surroundings. God Knows was born in Zimbabwe and grew up in Limerick. His fellow frontman MuRli was born in Togo before arriving in Ireland as a kid. Together with John Lillis, a County Clare native better known as MynameisjOhn, they formed Rusangano Family in 2014, formalizing a musical relationship that had been developing for years. Lillis’s production brings together hip hop, dancehall and grime, as well as the indigenous music of Togo and Zimbabwe, to provide a platform for the pair’s lyrics.


Photo by Emily Cooper

Pss Pss June 17 & 18 Tickets start at $19


Camilla Pessi and Simone Fassari DIRECTED BY

Louis Spagna Presented, in association with Villa Charities, by Compagnia Baccalà Italy SUPPORTED BY

Two modern-day clowns take to the stage. This can’t be good news! Inspired by Chaplin, Keaton, and the stars of silent films, Compagnia Baccalà’s timeless performance of enthralling physicality and exquisite expression has been delighting audiences around the world since 2010. Duo Camilla Pessi and Simone Fassari met at the Teatro Dimitri School in Switzerland and then parted ways, performing in many circuses and cabarets in faraway countries, without seeing each other for years. Then one day in 2004 Simone contacted Camilla to stand-in for his usual acrobatic partner who had run away from him, and thus they met again. They quickly discovered the artistic and human complicity that is born through their exceptional way of working together. They perfected the characteristics and techniques of their clown characters, creating the repertoire with which they ran away from the circus they were in, struck out alone, and continue to travel the world, this time together. Winner of 13 international prizes, including the Cirque Du Soleil prize, Pss Pss has been performed over 600 times, in over 50 countries, and on all 5 continents, to huge acclaim. Inventive, exciting, ridiculous, this breathtaking pas de deux of mishaps and acrobatics will have you laughing long after you leave the theatre. LUMINATO.COM


Photo by Pipo Gialluisi

Veda Hille has been writing music, making records, and performing internationally since 1992. She is a classically trained pianist, art school dropout, performance curator, self-taught singer, theatre interloper, and independent artist. She has released 20 albums, the latest being Love Waves (a collection of love songs written in Berlin, released 2016). Her most recent musical Onegin, an adaptation of the Russian classic written with Amiel Gladstone, won an unprecedented ten Jessie Richardson awards and is running in Toronto right before Luminato. Hille is the composer for King Arthur’s Night, a Neworld Theatre production commissioned by Luminato which premieres at this year’s festival (see page 59). Her score for Bakkhai runs at Stratford this summer, and she is also currently working on a song cycle with writer Bill Richardson and a new experiment with iconic American composer Harold Budd. Taking a break from her Ontario theatre work, Hille arrives at The Famous Spiegeltent for a rare performance of personal songs. She will draw largely from Love Waves and also, in honour of the surroundings, will dig into her history of Brecht covers. Because protest songs from the 1930s feel oddly timely now, don’t they?

June 16

Suitable for ages 9+ and non-English speakers

Ghost Rings June 20–22 Tickets start at $20 WRITTEN & DIRECTED BY


Chris Giarmo Erin Markey Tina Satter Kristen Sieh MUSIC COMPOSED BY

Chris Giarmo Erin Markey United States

An energetic pop concert meets contemporary drama, from the critically-acclaimed, Obie Award-winning theatre ensemble, Half Straddle, Ghost Rings follows a narrative of friendship and family told with a mix of deadpan magical realism and a thoroughly feminist worldview. Playwright and performer Tina Satter, songwriters and performers Chris Giarmo and Erin Markey and performer Kristen Sieh offer an unusual, tender, and harrowingly funny melodic performance that contrasts the romantic memories of two friends with Satter’s real-life relationship to her estranged sister. Photo by Maria Baranova

Erin Markey: Boner Killer June 23 Tickets start at $20



Ellie Heyman FEATURING

Erin Markey with Emily Bate United States

Comprised of her signature story-driven stand-up and scored by sensual, homemade pop, Erin Markey’s Boner Killer is an intimate musical conversation between what Markey thinks she can’t have and how she’d have it if she could. Driven by Whitney Houston’s lesbian mythologies, Europe™, and a Pretty Woman accident, Markey sacrifices her own life to transform personal humiliations into naked feminist hope. Markey and frequent collaborator Emily Bate make up the two-girl band, performing original and sampled music sopping with liquid emotion and troubled by knotty harmonies.

Ian Kamau

Photo by Milca Kuflu

June 24 Tickets start at $29 Canada

“Kamau is a fixture in Toronto’s hip hop scene” – Toronto Standard

Toronto-based spoken word artist and musician Ian Kamau, a participant in The Theatre Centre’s Residency Program, performs at The Famous Spiegeltent to launch Luminato’s partnership with The Theatre Centre (to learn more, see page 76). For updated details on the show, please see our website. “I am a writer, producer and a graphic/visual artist. I perform what I write so I also consider myself a performer. I do not think of myself as an entertainer. I was born and raised in Toronto to Trinidadian parents who immigrated to North America in 1970. My parents are documentary filmmakers. I grew up around ideas, information, education and art. I hope my entire life will be immersed in this kind of creativity... My desire is to put my experiences into the world so that I may enter a larger conversation with people in different places. I am an artist who wants to continue to be creative and support others in being creative while finding my purpose.” – Ian Kamau

JUNE 14–25 2017


TO Canada with Love is the City of Toronto’s year-long program of more than 30 celebrations, commemorations and exhibitions for Canada’s 150th birthday.

For details visit: #C150TO @specialeventsTO

“Until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.� African proverb

Until the Lions From award-winning choreographer and dancer Akram Khan

“With this arresting take on an episode from the Mahabharata, Khan creates an epic theatrical space and a battleground.” – The Guardian

Until the Lions June 15–17 8 pm June 18 4 pm Canadian Opera Company, Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Opera Centre Tickets start at $54


Ching-Ying Chien and Akram Khan PREVIOUS SPREAD:

Ching-Ying Chien and Joy Alpuerto Ritter All photos by Jean Louis Fernandez

On the day she’s set to choose her husband, the princess Amba is abducted by Bheeshma and stripped of her honour. With her chances for love and marriage thwarted, Amba rises up and invokes the gods to seek revenge. This partial adaptation of Karthika Naïr’s Until the Lions: Echoes from the Mahabharata, a collection of poetry about the overlooked female characters in the Sanskrit epic poem the Mahabharata, fuses Indian kathak, contemporary dance, and live music to give life to Amba’s tale, exploring the physical expression of gender. Award-winning choreographer and dancer Akram Khan (seen in Toronto with Desh and Luminato’s 2011 Confluence) and two remarkable female dancers, Ching-Ying Chien and Joy Alpuerto Ritter, bring us a story of fearlessness and power that The Guardian called “lean, thrilling and beautiful.” Until the Lions brings together some of Khan’s stellar past collaborators including writer Karthika Naïr and visual artist Tim Yip (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon). Presented in the round in a custom-built temporary theatre in the Canadian Opera Company complex on Front Street East with an original score performed live, it’s a battle for the ages.

JUNE 14–25 2017


An Akram Khan Company production presented by Luminato DIRECTED & CHOREOGRAPHED BY


Karthika Naïr DANCERS

Akram Khan Ching-Ying Chien Joy Alpuerto Ritter MUSICIANS

Sohini Alam Joseph Ashwin David Azurza Yaron Engler VOICE-OVER

Kathryn Hunter United Kingdom 60 mins (no intermission)

Akram Khan:

“I’m terrified that my body will give in.”

The choreographer performed in Peter Brook’s legendary stage production of the Mahabharata as a child. As he prepares a new dance version of the Indian classical stories, he explains why he has put women centre stage. By Sarah Crompton The Guardian Originally published January 8, 2016

Akram Khan is one of Britain’s most successful rified that in a simple movement my body will and prolific choreographers; his work exudes a give in and I won’t be able to do it. I can do it, sculpted beauty and calm certainty. His dancing, and can do it really fast, but it’s psychological.” combining the training of his youth in the Indian This sense of frailty accelerated when he tore classical dance form of kathak with contempor- his achilles tendon in 2012. He was rehearsing ary mores, has an almost transcendent com- Sacred Monsters, the piece he created for and plexity. And yet, he says: “I am becoming more performed with Sylvie Guillem, when he felt it and more afraid.” He smiles and points to his snap; the resulting 4cm gap could have ended smoothly shaved head. “I am ageing here much his career. But he fought back to full dancing quicker than in my body,” he explains. “I’m ter- strength, leaving doubts only in his own mind. LUMINATO.COM


Mahabharata The Mahabharata is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India, believed to have been written between the 8th and 9th centuries BCE. Approximately 1.8 million words in total, the Mahabharata is often described as the longest poem ever written. It tells the story of the Kurukshetra War, while also containing philosophical and devotional content. In it, Amba is the eldest daughter of King Kashi. Later in the story, she is reborn as Shikhandi.

Joy Alpuerto Ritter and Akram Khan

“When I am stressed or excited, I still walk with a limp,” he says. He stands up to demonstrate, laughing at his own fallibility. We are talking in a rehearsal room in Kensington, west London, where he is putting the finishing touches to his latest creation, Until the Lions, based on a story from the epic Hindu poem The Mahabharata. It stars Khan and two dancers from his company, Ching-Ying Chien and Joy Alpuerto Ritter. With designs by Tim Yip, lighting by Michael Hulls – both regular collaborators – and a score by Vincenzo Lamagna, it is an ambitious, striking work, performed in the round. At an early run-through at the Leicester Curve in August, Khan created the structure of the piece; now he is working on the detail of the choreography, twisting and turning as he experiments with different shapes and steps. The work reveals a compelling sweep and ferocity as it tells the story of Amba, a princess abducted by the prince Bhishma on her wedding day. She seeks revenge on her captor, eventually killing herself and returning from death in the shape of a woman who becomes a male warrior in order to exact punishment. Although choreographically Until the Lions is a complex synthesis of the traditional and the contemporary, drawing on all Khan has absorbed in

JUNE 14–25 2017


his career, it also represents a return to his roots. From the age of 13 to 15, he spent two years performing in Peter Brook’s nine-hour version of The Mahabharata as it toured the world. The experience left its mark. “If you feed a child McDonald’s every day that child will start to look different. You feed them only vegetables, the child will feel and think differently. If you feed them a diet of The Mahabharata, it stays with you. Spending all that time with Peter Brook, and looking and listening and learning, also influenced me a lot. He showed me how to get rid of the fat, go to the essence of things. Simplicity is a sophistication and he is a genius at it.” Yet Khan’s exploration of the story of Amba owes just as much to other influences, particularly that of the poet Karthika Nair, whose book of poetry based on the female characters in the epic saga, also called Until the Lions, provided Khan’s principle inspiration. “She planted a seed in my head. In Brook’s version the male characters are more dominant than the female characters. I realized that when I was doing that version I was motherless because I was on tour for two years. I am very close to my mother but I was without her, so I became very close to the actresses, who were playing heavy roles – but they were not the heroes, they were not cele-

brated. It’s generally like that in myths, because the hunter is always going to tell the story. In battles, the victors write history not the losers.” The title of Nair’s poems is taken from an African proverb that suggests a story is not complete “until the lions have their say”. The lions, in this case, are the women. Khan was also fascinated by Until the Lions: Echoes from the Mahabharata the gender roles, the way a In 2015, writer and poet Karthika Naïr wrote character is transformed a new interpretation of the Mahabharata, from female to male. “As highlighting nineteen marginal female figures a contemporary dancer I from the original text. Her poems capture the am a bit more masculine epic through the lenses of nameless soldiers, and animalistic,” he says, outcast warriors, handmaidens, abducted princesses, and tribal queens, giving voice “but when I do kathak I am to the stories beneath the surface. Karthika’s shifting between femininadaptation of Amba’s story forms the basis ity and masculinity because for Akram Khan’s choreography in Until the somehow the form itself Lions. gives you permission to be androgynous, to move between yin and yang.” Although Until the Lions is by no means a conventional narrative – the words of the story are used as part of the soundscape, and the telling is impressionistic rather than literal – Khan has reached a point in his career at which it is the storytelling that interests him. “I started abstract – I wanted to create a vocabulary, a way of moving that incorporated Indian dance. That was my focus,” he explains. “Now, for me, mathematics is a means to an end. There has to be a connection to a human narrative, otherwise it’s just numbers. I’ve moved from being a scientist to being a theatremaker.” Born in Wimbledon, in south-west London, he trained in kathak from the age of seven, and became obsessed with being a better dancer than his equally talented sister. But he also loved dancing to Michael Jackson and trained as a contemporary dancer, forging a rich blend of styles and creating ground-breaking works such as Zero Degrees in collaborations and alone. Many commissions came his way, from creating and starring in Akram Khan Torobaka with the flamenco star Israel Galván, to making LUMINATO.COM


pieces such as Vertical Road and Kaash for his own company, and moulding intricate narratives such as the autobiographical Desh, which explored his father’s origins in Bangladesh. He has also taken on other high-profile projects such as devising a solo for Guillem’s farewell tour at Christmas and fashioning a haunting contribution to the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics. His latest challenge is a full-scale version of Giselle for English National Ballet, which will premiere later this year. Now 41, Khan has two children under the age of three with his wife Yuko Inoue. It is hard to imagine how he copes with all his commitments. “I don’t balance them very well,” he says, ruefully. He has learned to use what he describes as “fluff time” – the hours when he is touring but neither rehearsing nor performing – to develop ideas. “When I am travelling with Torobaka, I am not with my children, so I use that opportunity to work on Giselle.” As he talks, you sense a longing for a time when choreographers had less on their plate. “Before, the artist just worried about the art. I miss that. Life has become fuller for everyone. Every five minutes you are fitting in things, otherwise you feel you are wasting your time. “There was a period in Japanese art where they started to empty the canvas just as in Europe everyone was filling the canvas. We are filling the canvas, and that sense of space to reflect is missing. We are not choreographers any more,

we’re politicians. That never used to be the case.” While he acknowledges his fees are high in dance terms, that doesn’t mean he can afford to take time off. “Doing well as an artist in dance is not the same as doing well in pop or football After 2018, he will stop dancing as a solo artist. or film,” he says. “Those are different money “I will retire as a full-time performer. I may do brackets because then you can take a year off little cameo roles because I think I would be sick because you have made a huge amount on one if I didn’t have a reason to go to a studio each film. We don’t operate on those terms. There is morning, emotionally and psychologically. But I a culture here that thinks money is bad, that it would rather people say, ‘Why are you stopping?’ stops you being an artist – but actually money than ‘Why aren’t you?’” buys me time.” He laughs. But the wistfulness in his tone vanishes when he returns to talking about his plans for Giselle – in an entirely new version, with the original Adolphe Adam music adapted by the contemporary composer Ben Frost. “It is a big project,“ he says. “I’m using most of the dancers in the company and I’m really excited about that. “I think the hugeness of it is that it’s really British. Britain owns Giselle, it’s been so special here, ever since Alicia Markova started performing the role in the 1930s. When you take something so sacred, you have to hold it carefully so as not to drop it but at the same time you have to put your voice in.” He has felt that Until the Lions and Giselle are companion pieces – variations on similar themes. “I can’t separate them to a certain degree. They are interlocked. It’s all about the woman,” he says, before heading off to create another duet of revenge, love, death and betrayal.

Joy Alpuerto Ritter and Akram Khan

JUNE 14–25 2017


Sneak peek: building a theatre in the round

For this show, Luminato is building a custom theatre in the Canadian Opera Company complex. The show will be performed in the round, with seating surrounding the stage. Here’s a look at the renderings for the space. Renderings by Duncan Macmillan. Please note these images are not 100% representative of the final configuration of the space. Luminato’s seating system was purchased with the support of the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund.



“A powerful, overwhelming creation.” - Le Devoir Montreal JUNE 14–25 2017


Life Reflected Life Reflected

A National Arts Centre Orchestra project conducted by Alexander Shelley and directed by Donna Feore

Performance of Dear Life, September 2015. Photo by Dwayne Brown

Four Canadian composers created compelling musical portraits of four exceptional Canadian women. Roberta Bondar, Rita Joe, Alice Munro, and Amanda Todd are the inspiration behind Life Reflected, a unique symphonic and multi-media celebration of youth, promise, and courage. The National Arts Centre Orchestra commissioned four works by Zosha Di Castri, Jocelyn Morlock, Nicole Lizée, and John Estacio to create its largest production ever. The staging includes stunning projections, which immerse the audience in sound, motion picture, photography, and graphic design. Dear Life, based on the short story by Alice Munro, is a reflection on memory, childhood, and the formative stages of life. My Name is Amanda Todd tells the story of a vibrant 15-year-old who, after suffering for years from cyber abuse, spoke out against harassment and bullying on YouTube. Dr. Roberta Bondar’s expertise as an astronaut, physician, scientific researcher, and photographer have been interpreted in Bondarsphere. I Lost My Talk, based on the poem by Mi’kmaw elder and poet Rita Joe, expresses Joe’s experience at Schubenacadie Residential School and is accompanied by a film by Barbara Willis Sweete, featuring choreography by Tekaronhiáhkhwa San­tee Smith performed on the shores of Georgian Bay. Under the direction of Alexander Shelley, with Creative Pro­ducer and Director Donna Feore, and Visual and Stage Design by Normal, Life Reflected comes to Toronto for one night only following a sold out premiere performance in Ottawa in 2016. LUMINATO.COM


June 18 7 pm Sony Centre for the Performing Arts  Tickets start at $39 





Zosha Di Castri Jocelyn Morlock Nicole Lizée John Estacio FEATURING

Erin Wall, Soprano Monique Mojica, Actor National Arts Centre Orchestra A National Arts Centre Orchestra production presented by the NAC and Luminato Canada 80 mins (no intermission) SUPPORTED BY

Joan and Jerry Lozinski Janice & Earle O’Born are the NAC Orchestra Tour Patrons for Life Reflected at Luminato VIA Rail is the Official Rail Partner of the NAC Orchestra

I Lost My Talk was commissioned for the National Arts Centre Orchestra to commemorate the 75th birthday of The Right Honourable Joe Clark, P.C., C.C., A.O.E. by his family. Photo by Fred Cattroll

Due to the Sony Centre’s exclusive ticketing arrangement with Ticketmaster, you will be re-directed to their site to purchase tickets. Please note that all service charges are set and retained by Ticketmaster. JUNE 14–25 2017


“Life Reflected explores the lives of four exceptional Canadian women. Alice Munro, Roberta Bondar, Amanda Todd and Rita Joe, each in their own unique way, encourage us to see, and to see with fresh eyes. My challenge was to find a way of telling their stories in an orchestral setting that embraced their vision. Believing that many heads are better than one, I assembled an exceptional group of collaborators who drew their inspiration from these extraordinary women. And though each element is capable of standing alone, we built on the impact of the foundational orchestral work of four magical composers led by the incomparable Alexander Shelley, in the hope that we might arrive somewhere new. The brilliant visual design team at Normal became the heartbeat of our effort. They made it possible to integrate the work of our wonderful collaborators; musicians, photographers, filmmakers, actors, dancers and singers into a seamless whole. Dr. Bondar has seen us from afar. Alice Munro has seen us from within. Amanda Todd shared her heart and Rita Joe shared her soul. I hope the experience of Life Reflected will thrill and move you as much as it has enlightened and inspired me.” Donna Feore CREATIVE PRODUCER AND DIRECTOR 



“Canada’s rich and dynamic history has provided the setting for some of the most captivating, personal and yet universal stories I have heard. What better way to share these stories than through the collaborative voices of some of the best artists and creators Canada has to offer.” Alexander Shelley MUSIC DIRECTOR, NATIONAL ARTS CENTRE ORCHESTRA

JUNE 14–25 2017


My Name is Amanda Todd Photo by Fred Cattroll

Contributing to the cultural fabric of our community.

BMO is proud to support the Luminato Festival and bring you Le Patin Libre’s Vertical Influences.


Montreal’s Le Patin Libre combine the attitude of street dance and the athleticism of competitive skating

JUNE 14–25 2017






Alexandre Hamel Pascale Jodoin Samory Ba Taylor Dilley Jasmin Boivin (Le Patin Libre) Canada 70 mins (one intermission)

Vertical Influences June 22 7 pm & 9 pm June 23 4 pm & 7 pm FREE DJ SKATE PARTY

June 23 8:30 pm Ryerson’s Mattamy Athletic Centre (formerly Maple Leaf Gardens)

June 24 & 25 4:30 pm & 8 pm Don Montgomery Arena Scarborough Tickets from $29 DRESS WARMLY!

Vertical Influences by Le Patin Libre in co-production with Dance Umbrella Festival (London, UK) in partnership with the National Arts Centre (Ottawa, Canada), Théâtre de la Ville (Paris, France)

Ice skating in the summer? It’s happening! Vertical Influences is a contemporary ice skating double-bill, comprised of Vertical and Influences. Le Patin Libre, a collective from Montreal featuring high-level figure skaters and a sound-designer-turned-performer, brings the attitude of street dance and the athleticism of competitive skating to this exhilarating performance. Influences explores the relationship between individuals and the groups they belong to. Despite bullying, individualism, and rivalry, a group experiencing obvious tensions evolves toward a new harmony. In Vertical, the spectators sit right on the ice and the skaters fly by so close that they literally move the air around the audience. Together, the two pieces make for a fresh and joyous experience. Vertical Influences takes Luminato to the heart of downtown Toronto at Ryerson’s Mattamy Athletic Centre (formerly Maple Leaf Gardens) and to Scarborough at Don Montgomery Arena. With workshops for all skill levels, an outdoor roller blade performance, and an on-ice dance party, Le Patin Libre provide a joyous fusion of dance, sport, and play.

PREVIOUS SPREAD (L TO R) : Taylor Dilley, Jasmin Boivin, Samory Ba, Pascale Jodoin, Alexandre Hamel ABOVE (L TO R) : Taylor Dilley, Pascale Jodoin, Alexandre Hamel, Samory Ba All photos by Alice Clark

JUNE 14–25 2017


Skating with a difference: Le Patin Libre is trying to carve out a new art form Take a dollop of urban dance, a snippet of Cirque du Soleil, mix in a triple lutz, or two, or three, and voila: you have Le Patin Libre, a groundbreaking Montreal-based performance company that is built on the speed and grace of skating on ice. By Peter Robb Ottawa Citizen Originally published February 25, 2015

You’d expect such an art form to have found its stride in Canada, the home of hockey. Not really, says the company’s artistic director Alexandre Hamel. When Hamel left competitive figure skating he worked a year with Disney on Ice, which he calls a great “school.” But that one stint was enough. Still, he wanted to skate and all of a sudden he found himself on the public outdoor rinks on Montreal, late at night, skating alone and enjoying the speed and the sound of blade on ice. And he started to experiment. Soon enough, people started to notice and something clicked — something that he calls contemporary ice skating. While it pays homage to traditional figure skating and the sometimes cheesy galas and touring shows that crisscross the continent, Le Patin Libre tries to do something more, Hamel says. “We are all from the world of figure skating. We trained for a very long time in that discipline. We use the same skills, the same virtuosity and we skate in the same kind of building. But we want to transform that skating into a means of expression. “A lot of people feel that Stars on Ice, for example, can be kind of hokey. Often those people are happy to discover our alternative. On the other hand, people still love traditional figure skating and I understand why. “There is the magic watching someone going so fast. It is mesmerizing. It touches something inside of us. It’s not normal for human beings to go so fast with such ease through such a big space. Le Patin Libre keeps that movement of traditional LUMINATO.COM


Samory Ba

Pascale Jodoin

figure skating but we ‘free’ it from the traditions. What we are doing is what ice skaters looking for beauty should do naturally.” Even the sound of the blades can be “thrilling,” Hamel says. It all began a decade ago, when Hamel did his nighttime skating at outdoor public rinks. “I tried different things and then I gathered some people and proposed that we put together some shows for winter carnivals across Quebec.” The ensemble started with a few towns and short shows. “It was very naive at the beginning.” There are some inspirations for Le Patin Libre, Hamel says. One would be Toller Cranston. But even more, Hamel doffs his hat to Gary Beacon who skated for Canada at the Sarajevo Olympics in 1984. “He is an extremely intelligent guy. He just did his own thing and he still is. He is 61 now and still skating in a very modern way. He is not recognized as the important artist he is. We call him the prophet, we admire him that much.” Eventually the group was offered a creative residency in France, south of Paris at a private skating rink, which is typical in Europe. While most Canadian rinks are community owned and jammed with hockey games, public skates and figure skating clubs, in Europe, the rinks are seen as places of leisure and are often empty during the day when people are at work. “One of the owners was a former figure skater. They said, ‘Come to our rink, have the ice for free when it’s not used. Come and do your stuff and take your time.’” To thank their hosts, the Quebecers did some shows at the rink of the choreography that they were working on and it proved to be popular. Word of mouth landed them gigs in Berlin and in London and in other places in France. All the while, Le Patin Libre was creating contemporary ice skating by asking the questions: What is modern skating? What is postmodern skating? What happens if body ceases to move but the skates continue to glide? “We are taking an old fashioned entertainment form and evolving it into an art,” he says. Eventually they created a long show, took it to London and cashed in. The world looked and asked who are those five Canadians? Along the way they picked up support from the National Arts Centre. The show is in two parts. The first, Influences, is a skating allegory about how individuals survive within a group. “We are really like a flock of birds that explodes and comes together continuously.” The second half, Vertical, brings the audience onto the ice surface to experience the sound and speed of skating up close and personal.

JUNE 14–25 2017


Connected events Workshops with Le Patin Libre FREE

Advance registration required Le Patin Libre welcomes you to join them on the ice for a fun-filled session to improve your skating and discover that it can become dance. There will be two workshops, one for total beginners and clumsy skaters and another for expert hockey players and high-level figure skaters. All that’s needed is a willingness to have fun together and try something new! The professional skating-artists leading the session will also perform a teaser of their show Vertical Influences. See for workshops times, location, and registration information.

“Skating dancers are a breath of fresh ice.” – The Guardian

Artistic Approach Vertical Influences was launched by a creation residency offered by the Jerwood Project caritative program and Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London, UK. The five artists of Le Patin Libre met the dramaturg Ruth Little and presented her with various choreographic ideas developed during the two preceding years. The quintet also told the dramaturg about the enormous difficulties they experience in Canada: bullying in the world of ice rinks, difficult life stories in the ultra-conservative world of figure skating, and constant battles for the survival of the projects of the collective. The themes of Influences were written from what the skating-artists could only express through movement. These themes directed the long creation process that followed this first residency. Always in exile (performing in Berlin, France, Edinburgh, London), Le Patin Libre developed the choreography of Vertical Influences over two years. The production was completed through a second intensive creation residency with Ruth Little in September 2014.

DJ Skate Party June 23 at 8:30 pm Ryerson’s Mattamy Athletic Centre Escape the heat with the coolest party of the week. You’re invited on the ice for a fun-filled, ice-dancing party, open to skating beginners and pros alike. The music, good vibes and short ice-dancing initiation offered by Le Patin Libre skating-artists will make you skate and dance better than ever. Available as an add-on to your Vertical Influences order. Skateboarders vs Minimalism Performance and Block Party FREE

June 24 at 1–10 pm Drake Commissary, 128A Sterling Road Featuring Skateboarders vs Minimalism Shaun Gladwell (Australia) Le Patin Libre performs at 1:15 pm The Drake hosts a block party celebrating the intersection of high art and street culture, led by UK-based Australian artist Shaun Gladwell with live performance of his critically acclaimed film Skateboarders vs Minimalism (Canadian premiere), where local and international skateboarders will creatively misuse replicas of sculptures by Donald Judd, Carl Andre, and more. The event will open with a performance by Le Patin Libre on rollerblades and, in true block party spirit, the day will also include DJ performances, food trucks, and more. Read more on page 75.



Bearing A world premiere dance-opera from acclaimed theatre maker Michael Greyeyes and playwright/director Yvette Nolan

JUNE 14–25 2017




Marion Newman Photos by Liz Beddall

Bearing June 22–24 at 8 pm June 24 at 2 pm Canadian Opera Company, Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Opera Centre Tickets start at $39


Michael Greyeyes and Yvette Nolan, Signal Theatre COMPOSERS

J.S. Bach, Claude Vivier, Spy Dénommé-Welch, and Catherine Magowan LIBRETTIST


Gregory Oh CAST

Irvin Chow, Aria Evans, Ceinwen Gobert, Ana Groppler, Louis Laberge-Côté, Daniel McArthur, Sophie Merasty, Marion Newman, Brandon Oakes, and Jillian Peever A Signal Theatre production World Premiere Canada 80 mins

Canada’s residential school system is not in the past; its impact is woven throughout our country’s present. Until we face its legacy together, its long shadows will haunt and divide us. Bearing proposes that we address our history collectively and examines the Indigenous notion that time is circular—and that the trauma of the past is inextricably linked to the present. A world premiere dance-opera — Michael Greyeyes created by co-directors Michael Greyeyes (Plains Cree) and Yvette Nolan (Algonquin) and librettist Spy Dénommé-Welch, Bearing features from Signal Theatre featuring some music performed live by the National of the most talented and exciting artYouth Orchestra with some of ists of our times. Toronto’s best professional classical When the headlines speak of an musicians, a custom-built choir, and Indigenous community in crisis, soprano Marion Newman (Kwagiu- our national discourse demands lth and Stó:lo). Music by JS Bach, that we remain present and that Vivier, and a commissioned work our conversations move us all forby Dénommé-Welch and Catherine ward into healing and recovery. Magowan is combined with per- Presented in a custom built theatre cussion and electronics while the in the Canadian Opera Company performers communicate through complex on Front Street East, Beardance, music, and spoken word. It’s ing helps us take one step towards an ambitious, multi-faceted piece understanding.

“Every person in Canada is surviving residential schools, because if you’re Canadian you’re part of it.”

JUNE 14–25 2017


Michael Greyeyes:

Photo by Jeremy Mimnagh

“I’m not interested in staging ethnicity”

By Paula Citron Special to The Globe and Mail Originally published September 20, 2011 Reprinted with permission from and thanks to the author

A new work by Michael Greyeyes and Yvette Nolan, Bearing, will be presented as part of Luminato June 22–24. The article here, published by the Globe and Mail in 2011, focuses on their past collaboration, from thine eyes, and offers insight into their creative process.

Michael Greyeyes has a restless nature. that their son could be a day student. This could account for his peripatetic “My parents gave up a lovely home career: He has been a dancer, choreog- and an ideal life in Saskatoon for a rapher, actor, director and university condo in Scarborough,” Greyeyes says. professor. “They had both gone through the resi“Because of Michael’s varied back- dential school system, and they were ground, he treats the body as an instru- not going to have their son leave the ment with exciting potential,” Dance- family.” Works producer Mimi Beck says. “His But Greyeyes felt that he was “lookrobust movement vocabulary is linked ing for more from dance. with strong narrative ideas.” “I had too big a brain for pliés,” he Greyeyes, 44, is a Plains Cree who quips. was raised in Saskatoon. Greyeyes’s It was Karen Kain, now the artistic dance journey began when he joined director of the National Ballet of Canhis sister’s ballet class when he was 6 ada, who steered him to Eliot Feld’s – and at the age of 9, he was accepted company in New York, where he spent into the National Ballet School. three years and met his wife, Nancy The family moved to Toronto so Latoszewski. LUMINATO.COM


He became excited about acting “I’m not interested in staging ethniwhen another Feld dancer suggested city. Indian-ness as a concept is evolvhis name to a company that needed ing and expanding. My Indian-ness is an aboriginal dance choreographed based on indigenous principles like for a play. “I liked the way actors ask the storytelling tradition,” Greyeyes questions, and go deep into charac- says. “My theatrical exploration deals ter, role and intention,” says Grey- with what matters to first nations as a eyes, who now teaches in the theatre community. Governance, or the way department at York University in we treat each other, is also important. Toronto. I may be the director, but everyone The scenes, dialogue and character has a voice.” development for from thine eyes [preWhile Greyeyes and Nolan have sented at the Harbourfront Centre different aboriginal backgrounds, in in 2011] come from playwright, dir- the rehearsal room they developed ector and dramaturg Yvette Nolan. their own cosmology, or set of rules, Of Algonquin descent, Nolan was that sprang naturally out of their artistic director of Native Earth Per- joint native existence. “We share the forming Arts for eight years. same world view,” Nolan says. “We “The four stories that make up believe that we are all connected, the dance theatre have different age and responsible for each other. Indidynamics and emotional states, but an-ness is not just a beads and buckall the characters have to come to skin show or a powwow. The Inditerms with this life,” Nolan says. an-ness comes out of us. We don’t “They remember things, which helps leave our Indian-ness at the rehearsthem to move on.” al-room door.” The major characters are a murGreyeyes says: “My work embraces derous junkie, an abusive husband, what the elders believe and the vala couple who have lost a child and a ues I was taught.” doctor who works with AIDS patients. Each story has its own elaborate set. The six performers (Michael Caldwell, Luke Garwood, Ceinwen Gobert, Sean Ling, Shannon Litzenberger and Claudia Moore), all carefully About Signal Theatre chosen by Greyeyes, are both strong Signal Theatre is a Canadian-based theatre company, founded dancers and strong actors. None are by Michael Greyeyes in 2010. Emitting images, ideas and stories, aboriginal. Signal Theatre is committed to the collaborative process, experimentation, and intercultural research. Signal is both The question then becomes: If interdisciplinary and intercultural, creating work that reflects Greyeyes’s dancers are non-aborigand privileges Indigenous knowledges, as well as international inal, and his choreographic métier is creation methodologies that situate physical rigour and contemporary dance, where does his exploration as the centre of the work. “Indian-ness” come into play? Shifting across all frequencies, Signal explores both physical and text-based theatre, which moves through the disciplines His answer, in part, can be found of dance, opera, music, design, and the spoken word. Their in a scholarly article, Notions of Indivision is to enrich the Canadian landscape through public an-ness in Contemporary First Nations performance/interventions and to broaden the social and Dance, that Greyeyes wrote for a political awareness of their audiences both at home and conference in 2009. He came to the internationally through touring and outreach. Signal places the human at the centre of their theatrical conclusion that there is no aboriginal practice and, as their Elders have instructed, seeks to make us dance per se, only dance by aborigwhole, empowered, and connected to one another. inal artists.

JUNE 14–25 2017


Seven men painted my story, but there’s more to be told.



, t n a v a En

Alain Platel, one of Europe’s most influential theatremakers, reunites with director Frank Van Laecke and composer Steven Prengels


! e h c r a m 59

En avant, marche! June 21 –24 8 pm Bluma Appel Theatre, St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts Tickets start at $39

A trombone player, no longer able to play his instrument due to illness, is demoted to playing the cymbals. Throughout band practice, our larger-than-life protagonist — personified by renowned Flemish actor and singer Wim Opbrouck — terrorizes fellow band members, confides in the audience, sings arias and dances an unlikely ballet duet, all with exuberance and a riotous slapstick edge. A hit at the 2015 Edinburgh International Festival, this genre-defying tragicomedy from Belgium’s Alain Platel, Artistic Director of les ballets C de la B, one of the most influential performing arts companies in Europe, co-director Frank Van Laecke, and composer and music director Steven Prengels, fuses live music, dance, theatre, opera, and comedy. Four actors and seven musicians are joined on stage by Toronto’s Weston Silver Band, playing marching band classics along with 19th and 20th century pieces ranging from Verdi to Beethoven and Schubert to Mahler. It’s a true celebration of the power of making music together. 


Frank Van Laecke and Alain Platel

Performed in English, French, Italian, and German with some English surtitles.


Steven Prengels

Audio Described performance of En avant, marche!

A NTGent and les ballets C de la B production presented by Luminato

June 24, 8 pm The June 24 performance will feature Audio Description for patrons who are blind or have vision loss. Trained audio describers will communicate key actions on stage (entrances, exits and visual clues) over special headsets that can be borrowed from the theatre. The feed enters into only one ear so that the listener can still clearly hear the sounds coming from the stage and the audience. Audio Description will be provided by Rebecca Singh of Live Describe.

Belgium 100 mins (no intermission) GOVERNMENT PARTNER

JUNE 14–25 2017


A genre-defying tragicomedy En avant, marche! previewed by Richard Ouzounian

“Do not go gentle into that good night,” urged Dylan Thomas and Alain Platel would surely agree. The iconoclastic choreographer behind the Belgium company les ballets C de la B is bringing En avant, marche! the controversial dance/theatre/music piece he created with the NTGent, to electrify, entertain and engage the people of Toronto the way it has around the world, from Europe to Australia to South America since its triumphant Edinburgh Festival debut in 2015. In a word, the show’s theme is mortality, but before you decide the show isn’t exactly your mug of Mort Subite (that killer Belgian beer whose name means “Sudden Death”) take a pause and learn what’s really inside this work The Guardian called “an exquisitely beautiful piece” with “a deep sense of fun”. The wonderfully Falstaffian actor Wim Opbrouck shambles onto the stage clutching a set of cymbals. He was once a renowned trombonist but he is the final stages of throat cancer and is no longer able to play his instrument. So we see him waiting to crash his instruments together at a climactic moment of Elgar’s Enigma Variations – the last music he may ever get to play. But wait, a lot more happens than

that. A whole lot more. In fact, The Stage summed up the final result as “a highly theatrical production that draws on classical music, opera, clowning and ballet.” When the orchestra finally appears (seven Belgian musicians augmented by Toronto’s Weston LUMINATO.COM



Cast of En avant, marche! FACING PAGE

Cast of En avant, marche! ABOVE

Wim Opbrouck All photos by Phile Deprez

Silver Band), the pent-up conflicting emo- and artifice are crossed without a passport tions that Opbrouck is feeling suddenly as Opbrouck asks members of the onstage burst out. ensemble to discuss their real offstage lives He rages, he roars, he mocks his col- as well. leagues, he decries his fate. With a mixture Yes the central piece of music might be of bravura energy, he combines mockery Elgar, and some edifying Holst and Verdi, and melancholy in a way that threatens to but there’s also Sister Sledge and ABBA. break the theatre apart. Where did this all come from? The The tone is set by Griet Debacker and show’s co-creator and director, Frank Van Chris Thys who portray two glitter-clad Laecke, said that he and Platel observed gold cheerleaders of a certain age and serve that “(A brass) band is there at the most as the inspiration and objective correlative important times in life, at a funeral, at a wedding – it is very telling. At these key moments, they are there, and we stand still.” From this came their realization that those band members are also a part of the community they play for and they set out to find a way to unite all these elements. They ultimately decided that the approaching death of one of the band’s musicians would provide the catalyst they needed. “In a world that moves ever faster, sometimes you have to stop in order to continue. This is the balance we try to reach. Trying to find our place in the community. Thinking about what it means for you and for the life force that Opbrouck wants to your group when you have to leave.” kindle just one more time. Yet their kinetic art didn’t want this to Then, just when the tone starts to border seem morose, so they flung it onto the on circus-style vulgarity, a slight young bal- stage in what Le Temps described poeticlet dancer, Hendrik Lebon, appears to stir ally as a “Valse des coeurs somptueuse et up memories in the dying man of how he en fanfare.” There’s always something to look at, savour, and contemplate until the might like to have remembered his youth. As they dance one of the most touching, end, which, as William Shakespeare told yet bizarre, pas de deux ever performed, us long ago, always comes. “Live how we can, yet die we must.” one is reminded of critic and novelist Cyril But along the way, thanks to En avant, Connolly’s famous quote “Imprisoned in every fat man a thin one is wildly signalling marche! we’ve experienced what British reviewer Lyn Gardner called “A morality to be let out.” Actors, musicians and dancers all min- tale with a brimming heart and a glorious gle together and the lines between reality sense of chaos.”

JUNE 14–25 2017



– Niall McNeil

An upside-down world. A betrayed love. An unwanted child. Animals learning to walk and talk. A revolt by the subjugated masses. A kingdom come undone. This isn’t the King Arthur you know. Refined, brutal, crude and tender, King Arthur’s Night is a radical re-examination of the creative process and a kick in the knees to our assumptions about difference. This ambitious work of theatre and music is co-created by Niall McNeil, an artist living with Down syndrome, with Marcus Youssef and James Long (Winners and Losers at Canadian Stage) and Canadian alt-songstress Veda Hille (co-creator of A Craigslist Cantata in Factory Theatre’s 2013 season). The integrated cast features a mix of actors living with and without Down syndrome, a live band, and a twenty-person choir. King Arthur’s Night tests what we know about the limits of theatre, language and our collective understanding of the narratives that are permitted to shape our world.

King Arthur’s Night June 15 – 17 7 pm June 18 2 pm Berkeley Street Theatre Tickets start at $39

JUNE 14–25 2017


Niall McNeil in King Arthur’s Night All photos by Tristan Casey

Relaxed Performance of King Arthur’s Night June 18 at 2 pm The Relaxed Performance is offered to all patrons who would benefit from a more relaxed environment; those with sensory and communication disorders, a learning disability and/or an Autistic Spectrum Condition are especially welcome. Adaptations to the performance include house lights kept on low, adjustments to volume and special effects in the performance, and a relaxed attitude amongst audience, staff and performers to noise and movement around the theatre during the show. A full visual story will be available two weeks before the performance. A quiet area will be available for those who need to leave their seats before or during the performance.


Niall McNeil and Marcus Youssef ORIGINAL MUSIC COMPOSED BY



Neworld Theatre (Vancouver, BC) Canada 90 mins (no intermission) Commissioned by Luminato, co-produced by the National Arts Centre, developed with the major support of Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, the National Arts Centre (Collaborations Program), Stratford Festival, and Bard On the Beach Shakespeare Festival. Associate Presenter: Why Not Theatre. Community Partner: Down Syndrome Research Foundation of BC. With support from the Canada Council for the Arts, the BC Arts Council, the City of Vancouver, and the Vancouver Foundation. The Playwrights acknowledge the assistance of the 2016 Banff Playwrights Colony – a partnership between The Banff Centre and the Canada Council for the Arts. Neworld Theatre acknowledges the support of the Performing Arts Residency program at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. LUMINATO.COM


An interview with Niall McNeil

By Chelsea Haberlin

Niall: I like King Arthur because he’s strong. Respectful. And he sounds harsh. Harsh is kind of when he’s upset … why he’s upset because Mordred his son is trying to destroy his kingdom. I like little parts of Mordred, not the war. I like Lancelot … ‘Hello! Bonjour!’. Like he comes from France. He speaks French. There’s a scene of Arthur and Lancelot and Lancelot has an affair with Guinevere … And that’s why Arthur is harsh … My production is going to have fog machines. Q: Why fog machines? N: You heard of a place called Harrison Hot Springs? Q: Yes I have. N: It’s because we need a fog machine. It’s mineral water. You sit on it. Just soaking your body. It’s going to be in the play. Half the castle is, not the whole castle. I’m going to have a little Gollum, from Lord of the Rings. You know, Gollum? Q: I think that’s a cool idea to do King Arthur, with elements of Lord of the Rings. N: I like to mix stuff around. Q: What character do you want to play? N: King Arthur. He was a teenager and he wants to become a king and a knight. He will take the sword out of the stone and there’s going to be like light, light, light. And all of the knights become human. They were goats and then they are human. That’s from my production … it’s kinda like a big journey to find the grail. A big, long journey.

From Neworld Theatre Niall McNeil literally grew up in the theatre, at the Caravan Farm Theatre in British Columbia’s interior. He appeared in numerous Caravan shows and had a long, productive collaborative relationship with Vancouver’s Leaky Heaven Circus. Niall’s genius as an artist is his ability to associate, and to create through dialogue and play, with a seemingly preternatural ability to riff and shift perspective, subverting expectations. The results of this are counterintuitive, absurd, disarming, confusing, hilarious, frightening and occasionally heart-stopping. Over the last decade we have evolved a creation process, with the participation of many of Niall’s artist friends, including Steven Hill and Lois Anderson, who co-created our first work, Peter Panties. Like the show itself, the process is responsive and improvisational. Niall and Marcus hang out, talking, jamming, writing

lines, talking story, joking and arguing. They also, with director James Long and composer Veda Hille, work with the cast, leading improvisations. Pretty much everything is recorded. Working with James, Marcus edits and shapes all this material, while Veda uses that which Niall has identified as lyrics to write the songs. In the world of King Arthur’s Night there is a permeable boundary, between the source material, pop culture and Niall’s own world. He is a gifted associator, making links between characters that defy traditional categorizations like fictional and real. Niall challenges the classifications and categorizations that we “neurotypicals” assume must be the only legitimate means available to perceive and name the world. They’re not. There are worlds we can’t name or even imagine, within every one of us. That’s why we have art: to offer ourselves a glimpse.

JUNE 14–25 2017


Co-creator Marcus Youssef on working with the Down Syndrome Research Foundation of British Columbia After seeing a previous work by Niall, Veda, and I (Peter Panties at the 2011 PuSh Festival), Down Syndrome Research Foundation (DSRF) Executive Director Dawn McKenna called me. She said, “That was one of the most profound examples of creative inclusion I have ever experienced. If you do another project, please consider partnering with us.” So we did. For three years Niall and I, and sometimes Jamie and Veda, have been working with folks who are clients of the DSRF. The idea when we began: to take the collaborative, artist-enabler model Niall and I have devised so we can make work together and see if we could use it to work across developmental difference with other people. The answer is yes. We met King Arthur’s Night cast members Tiffany, Andrew and Matthew through this process. What surprised us along the way: Niall’s generosity as a teacher (in retrospect that shouldn’t have surprised us, but — I’ll admit — it did); the wild, full-on 45 minute improvisations we began doing on a regular basis, more fully committed and lived and experienced than any similar exercise I’ve ever done with professional actors; how much our professional rehearsal room would be changed (for the better) by rituals and exercises we developed during our DSRF classes and workshops. What hasn’t surprised us: that art-making, and theatre in particular, seems like a natural place for people to come together. We think it’s where we can define new, radically inclusive ways of working together across historical presumptions about difference that have shunned and isolated and patronized large numbers of our fellow human beings for millennia. An assumption we now use: every single one of us is very bad at some things and very good at others. No exceptions. All of us. Every single one.



Breakin’ Convention Toronto 2017 International Festival of Hip Hop Dance Theatre June 23-25

Breakin’ Convention June 23 & 24 7:30 pm Sony Centre for the Performing Arts Tickets: $20 in advance $25 at the door Park Jam June 25 12–6 pm David Pecaut Square FREE CURATED BY

Jonzi D United Kingdom A Sadler’s Wells London project presented by the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts in association with Luminato Lineup accurate at time of printing

This festival within a festival will transform Toronto for an entire weekend The world’s biggest festival of hip hop dance theatre, showcasing the very best from around the world and around the corner, is coming to Canada for the first time. Curated and hosted by UK hip hop pioneer Jonzi D, this awe inspiring weekend features exceptional performances from world champion b-boy and b-girl crews to cutting edge street dance companies. There will be eight Canadian acts (auditions ongoing at time of printing) alongside international acts Soweto Skeleton Movers (South Africa), Just Dance (South Korea), and BirdGang Dance Company (UK). Spilling off stage and taking over the whole building, the Sony Centre lobbies and surrounding areas will be transformed with DJs, Cypher Floors, graffiti, art exhibits, free-style sessions, and workshops from top international and local artists. It’s an unforgettable experience for the whole family. Breakin’ Convention creator Jonzi D, a dancer, spoken word artist and director, is the foremost advocate for hip hop, and has changed the profile and influenced the development of the UK hip hop dance and theatre scene over the last two decades. Supporting Jonzi D will be Toronto’s local hip hop rep Judi Lopez, founder and project director of KeepRockinYou. The two recently collaborated on Open Art Surgery at Toronto’s Harbourfront and are bringing their magic back to Toronto in June. JUNE 14–25 2017


“There is simply no other event in London’s dance calendar that is as exciting, humourous, sexy and political — all in one full-tobursting package.” – The Times

Park Jam at David Pecaut Square ABOVE

Ukweli Roach of BirdGang Dance Company Photo by Paul Hampartsoumian FACING PAGE

Soweto Skeleton Movers Photo by Belinda Lawley

Taking things back to the roots of the culture, this free outdoor park jam is suitable for the whole family. It’s a funk-filled, open-air dance, music, and art extravaganza that will see dance artists joined by DJs, beat boxers, and graffiti artists. About Breakin’ Convention Breakin’ Convention is committed to celebrating, elevating and supporting hip hop dance theatre. Spearheaded by Jonzi D, the company works with the most respected, innovative and inspirational hip hop artists in the industry. Through its eponymous world-renowned annual international festival, professional development, youth projects and educational programme, Breakin’ Convention seeks to position hip hop dance alongside more historically established art forms. Breakin’ Convention is a Sadler’s Wells Project and Jonzi D is an Associate Artist of the London-based theatre.

This project has been made possible in part by the Government of Canada with special funding and support from the Ontario Arts Council, Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund and Celebrate Ontario. LUMINATO.COM


Uncle Vanya Uncle Vanya June 24 & 25 7 pm John Bassett Theatre Tickets from $65 WRITTEN BY

Anton Chekhov DIRECTED BY

Rimas Tuminas A Vakhtangov Theatre production presented by Show One Productions in association with Luminato Russia 210 mins (one intermission)


The cast of Uncle Vanya All photos by Valeriy Myasnika

Following a sold-out run in London’s West End, Russia’s Vakhtangov State Academic Theater makes a triumphant return to Toronto with its award-winning production of Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya. The classic tale is a story of characters caught between tradition and transformation, personal isolation and communal action, the lure of love and the security of duty. By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, Chekhov’s masterpiece lays bare the characters’ passions, hopes, and desires with warmth and poignancy. Chekhov’s work is set in 19th-century Russia but remains relevant today as a deeply human story of dashed dreams, thwarted love, and eternal longing. This production preserves every word of Chekhov’s text but doesn’t look or sound as you’d expect. Done in the style of Russian director Vsevolod Meyerhold, who evolved a system of acting based on physical expression, it’s a mix of words, music, and mime. Featuring a cast of Russia’s most acclaimed actors, Sergey Makovetskiy, Liudmila Maksakova, and Vladimir Simonov, and directed by Rimas Tuminas, it’s a totally fresh take. The production is the winner of the Golden Mask award (Russia’s equivalent of the Tony Awards) and not to be missed! Performed in Russian with English surtitles.

JUNE 14–25 2017


“The joy of the production lies in its total-theatre mix of words, music, mime and symbolism…nothing looks or sounds as we expect.” – The Guardian


Artur Ivanov, Anna Dubrovskaya, Sergey Makovetsky LEFT

Inna Alabina

Celebrate creativity. proud supporter of the luminato festival

Art inspires the creativity in everyone. We believe that we’re all capable of making art, sharing a new perspective, and seeing the world in a different light. That’s why we support the arts in Canadian communities – to inspire the artist in all of us, and to give more people the opportunity to share their story. Scotiabank is proud to celebrate this year’s Luminato Festival. Get inspired at


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T H E N E W V O LV O S 9 0 OUR IDEA OF LUXURY At Volvo, we think about cars in a different way. We not only think about the safety of those inside our vehicles but outside as well. That’s why the Volvo S90 comes equipped with a full suite of world-class leading safety features, including the Pilot Assist II, Run-off Road Mitigation and Large Animal Detection – all winners of AJAC’s 2017 Best New Safety Technology award. This sedan doesn’t follow trends. It starts them.

© 2017 Volvo Car Canada Ltd, 9130 Leslie St., Suite 101, Richmond Hill, ON L4B 0B9. Always remember to wear your seat belt.


“A real force.”

Photo by Dan Wilton

– Exclaim

Cascades June 24 9 pm Longboat Hall at The Great Hall Tickets from $35 PERFORMED BY


Cascades is the music collaboration between two Montreal-based musicians: neo-classical pianist Jean-Michel Blais and genre-defying, Grammy Award-nominated electronic producer Mike Silver (aka CFCF). Building on their sold-out performance that premiered as part of the globally celebrated 2016 Red Bull Music Academy in Montreal, Cascades is a stunning five song, thirty minute meeting-of-minds that navigates spaces between the artists’ respective crafts and tendencies toward playful minimalism. Featuring reworkings from the duo’s catalogues, an interpretation of John Cage’s In A Landscape, and a new original, Hypocrite, Cascades is a celebration of the traditional and experimental, dissolving the old into the new. CFCF was recently profiled in The New York Times and nominated for a 2016 Grammy Award for his remix of Max Richter’s “Berlin by Overnight.” Jean-Michel Blais’ 2016 debut album Il landed on TIME Magazine’s top ten albums of 2016, debuting at number one on the Classical Billboard Chart (Canada), and was long-listed for a Polaris Music Prize. It has accumulated over 10.5 million streams on Spotify. See Jean-Michel Blais in an enchanting solo show at The Famous Spiegeltent on June 15 then experience him and CFCF in Cascades at Longboat Hall on June 24. Opening acts TBA.

The Red Bull Music Academy is a world-travelling series of music workshops and festivals: a platform for those who make a difference in today’s musical landscape. It is a global music institution committed to fostering creativity in music. Since 1998, the Academy has taken the core principles that underlie its annual workshop for selected participants and applied this curatorial approach to events, lectures, and city-wide festivals throughout the year. LUMINATO.COM


Michael Caldwell, Meryem Alaoui, Jolyane Langlois in Natural Orders Photo by Maya Lowenstein

Natural Orders Natural Orders June 22–24 8pm Dancemakers Tickets from $20


Antony Hamilton MACHINERY BY

Alisdair MacIndoe Canada/Australia A Dancemakers production presented in association with Luminato

“Two cool kids of the Melbourne dance scene, Antony Hamilton and Alisdair Macindoe, have teamed up to create something unique.” – Sydney Morning Herald on Meeting

Award-winning Australian choreographer of infinity and perfection there must be a Antony Hamilton will present his most God to have given us the idea in the first recent work created in residence at Dance- place. It’s formally sound but predicated on makers. Hamilton’s creations meld move- a certain amount of faith. ment, sound, and visual design. Hamilton’s Hamilton has been the recipient of numwork harnesses a curious loop, a sort of erous prestigious fellowships including the chicken-and-egg question about movement Sidney Myer Creative Fellowship in 2014. He generation. Beginning with explorations was a guest dance curator at The National of machine-generated movement starting Gallery of Victoria in 2013-14, honorary Resifrom the notion that it was not possible for dent Director of Lucy Guerin Inc. in 2014, us before machines existed; we cannot move and inaugural Resident Artist at Arts House in a way that we cannot conceive. You can’t in 2015. His show Meeting, created and perdo the robot unless you’ve seen the robot. formed with instrument designer and comHamilton’s argument about conceiving poser Alisdair Macindoe, is playing at Canmovement hearkens something of the Car- adian Stage’s Spotlight Australia festival in tesian stumper that God is an infinite and April 2017. See what happens when dance perfect being and because we can conceive meets technology. JUNE 14–25 2017


Skateboarders vs Minimalism Minimalist Sculpture Meets the Body in Motion

Skateboarders vs Minimalism Performance and Block Party FREE

June 24 at 1–10 pm Drake Commissary 128A Sterling Road On June 24 at the Drake Commissary, Shaun Gladwell will stage a live performance of Skateboarders vs Minimalism with local and international skaters gliding and twisting, over and around replicas of iconic minimalist sculptures. The event will also include a performance by the award-winning Le Patin Libre, followed by DJs and a Block Party for the books.

Photo by Alex Kershaw

Skateboarders vs Minimalism April 18 – July 11 The Drake Hotel



Catriona and Simon Mordant AM. Australia


Contemporary video artist Shaun Gladwell is renowned worldwide, having exhibited everywhere from Europe to South America and in his home country, Australia. In his latest video installation, Skateboarders vs Minimalism, the world’s best freestyle skateboarder, Rodney Mullen, creatively misuses American minimalist sculptures. All filmed within a museum environment in a video scored by the music of Philip Glass, well-known sculptural forms by Donald Judd, Carl Andre, Dan Flavin and others who helped the spread of Minimal Art in the 1960s and 1970s are launched upon and flipped off by the legendary skateboarder. It’s a battle with the canon of American minimalist sculptors, but rest assured no original artworks were harmed in the making of this video installation. Please visit for further details LUMINATO.COM


Towards Artistic Excellence The Theatre Centre Residency Program Luminato introduces an exciting new creative development and presentation initiative which will support artists who have come through The Theatre Centre’s Residency Program. Established in 2004, this unique multi-disciplinary, long-term development program has led to the creation of many significant works by Canadian performing artists. Each year, this partnership between Luminato and The Theatre Centre will provide a past Residency artist with the means to revisit their work and have it presented on the international stage as part of Luminato. Further details of this partnership and the announcement of the 2018 Resident’s Project will be made by Luminato Artistic Director Josephine Ridge and Theatre Centre Artistic Director Franco Boni on June 24 at The Famous Spiegeltent in conjunction with a performance by Ian Kamau, a current Theatre Centre Resident and one of Toronto’s most interesting cross-disciplinary musicians and spoken word artists. Supported by The Renette and David Berman Family Foundation

Directors Lab North Luminato strikes a new partnership with Directors Lab North, an organization that fosters national and international exchange between a community of emerging, midlevel, and established directors who need a safe space to explore and connect with like-minded peers. Established by Toronto alumni of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab in New York City, Directors Lab North exposes participants to international techniques and practices, broadening their scope and repertoire. Through workshops, readings, rehearsals, investigations, roundtable discussions, shared sessions, and master classes with master directors from Canada and the world, “Labbies” are challenged and flourish. The partnership with Luminato allows Directors Lab North to expand the opportunities they offer participants to include valuable tailored experiences and engagement with Luminato’s visiting artists from Canada and abroad. RBC Emerging Producer Program SUPPORTED BY

This year, Luminato is establishing an Emerging Artists Program which will begin with the creation of a new position, the RBC Emerging Producer. This twelve-month program will offer professional development to an emerging producer from any genre to further their expertise in their field through one-on-one training, hands-on practice, and by expanding their professional network. The RBC Emerging Producer will work directly with Luminato staff for consultation, mentorship, support and discussion to learn all aspects of conceiving, planning, and delivering an international arts festival of scale and stature.

The work of emerging artists at Luminato is underwritten for the next three years by an anonymous couple, long-standing friends of Luminato; the first of a group of people supporting specific strands of Luminato’s work.

JUNE 14–25 2017


Work-In-Progress Presentation

CHARLOTTE: A Tri-Coloured Play with Music Based on Charlotte Salomon’s artwork Life? or Theatre? CHARLOTTE June 16 & 17 8 pm June 18 4 pm Theatre Centre

George Meanwell and Kelly McCormack, Charlotte Workshop, 2016

Tickets start at $20

Photo by Austin Ball

A Theaturtle production DIRECTOR/ SCENOGRAPHER

Pamela Howard COMPOSER


Alon Nashman Canada

The creation of a new work of music theatre is a long and complex journey but it is only with that commitment and rigour that a masterpiece can be born. CHARLOTTE: A Tri-Coloured Play with Music is an ambitious genre-bending chamber musical based on the life and artwork of Charlotte Salomon, and the creative team is now ready to embark on the final stages of its development. This is Charlotte’s story. She was a playwright without a stage, a graphic novelist before such a thing existed, and a young woman struggling to claim her voice and affirm her existence. She recorded her remarkable life story, coming of age under the shadow of family suicides during the rise of Nazism. Charlotte produced over 1,000 paintings between 1941 and 1942 while in hiding in the south of France. She imagined her life as a “singspiel,” or “song-play,” with narration, dialogue, and vibrant, raw images, painted with increasing desperation as the walls of history closed in on her. Before her deportation to Auschwitz, age 26 and pregnant, she handed the work to a local physician, with the message: “Take good care of this... it is my whole life.” CHARLOTTE: a Tri-Coloured Play with Music realizes Salomon’s graphic book Life? or Theatre? as she originally envisioned. In the centenary of her birth, the production is a tri-national collaboration with a core creative team from Canada, the UK, and Czech Republic, plus seven actor-singers and four musician-performers. As a mark of Luminato’s commitment to supporting artists needing time, space, and resources to realize their dreams, the festival brings the CHARLOTTE company together to continue their exploration of this magnum opus and to present a semi-staged production. Indulge your curiosity for the creation process as you join the artists for this work-in-progress presentation. CHARLOTTE was developed with the support of Canadian Stage, Toronto (Matthew Jocelyn Artistic and General Director, Su Hutchinson, Managing Director), and with a residency at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts Centre, Kingston (Tricia Baldwin, Director).



Nai Children’s Choir perform at Luminato 2016 Photo by David Leyes


Iftar and Music FREE

June 19 David Pecaut Square Again this year, Luminato will host an iftar for the community. Within the Muslim tradition, iftar is a meal served at sunset to break the daily fast during the month of Ramadhan. A social event involving family and friends, iftar provides an opportunity to share food as an act of kindness with members of the community. We invite Torontonians and visitors of all backgrounds to join us in celebration, starting with music in the spirit of Ramadhan in The Famous Spiegeltent from 7–9 pm followed by outdoor festivities. Music curated by Amirali Alibhai in partnership with the Aga Khan Museum. Space is limited; for details on how to register to attend visit

Welcoming the community Each June, we invite our audiences to contemporary face of Indigenous culexplore Toronto: a culturally diverse, ture, itself rich in diversity. From 2017, internationally connected city where Luminato is formalizing its commitmillions of visitors and tens of thou- ment to celebrating the many extrasands of newcomers arrive each year. ordinary First Nations, Métis and Inuit We are proud to reflect the character artists working in Toronto and Canada of this city and the enthusiasms and today. From the opening celebration concerns of those who call it home. to programming across art forms, we During Canada’s 150th confeder- will showcase their achievements to ation anniversary year, we have the audiences throughout the city. chance to reflect on our country’s We are also launching a programpast, present and future together. ming initiative dedicated to sharing Each year, Luminato hosts a Can- exceptional work by artists with disadian Citizenship Ceremony with the abilities, beginning with the 2017 presInstitute for Canadian Citizenship entation of King Arthur’s Night. To and with Immigration, Refugees and ensure that Luminato is accessible to Citizenship Canada, and this year we everyone in the communities we serve, will hold a special, enhanced edition we will complement these works to celebrate our collective identity as with an accessibility program for fesCanadians. We will also continue to tival-goers of all abilities. be a part of the Cultural Access Pass The 2017 festival will reach into program, providing complimentary the heart of our communities to confestival tickets to Canada’s newest nect artists and audiences from all citizens. Programs like these allow us backgrounds. Together, we will create to discover and re-discover Toronto shared experiences, increase access through the eyes of its residents, to the arts and encourage inclusion in newcomers, and visitors. Toronto and Canada. No true picture of Canada’s For more information or to learn diversity can be appreciated without about participating in these initiatives, acknowledging both the history and visit JUNE 14–25 2017


Welcoming the world Volunteers at the 2016 Luminato festival Photo by Taku Kumabe


For the duration of the festival, hundreds not only fosters intergenerational collabof volunteers from all walks of life gather oration, but it also allows youth to build to form a community that shares a passion professional networks along the way. for the arts and a love for this city which In addition, Luminato invites newcomembraces and celebrates diversity. Every- ers to Canada to join the volunteer proone is welcome to participate in the festiv- gram. In collaboration with CultureLink, ities. The newly minted Youth Team and a settlement and community services the joint Luminato-CultureLink mentor- organization in Toronto, this mentorship circles for newcomers to Canada are ship program helps facilitate the process the embodiment of what we celebrate dur- of integration. It gives new Canadians ing twelve glorious days in June. a chance to familiarize themselves with For the first time this year, we will offer their new homeland in a safe and supportan extended youth program. In addition ive environment and, as with any art form, to the Youth Photography team, audiences the program is a tool that helps put chalwill have the chance to engage with a group lenging, even traumatic, experiences into of youth volunteers on a more personal perspective and also offers moments filled level when being assisted at our venues. with fun and laughter. The purpose of this team is to provide With this in mind, we encourage festival youth with meaningful learning and pro- goers to take a moment to talk to Luminfessional development opportunities that ato’s volunteers, share a story, thank them will better equip them for the future when for being welcoming and helpful, and deciding on a career path. With the sup- express appreciation of them for creating port of experienced Luminato Team Lead- an accessible festival that is as diverse as ers, Youth Team Leaders will guide small the programming offered. groups of youth volunteers between the For more information about the ages of 14 to 18 years through their shifts, Luminato volunteer program, please visit developing and practicing leadership skills or send and performing customer service-based an email to if tasks together to ensure the successful you’d like to share your impressions, feedrunning of the festival. This experience back, or favourite memories. LUMINATO.COM


SPOTLIGHT ON: Youth Photography Program Luminato’s Youth Photography Program is an educational initiative designed to grow the skills of young people between the ages of 14 and 18 who are passionate about photography. Established in 2012, the program introduces youth to professional photographers and enables them to practice their craft at the festival.



Thank you to our donors Founding Luminaries From the very beginning, donors have been at the heart of Luminato. Among the first to stand behind the festival were the Founding Luminaries: art patrons and civic builders who share the vision of making Luminato one of the most important annual multi-arts festivals on the world stage. We remain truly grateful to the following individuals and organizations for their generosity. Mohammad and Najla Al Zaibak* Tony and Anne Arrell Salah Bachir Charles and Marilyn Baillie* Avie Bennett* Helen Burstyn and David Pecaut* The David and Stacey Cynamon Family Foundation Kate Alexander Daniels and David Daniels* Joan T. Dea and Lionel F. Conacher* Ian and Kiki Delaney Cam and Alexandra di Prata John Donald and Linda Chu* Gail Drummond and Bob Dorrance The Duboc Family Foundation* Lonti Ebers and Bruce Flatt Margaret and Jim Fleck* Kevin and Roger Garland* The Ira Gluskin and Maxine Granovsky Gluskin Charitable Foundation Anthony and Helen Graham* Jay and Barbara Hennick and Family Ian Ihnatowycz and Marta Witer Lucille and Urban Joseph* Patrick and Barbara Keenan Michael and Sonja Koerner*

Tiana Koffler Boyman and Marc Boyman Joan and Jerry Lozinski Chetan and Clara Mathur* Judy and Wil Matthews* Sloan Mauran and Adrian Tauro Rob and Cheryl McEwen* Joseph Mimran and Kimberley Newport-Mimran David and Audrey Mirvish Pierre L. Morrissette* Gordon and Janet Nixon Nancy Pencer Sandra and Jim Pitblado* Jonas and Lynda Prince* Richard Rooney and Laura Dinner* Gary and Donna Slaight* Geoff and Megan Smith Howard Sokolowski and Senator Linda Frum* Marisa and Edward Sorbara* Larry and Judy Tanenbaum* Phil and Eli Taylor The Roy Thomson Family Taylor Thomson John and Liz Tory The Hon. Hilary M. Weston and W. Galen Weston Robin and David Young*

*These visionary donors supported Luminato before its inaugural season.

Founding Corporate Luminaries BMO Financial Group Dancap Productions Inc. Falls Management Company Ivey Foundation MacLaren McCann

Manulife Financial RBC St. Joseph Communications TELUS Tourism Toronto

JUNE 14–25 2017


Thank you to our donors 2017 Festival Donors Luminato is proud to recognize our festival donors who have helped develop, support and showcase extraordinary art for diverse and curious audiences. Importantly, they have also kept many of our programs free for everyone to enjoy. We are very grateful for their commitment.




The Renette and David Berman Family Foundation Joan and Jerry Lozinski Donald and Gretchen Ross



Mohammad and Najla Al Zaibak Charles and Marilyn Baillie John and Leanna Bayliss Avie Bennett David W. Binet Helen Burstyn and Family Holly Coll-Black and Rupert Duchesne Anthony and Helen Graham Lucille Joseph and Urban Joseph, O.C. Donald and Helen McGillivray Sandra and Jim Pitblado Greg and Kate Sorbara Sylvia Soyka

Diane Blake and Stephen Smith Neera and Deepak Chopra Goring Family Foundation James and Susan Haldenby Vahan and Susie Kololian Janice Lewis and Mitchell Cohen Vanessa and Mark Mulroney Anthony Sargent CBE Elen Steinberg William Thorsell Carol Wilding Peter Wilkinson



RBC Foundation SOCAN Foundation

MAY 31, 2017


Tony and Lina Gagliano Joe Natale and Melissa Martin HONOURARY CO-CHAIRS

Mark and Vanessa Mulroney Jonas and Lynda Prince

To join our community of supporters or to learn more about our giving programs, please visit LUMINATO.COM


Festival Staff & Board Executive & Administration

Programming & Production

Marketing & Communications

Anthony Sargent, CBE CEO Marcia McNabb, CPA, CA Vice President, Finance & Administration Winston Tang Office & Human Resources Manager Erin Michel Executive Assistant to the CEO

Josephine Ridge Artistic Director

Shawn Hernden Senior Director, Marketing and Communication Ashley Ballantyne Director of Communications Alison Uttley Associate Director, Marketing Stephen Barber Ticketing & Audience Experience Manager Seowon Bang Digital Producer


Monique Danielle Finance Coordinator Development Rose Anne McCants Vice President, Development Natasha Udovic Senior Director, Corporate Partnerships Martha Haldenby Associate Director, Development Leah Faieta Manager, Government Relations Reilly Goldsmith Development Associate SEASONAL STAFF

Chiara Lacey Events Specialist

Luminato Laureates Salah Bachir Charles Baillie Avie Bennett Julia Deans Cam di Prata Jim Fleck Robert Foster Chetan Mathur Susan McArthur Rob McEwen Javier San Juan Gary Slaight

Clyde Wagner (to Jan 2017) Executive Producer Naomi Campbell Director, Artistic Development Nicole Hurtubise (to Feb 2017) Assistant to the Artistic Director Michael Powell Assistant to the Artistic Director SEASONAL STAFF

R Allan Ross Executive Producer Paul Beauchamp Associate Producer Denise Bolduc Creative Producer Cathy Gordon Associate Producer Caroline Hollway Producer Denyse Karn Producer Lani Milstein Producer Seån Baker Production Manager Rick Banville Production Manager Derek Bruce Production Manager Natalie Gisele Production Manager sandra Henderson Production Manager Laird Macdonald Production Manager Duncan Macmillan Production Manager Alex Rand Production Coordinator Sue Konynenburg Company Manager Matthew King Transportation Coordinator Cam McKinnon Artist Liaison JUNE 14–25 2017



Liz MacInnis Lead Graphic Designer Jayme Spinks Freelance Graphic Designer Alyssa De Hoop Marketing Coordinator Megan Leahy Festival Publicist Saskia Rinkoff Volunteer Manager Karthy Chin Volunteer Coordinator Ksenia Sabouloua Audience Experience Coordinator Red Eye Media Suzanne Cheriton & Jennifer Perras

Board of Directors Tony Gagliano (Chair) Lucille Joseph (Vice-Chair) Mohammad Al Zaibak John Bayliss Helen Burstyn Rupert Duchesne Anthony Graham Peter Herrndorf Roberto Dante Martella Mark Mulroney Greg Sorbara William Thorsell Carol Wilding Peter Wilkinson










Boston Consulting Group Stikeman Elliott LLP




Luminato 180 Shaw Street, Suite 301 Toronto, ON M6J 2W5

JUNE 14–25 2017


Reserve your table for what the Globe and Mail and the National Post have called “the event of the year.�

Wednesday, May 31, 2017 6:30 PM Cocktails and Dinner 1 Yonge Street Contact Martha Haldenby for sponsorship or table packages: 416 572 8458 CO-CHAIRS


Tony & Lina Gagliano Joe Natale & Melissa Martin

Mark & Vanessa Mulroney Jonas & Lynda Prince

Soweto Skeleton Movers, Breakin’ Convention Photo by Belinda Lawley

Luminato 2017 Festival Guide  

Luminato is Toronto’s international multi-arts, multi-platform festival dedicated to performance, visual art, music, theatre, dance, and pro...

Luminato 2017 Festival Guide  

Luminato is Toronto’s international multi-arts, multi-platform festival dedicated to performance, visual art, music, theatre, dance, and pro...