A PERFORMANCE IN PRINT Vol 1 / No. 4
Monday / June 17 / 2013
Comix by Lorenz Peter
Artists on a BLIND DATE Luminator volunteer, Miroslav Glavic, on love and dancing at the Festival
Surrendering Adrienne Clarkson writes in to LightNews on Abramovic opening As far as I’m concerned, Robert Wilson is one of the greatest geniuses of modern theatre. I first saw his work in Paris in 1973. It was Deaf Man Glance, which was his first major piece. I have memories of that production that I have never forgotten, including one in which a woman rolled out onto the stage but seemed not to roll along the floor; she was on some air cushion that was invisible, and she bounced on it, and came down. The one thing that Wilson does so extraordinarily—and I look for it in every one of his productions—is lighting. I come from television originally and I know that lighting is everything and I always look for how he is going to light and where the lights are, and he always surprises me. There are moments in The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic where people are lit red, green, blue, white—and you know that that spectrum he has given you is actually the shattering of all light together. To put him together with Marina Abramovic is utter genius. She brings to Life and Death a kind of impressive resignation which is totally bemusing to the audience. You see her expression and then you are watching almost through her eyes. She is so receptive, non-judgmental, and also somehow empathetic without being sloppy. There was a moment when the soldiers came out with flags and because the flags were white—that is, white for surrender—we were surrendering to life. We are surrendering to life with Abramovic and we are surrendering not only to her life, to which we bear witness, but to our own lives as well. Our relationships with our own mothers, our relationships with our own lovers, our relationship to work, to art. I think it was most amazing. And the performances are absolutely wonderful. Willem Dafoe is incredible in this piece. The way in which he energizes the electricity running through the whole work. When he is finally almost buried in the smoke, it’s as if all of that energy goes down again into him and rises up to lift everybody at the end. We have that transformation that we know is going to come, and when it does it is so deeply satisfying. Antony’s singing and his music scape for this piece are thrilling moments of sound that penetrate into the movement of one’s blood and brainwaves. It is visceral. Also, Wilson demonstrates what language is through the looping of Dafoe’s speech. It adds to our idea of what language is, critically. When the second act opens and you see that image of the eye, I thought ah! Salvador Dali and Luis Buñuel, Un Chien Andalou— the famous scene where the razor blade cuts across the eye, that moment in cinema that is the most truly surrealistic. You are given that in this piece but instead of the razor blade you have a needle coming down into the iris and the apprehension is so great. This is an absolutely magnificent piece of theatre. To me, it is what theatre should be. Theatre should transform you. It should make you feel that you can’t live any other kind of life.
HUBBUB AT THE HUB, DISTILLERY Luminato Festival’s first weekend saw huge crowds descend on the two main public spaces of the Festival, the Hub at David Pecaut Square, and the Distillery. The weather cooperated on Saturday, but changed its mind on Sunday when driving rain began in the morning. This reporter saw diehard joggers along the Rosedale Valley Road braving the torrential weather just after dawn Sunday and wondered if they would come to brave Laurie Anderson and Ai Weiwei under such skies. Luckily, the weather improved. Saturday saw a crush of Luminato-goers packing David Pecaut Square for a roster of concerts and activities that included Ember Smith, Sarah Harmer, Long Shen Dao, and Maxi Priest give a series of free concerts on the main stage. At almost midnight, Kid Koala took to the stage under a perfect night sky, the mirrored facets of Michel de Broin’s One Thousand Speculations throwing a cool, silvery light against the towers enclosing the Hub, and set the place on its ear. Space Cadet—Kid Koala’s interstellar opera, sit-in movie, talk show, and scratch rock party—had hundreds of lucky ticket-holders reclining against inflated pillars lying along the grass, with their headphones on. Onlookers witnessed a genuinely surreal sight: a silent concert broken only by the sound of applause. Koala put on his trademark furry costume halfway through the evening, explaining that the koala suit is a result of a losing bet that saw the groundbreaking Montreal-based DJ and comic artist agreeing to wear the costume for one hundred public appearances. Over at the Distillery, the public encountered a busy hive of cooking activity, as grade 4-6 students showed what they’d learned from some of the city’s best chefs in the Future Tastes of Toronto event. Every alley and roadway was bursting with tents and scents. Kids worked seamlessly in teams with some of the city’s best chefs, preparing classic dishes like mussels in white wine and soft rice and pork tacos drizzled with fresh salsa. To the sounds of chants and excited voices blaring out of megaphones, the public ate it all up. —Staff
Dear: Diary Kat Sandler behind her own scenes May 16, 2013. 12:45 AM Great brainstorming session tonight with Erik on We Are The Bomb (a site-specific Fringe Festival play set in a bar, about a group of young people who, on the eve of modern Canadian prohibition, establish their own country). Although the play began as a jaunty situational comedy, it has now spiralled out of
my control into an all-encompassing political play with big themes and ideas and messages. This terrifies me, because I know absolutely nothing about politics. Erik,―who knows lots about politics,―and I sat in the bar for five hours, drinking beer and viciously arguing to get our points across. The script breakthrough fell into our laps practically as we said goodbye. I am a good writer, but I know a play isn’t working until I feel a “click,” and frankly, I don’t enjoy writing it until then. I feel so blessed to have friends and colleagues who are always willing to help me find that click, that piece of the puzzle, or the look or word or anecdote that takes a play from words to entertainment. I left the bar, excited about sitting down to write again, so happy to be in this crazy business in which a night of work is sharing a drink (or four) with a friend. Erik stayed behind, ordered another round, and started his own writing project. Who knows what time he got home.
Pro & Con Waking Up: a User’s Guide, by Don Gillmor and Farzana Doctor I am an early riser. Not by choice and not always happily—I don’t wake up like the Von Trapp family singing in the hills. But most mornings at around 5:00 a.m. I wake up and am incapable of getting back to sleep. In the summer, I often go up to my office and get an early start on things. In winter, my office is too cold and forbidding and I walk to the yoga studio and get some narcoleptic exercise. The payoff is walking back at 7:45, drinking a double expresso, brimming with calm. I feel like Gandhi. One of the subtle joys of being awake early is that you have the world to yourself, more or less. There are dog walkers out in the park, silhouetted in the gloom. There is the guy who delivers the paper. But otherwise, the streets are empty, the houses dark. I am the only one getting any work done. When I actually get any work done. — Don Gillmor
THE EAVESDROP | Newspaper boy: “May I offer you a copy of Luminato’s daily newspaper? It’s written by the artists of the Festival!” Patron: “Are there filthy cartoons in it?”
— Tom Ryaboi
High over the Hub, J15 / 2013
The difference between starting early or sleeping in pivots on humankind’s worst invention: the alarm clock. I cannot start early without one. An alarm clock makes for a terrible start. It doesn’t matter that my iPhone alarm is “Feeling Good” by Nina Simone. When I awake, disoriented, snatched from a lovely dream state and in the wrong part of my sleep cycle, I can only assume that Nina is taunting me with her dragonflies and butterflies all havin’ fun. If starting early is all about the jarring kickstart to the day, then sleeping in all about the slow beginning. It’s in these first quiet moments of consciousness when sweet things happen: I listen for writing inspiration, I sense my lover lying beside me, I stretch into the fullness and boundaries of my body. The day can wait until I’ve done all that. — Farzana Doctor
One of the years I volunteered at Luminato, I was answering questions from people at “Light on Your Feet,” a public dance class that took place during the Festival in 2008 and 2009 at Yonge-Dundas Square. A quite elderly couple came up to me and asked me if they needed to get tickets and if yes where did they get them and how much. I told them that they didn’t need tickets as it was free. I explained to them about the different dances being taught each night. Gave them a guide. They thanked me and then they turned around and went into the square. They listened and danced. They seemed to enjoy dancing as they came back every night of the dance lessons. At the end of the first night they thanked me. On the last night I said to them that they must enjoy dancing, since they’d come every night. They said very much. I asked them how many years they’d been dancing. They said it was more than double the years I have been alive. (I am 32.) The man told me that their coming back each night was a birthday gift to each other, as they had recently each turned 100 years old. The man said that he was still as in love with the woman as he was in highschool. They looked at each other. He said he was still happy that she said yes to him when he proposed all that time ago. He got on his knee right there in front of me and proposed to her again, to renew their marriage. The dancing had brought their feelings of love back. She said yes. Each night when they came, they would make small conversation with me before and after the dance. I have no idea why they picked me instead of another Luminato volunteer or staff. Some time the following year or so, I was doing my grocery shopping and I was in line at the cashier. Behind me, an elderly woman was standing with a man and she asked me if I had been at Luminato Festival in Yonge-Dundas Square. I said I was, I’d volunteered for the Festival. She said that she and the man beside her were the ones from the dances I’d spoken with. They thanked me, I smiled and said you are welcome. We made some chit chat until my turn came to pay for my groceries. I paid and I mentioned to them that Luminato is yearly festival. I thanked them for the memories, then I said goodbye. I haven’t seen them since that time. What made me think about them is that they broke every myth/stereotype/whatever you call it about people their age. They certainly danced better than I could have and they were some of the best dancers each night. There was something about them coming all those days in a row, at their age, both loving each other, and showing that love through dancing.
From the LightNews Archives June 17 1939 HITLER’S NEPHEW A SOLD OUT CURIOSITY AT MASSEY HALL As one of its Weekend Illuminations, Luminato Arts Festival has treated its audiences to a lecture the likes of which this city is unlikely to see again. Liverpool-born William Patrick “Paddy” Hitler, son of the German Chancellor’s half-brother, was in Toronto to share his insights into his uncle’s regime. Rambling and electrifying by turns, Mr. Hitler claimed his uncle intends to make a claim on the Free City of Danzig, and plans to steal all the gold in Luxembourg to fund his munitions plants. It has been learned, by this reporter, that the younger Hitler has attempted to extort money from the Chancellor, and is generally looked upon as a scoundrel on the other side of the pond. Does it run in the family? Only time will tell! Refunds will be honoured at the LAF’s box office on Front Street. —Staff
Miroslav Glavic is a photographer. He has travelled every corner of the world, except Antartica. He currently lives in Scarborough. Inger Ash Wolfe is sleep -deprived. She is the author, most recently, of A Door in the River . Jonathan Castillino & Tom Ryaboi are Toronto-based photographers. Farzana Doctor is the author of Stealing Nas-
reen . She reads at A Literary Picnic on June 22. Don Gillmor’s most recent novel is Mount
Pleasant . He reads at A Literary Picnic. Kat Sandler is the artistic director of Theatre Brouhaha. She moderates the “Gob Squad” Lunchtime Illumination at the Hub on June 18 The Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson was Canada’s Governor General from 1999 to 2005. Lisa Moore is the author, most recently, of Caught. She reads at A Literary Picnic. Maggie Thistle is a Luminato intern Steve Cohen is known as “The Millionaire’s Magician.” His Chamber Magic show plays June 18-20. Dave Lapp and Lorenz Peter are Toronto cartoonists. Ania Szado’s most recent novel is Studio St.
Ex . She reads at A Literary Picnic. Ember Smith is a singer songwriter and is way
Find the Golden Key A golden key is hidden somewhere in downtown Toronto! The person who finds it and brings it to the Information Kiosk in David Pecaut Square wins a pair of tickets to every show at Luminato in 2014. CLUE #3 of 8: The key is somewhere within a box of city streets defined by Spadina Avenue, Dundas Street, University Avenue, and King Street.
talented Jorn Weisbrodt is Luminato’s artistic director. For tickets and more information, please visit www.luminatofestival.com
Masthead EDITOR IN CHIEF Michael Redhill
ASSISTANT EDITOR/ INK-STAINED WRETCH Nora Fleury
PRODUCTION MANAGER Dan Daley
DESIGN Pentagram Dan Daley
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, LUMINATO FESTIVAL Jorn Weisbrodt
LightNews Vol 1. No 4. LightNews is is an independent program of Luminato Festival. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the writers and artists and may not reflect the views and opinions of Luminato Festival or its sponsors. Total accrued sleep over opening weekend of all Luminato staff: 106h,14m, (5.4 hours per staff member).
Laurie Anderson whispered into my ear that apparently Ai Weiwei had sleepless nights about his first-ever live streaming rap performance with New York’s queen of the avant garde. Well, I don’t necessarily have sleepless nights, but sleep deprived ones, certainly, so I know how you must be feeling buddy, but you did a great job. It was a pity that we could not send him a virtual oyster or those lobster sticks from the Shore Club afterparty last night which was packed and buzzing. One of Ronnie Burkett’s marionettes apparently hit puberty last night at The Daisy Theatre at Berkeley Street and was particularly mean and nasty to all the adults on scene. Afterwards, Vag Halen were rocking out so hard at Jason Collett’s Courtyard Revue at 11.30 p.m. (at the same venue) that one might think puberty should be an eternal human condition. Joni Mitchell in her TimesTalks with Brian Blade and Jon Pareles proved that artistic minds can stay young eternally. Tonight’s the last night of The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic and even though the dogs and the albino python snake have become close, I know that Marina is quite jealous that the one albino doberman was actually allowed to go to the hairdresser to get a his fur dyed black and might be plotting something. — Jorn Weisbrodt, Artistic Director
Don Gillmor and Farzana Doctor try to shake each other awake
A review of Space Cadet
The fourth installment of Spovator Flencendar
17 9 10
After: Oh, it is so good to listen to the other readers. It is such a deep, deep pleasure to sit in the audience after I’m done and listen to their stories.
Before: I am deaf to everything except the sound of my own blood. It sounds like a pillow fight. I feel a turbo-sinking of everything I am, a sinking from the top of my head down into my knee socks. Socks with broken elastics so they yawn around my ankles like when I was in grade four. I am afraid I will trip on the way to the microphone (this happened once, me yelling my head off and wind-milling my arms, nearly falling all the way off the stage). I remind myself that if one thinks back to the time of the dinosaurs, and then in the other direction, toward infinity, this moment on stage will only be a millisecond in the history of being.
Lisa Moore bombshell; writer survives readings narrowly
Before & After
To be continued...
The opening sentence of Studio Saint-Ex came late, but felt immediately right. Someone bemoaning the lack of a book typically, unexpectedly, has time to kill, as does this narrator. And that word “even”? She’s exasperated with herself; she’s capable of being self-critical—important for readers to know, since she’s poised to tell a story about her younger self. The spine of that story involves the writing of The Little Prince, so starting with a nod to the importance of books felt apt—and ironic, since she always carries that book, as a memory.
“I haven’t even brought a book.”
By Ania Szado
She used to drag her mom to every show we had in the Chicago area from age six to nine. Ginger-haired Janey introduced her mom to independent music and made me flowers from construction paper with little notes written on the inside of the petals. After one show, she proclaimed her future profession as a poet. She made my heart swell. Kids are so much more heroic than they’ll ever know.
The one who swells Ember Smith’s heart
Adrienne Clarkson on The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic
Atom Egoyan in conversation with Daniel J. Wakin
1 | What is the last book you didn’t finish? Thinking Fast and Slow 2 | Eastern or Western philosophy? Eastern. I used to live in Japan. 3 | Who would play you in the movie of your life? I’ve been called the love-child of Woody Allen and Charlie Chaplin. 4 | What was the first concert you attended? Billy Joel 5 | What was your favourite childhood book? The Tannen’s Magic Catalogue #12 6 | What do you wear to bed? T-shirt and shorts 7 | Should you have ever been arrested for anything? No, because I’m an eagle scout. 8 | What would be your last meal? Sushi platter in the Ginza in Tokyo. 9 | On dance: ballroom, ballet, or modern? Ballet. I got to the ballet often. 10 | Your favorite comedian of all time? Robin Williams 11 | What was your nickname in high school? Stever 12 | Do you do any party tricks? My whole life is full of them. 13 | What historical figure would you like to have dinner with? Johann Hofzinser 14 | What’s your idea of a perfect Saturday night? I perform every Saturday night. 15 | Where would you like to go on a shopping spree? Paul Stuart in New York City. 16 | If you hadn’t become a magician, what do you think you’d be right now? A physicist. On one side you try to bend the laws of the universe, on the other you try to discover them. 17 | What don’t you get at all? The teenage mind 18 | Coffee or tea? Coffee 19 | Milk chocolate or dark? Milk chocolate at midnight and dark chocolate when I’m thinking about my health. 20 | In one word: the meaning of life is … Well, my son’s answer—he’s 13 years old—is ice cream. My answer is creativity.
In This Issue
It’s hard to know what to call Eric San, aka Kid Koala— the Canadian scratch DJ, music producer, and comic book artist—but renaissance man might be close. I was at the second of the Kid’s two sold-out Space Cadet shows last night, and I experienced something that might be like what the first theramin audiences or the first viewers of the Impressionists might have felt: awe, displacement, and deep pleasure. (Okay, maybe not the theramin audience.) “The new” is an idea so overworked and jaded in the top-speed Internet age that people can be forgiven for really believing there is nothing new under the sun, but at least there was something new under a mirrorball last night in the Hub, as about five hundred people lay down against spaceage inflatable pillows and strapped on Sennheiser headphones to be lead down Kid Koala’s very special garden path. The concert began with a new tune, featuring Dan the Automator and Damon Albarn, which set the stage for almost two hours of mind-boggling creativity. The three oversized screens onstage during the first number displayed the astonishing sight of Kid Koala’s forearms and hands flying over three turntables and a mixing board. The speed, dexterity, and sheer inventiveness of his mixing and scratching was instant proof that this kind of music is not the love-child of technology and extreme sport, but an artform in and of itself. Lillian Chan provided delicate animations from the Space Cadet graphic novel, which played behind the complicated set-up as visual lullabies.
Over the course of the concert, Kid Koala drew members of the audience, including children, into the improvisational creation of live music. Guests brought directly onstage yakked with the artist between numbers, and in one case were given light-sticks and other illuminated objects to create a live computer-assisted light show that was thrown instantaneously over the screens. In what was perhaps the evening’s most beautiful and moving moment Kid Koala played what he told us was his mother’s favourite piece of his. It turned out to be a cosmic rendering of “Moon River” played off an old LP and mixed directly through his massive board. Over seven minutes, Koala transformed the classic song into tone poem that surged with longing and love. I imagine Mother Koala is very proud of her son. Delight is probably the better word to describe the audience’s reaction. We rose to our feet at exactly 1 a.m. when the concert ended—to the sounds of electronic bells—and pulled off our headphones to send Kid Koala and his brilliant crew off to thunderous applause. That was the first audible evidence that anyone had been in the Hub to that hour, undergoing a transformative musical and visual experience.
Space Cadet viewed from the top of 214 King St West, 12:40AM / J16 / 2013
1 | Black pumps. What are sexy, reliable, and always ready to be walked all over? 2 | Quantum physics. What is Stephen Hawking’s idea of light reading? 3 | Root canal. What is probably the last thing that should ever be attempted as a DIY project? 4 | Caviar in Cleveland. What is the worst prom theme suggestion ever? 5 | My cellphone. What is one of the few things in my life currently on a plan? 6 | As often as possible. What is the amount of times Seinfeld is quoted daily in my household? 7 | My grandmother’s (Nana’s) cooking. What kind of cuisine consists, in its entirety, of pierogis, a dish known familiarly (and questionably) as “polish burgers” and toasted rye bread doused heavy-handedly in garlic powder? 8 | Turkish coffee. What is the last thing you fantasized about? 9 | Man’s best friend. Who is consistently allowed to sleep in my bed despite their tendency to use my carpet as a toilet? 10 | Catherine Zeta Jones. Who is the sexiest celebrity officially diagnosed with bipolar disorder? 11 | Never in leotards. What is one way a mutiny should never be attempted? 12 | Rickshaws. What was once described by Newman as having “the romance of the hansom cab without the guilt or dander of the equine”? 13 | Rob Ford’s feet. What is the only part of the Toronto Mayor with any type of sole? 14 | A dozen boa constrictors. What makes a better pair of boots than houseguests? 15 | Only in the dark. Where is the only place I look as good as I feel when I’m dancing? 16 | Unscrupulous. What is my caffeine consumption when I am working towards a deadline? 17 | My ankles. What is something that I see every day but rarely actually think about? 18 | The laundromat. Where is the last place I lost a pair of underwear? 19 | Oblivion. Where should everyone visit, once in a while? 20 | Shark attacks. What are less painful than most work or school interviews I’ve had to do?
Ten minutes, up to fifty questions. A selection from Steve Cohen
Lisa Moore on her preparations for a reading
Inger Ash Wolfe goes to scratch heaven at Space Cadet
From Jorn Weisbrodt Luminato Intern Maggie Thistle’s rules of mutiny
The Millionaire’s Magician, Steve Cohen, is interrogated
On the QT Speed Interview
Event Location Luminato Portraits: An Art Festival Hub on the Move Project Dolls by Viktor&Rolf Thorsell Spirit House Stockpile Allen Lambert Galleria Lunchtime Illumination: Festival Hub Nicholas Jennings, Murray McLauchlan & Sylvia Tyson MAI — Prototype Trinity Bellwoods Park Evening Illumination: Verdi TIFF Bell Lightbox vs. Wagner: A Love Story? Chamber Magic George Brown House The Life and Death Bluma Appel Theatre of Marina Abramovic The Corey Harris Band, Festival Hub Carolina Chocolate Drops Chamber Magic George Brown House The Daisy Theatre Berkeley Street Theatre The Courtyard Revue Berkeley Street Theatre
Reverse Proust Questionnaire
SCENE & HERD
Today @ THE TWEETS OF EMILY DICKENSON | “Why do I love” You, Art? Because—The Wind does not require the Mirrorglass to answer—Wherefore when He pass too fierce, it cannot rise over the Hub.
Time All Day 10AM 11AM Noon Noon 6PM 7PM 7:30PM 8PM 9:30PM 9:30PM 11:30PM
FA PRESENTED BY THE LUMINATO FESTIVAL
… and much more A JOKE | Know how to prevent sagging? Just eat till the wrinkles fill out. —Robert Wilson