Thursday, August 4, 2011

News: Harbourfront Centre announces NextSteps 2011-12 Season

Harbourfront Centre’s NextSteps 11/12 Season Announced

Runs from September 2011 through June 2012

TORONTO, ON (Aug. 4, 2011) – Harbourfront Centre is proud to announce the sixth season of NextSteps, runningSeptember 2011 through June 2012. Since 2005, NextSteps has been Toronto’s unrivalled contemporary dance series, a showcase of the depth and energy of established and emerging companies from Toronto and across Canada.

This globally-inspired NextSteps season features 29 companies and most performances are world premieres of new works. There are returning audience favourites as well as artists new to Harbourfront Centre’s stages. With five performances specifically identified as family-friendly, and dance styles ranging from contemporary and cutting-edge to classical and traditionally inspired, there is definitely a show for everyone in this NextSteps season.

Tickets for all NextSteps 11/12 performances are now on sale to donors through the Harbourfront Centre box office; tickets go on sale to the public Aug. 17. Prices vary by show with savings of up to 50 per cent through the Flex Pass (four tickets for $110, or eight tickets for $180) to separate performances, however this option is only available until Oct. 15, 2011. Harbourfront Centre also offers NextSteps Packages, with discounts and incentives when three or more tickets are purchased to separate performances; the Culture Break programme for students and those under 25 years of age; and additional discounts are available for seniors and dance industry professionals. For more information on ticket prices and options, the public can call 416-973-4000 or visit

NextSteps 11/12 Full Season Lineup

DanceWorks DW 190: Signal Theatre  from thine eyes
A co-production with Native Earth Performing Arts
Sept. 22, 8 p.m. & Sept. 24, 2 p.m. & 8 p.m. (Enwave Theatre)
Tickets: $17-$33.50
Six characters struggle to find meaning at the end of their lives as they confront their deepest fears, most cherished memories and each other. Together, they examine mortality, memory and forgiveness through the lens of contemporary dance expression. Contains mature subject matter.

ProArteDanza – Season 2011
Oct.5-8, 8 p.m. (Fleck Dance Theatre)
Tickets: $18-$39
Blending beauty and all-out athleticism, Season 2011 features a cast of Toronto’s hottest contemporary dancers performingToronto premieres by award-winning choreographers
Roberto Campanella (Artistic Director), Robert Glumbek (Artistic Associate) Kevin O'Day (Mannheim Ballet); and a world premiere by Guillaume Côté (National Ballet of Canada).

Chartier Danse – Stria
Oct. 14-15, 8 p.m. (Enwave Theatre)
Presented in association with the DanceWorks CoWorks Series
Tickets: $20-$28
Emerging from the beautiful and unpredictable terrain of the Badlands, Chartier invites the audience on a unique and virtuosic physical and theatrical expedition. The latest solo work by award-winning choreographer/performer Marie-Josée ChartierStriais a dark, playful and unconventional self-portrait.

DanceWorks DW 191: Zata Omm – Eight Ways From Mara
Oct. 20-22, 8 p.m. (Enwave Theatre)
Tickets: $17-$33.50
William Yong's Eight Ways From Mara is a multi-disciplined, imaginative and visually compelling choreographic work that explores a modern interpretation of how people strive to find ways to avoid life’s misery by capitulation or opposition to three elemental forces of confusion, temptation and distraction.

DanceWorks DW 192: Tribal Crackling Wind – Fluency
Nov. 3-5, 8 p.m. (Enwave Theatre)
Tickets: $17-$33.50
Can one become Nicaraguan? Jamaican-born, Toronto-based artist Peter Chin answers this question with Fluency, a multidisciplinary piece developed during a stay in Latin America, imbued with his trademark finesse and humour. He documented his sometimes comical efforts to learn Spanish and to integrate into a new culture that has all led to this very playful piece for Chin and four performers, an atypical progress report that lies somewhere between dance, theatre, video and a talk
Menaka Thakkar Dance Company – In The Further Soil – Tribute to Tagore
Nov. 11-12, 8 p.m. & Nov. 12, 2 p.m. (Fleck Dance Theatre)
Tickets: $22.50-$35
In The Further Soil captures through the journey of Menaka Thakkar both a sense of the form as well as the process of the making of an Indian dancer in Canada. In the second half, Menaka Thakkar returns to the Harbourfront stage for a solo tribute to Rabindranath Tagore to mark his 150th anniversary.

Break it Down – Enter the Shadow
A Harbourfront Centre Fresh Ground new work
Nov. 24-26, 7 p.m. & Nov. 27, 2:30 p.m. (Enwave Theatre)
Tickets: $24-$28, $22 advance price before Nov. 1
Enter the Shadow and embark on a dynamic journey through the b-boy lifestyle and culture. This explosive production brings the audience into the seldom understood reality of dance artists born through battle and conflict, forging their own creations through the strife around them with nothing but the concrete beneath feet. A family-friendly performance.

Gadfly – Klorofyl
Presented in association with Harbourfront Centre
Nov. 24-26, 8:30 p.m. & Nov. 27, 4 p.m. (Fleck Dance Theatre)
Tickets: $24-$28, $22 advance price before Nov. 1
Plants have this incredible ability to synthesize light into energy. As humans, we need to generate passion to feel alive, but we depend on each other for that. Inspired by the classic 1954 film “Seven Samurais”, Klorofyl is the rebirth of seven fallen warriors that, when united for something noble and greater than them, aspire to find that lost flame again.

Toronto Urban Dance Symposium – Adopt and Adapt
Nov. 26, time TBA (Harbourfront Centre)
With support from Gadfly, Harbourfront Centre and various dance organizations, this one-day event aims to elevate street dance styles and guide dancers to a professional career. Dancers, students and choreographers learn about the fundamentals, history and artistry behind street dance through workshops, discussion panels and performances. B-boys, poppers, lockers and hip hop dancers learn tips, do’s and don’ts from professionals in the commercial industry and theatre stage. TUDS is an event for emerging, professional and amateur dancers who want to learn and make things happen for themselves.

Ballet Creole – Soulful Messiah 10th anniversary
Dec. 2-3, 8 p.m. & Dec. 4, 3 p.m. (Fleck Dance Theatre)
Tickets: $20-$45
Celebrating its 10th year anniversary with enhanced lighting and new costumes, it’s the perfect time to discover the magic of this season favourite. Ballet Creole infuses tap, African–Caribbean, ballet, jazz and modern dance in this unique celebration of life through dance and music. Featuring the uplifting voices of Aretha Franklin, The Boys Choir of Harlem, Stevie Wonder and Gladys Knight, Soulful Messiah drives its dancers and its audiences to rejoice. A family-friendly performance.

Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre – WinterSong – dances for a sacred season
Dec. 9, 8 p.m. & Dec. 10, 2 p.m. (Fleck Dance Theatre)
Tickets: $22.50-$38
For the past 24 years, WinterSong has warmed the hearts of family audiences with its breathtaking tapestry of seasonal dance. Celebrate the holidays with some of Canada’s most exciting choreographers, dancers, and musicians inspired by the world’s rich solstice traditions. A family-friendly performance.
Dance Ontario – DanceWeekend 2012Presented in association with Harbourfront Centre
Jan. 20, 7 p.m. & Jan. 21-22, 1 p.m. (Fleck Dance Theatre)
Tickets: $10 minimum donation
Dance Ontario’s stunning winter showcase features more than 26 superb companies and hundreds of dancers, live musicians from ballet, b-boy and bharatanatym, hip-hop, modern and Middle Eastern, fiery flamenco and folk, to unforgettable dances from the African Diaspora – productions by Toronto's best and brightest.
Janak Khendry Dance Company – KAAL (TIME)
Jan. 26-28, 8 p.m. (Fleck Dance Theatre)
Tickets: $26-$38.50
This fascinating production centres around the history of “kaal” (“time” in Sanskrit) and how it came into existence 14.93 billion years ago with The Big Bang. Every life on this planet and in space is connected with time. We breathe with it, live with it, die with it and our time dies with us.

COBA Collective of Black Artists – Les Rythmes de la ForêtFeb. 3-4, 8 p.m. & Feb. 5, 3 p.m. (Fleck Dance Theatre)
Tickets: $16-$30
Les Rythmes de la Forêt is a suite of dances and rhythms from the Sene-Gambia region. These dances and rhythms represent social and ritual events including rites of passage, initiations, harvest, and moments of pure joy and celebration. Bringing together works from co-artistic directors Charmaine Headley and BaKari E. Lindsay, alongside guest choreographers Lindsay Faye Johnson and Sister Robin Hibbert, the traditional dance forms of Guinea and Senegal will move you through an incredible and vibrant experience of folklore and storytelling.

Arabesque Dance Company & Orchestra – Jamra
Feb. 9-12, 8 p.m. & Feb. 11-12, 2 p.m. (Fleck Dance Theatre)
Tickets: $25-$45
Jamra is Arabic for “embers,” the heat at the centre of a fire when the flames have disappeared. Raw abandon is the theme for Arabesque's newest production. They derive the unique essences from the nomadic and gypsy peoples of Egypt, Turkey, North Africa and Lebanon, Arabesque swirls together colour, archetypal imagery and ancient sounds (accompanied by a live, 12-piece Arabian orchestra) to express vibrant life and the raw energy that creates it.

dance Immersion – TRIBUTE: A Moving History of Canadian Blacks in Dance
Feb. 23-25, 8 p.m. (Fleck Dance Theatre)
Tickets: $17-$32
This is dance Immersion’s 17th edition of its annual showcase presentation. This year celebrates black dance artists who have contributed to the Canadian and global dance ecology. Through the medium of dance, film and spoken word, this presentation pays homage to individuals in a production highlighting the history, artistry and contributions of Len Gibson, Jeni Legon, Dindi Lidge, Zab Maboungou, Paul Pettiford, Kevin Pugh and Jean Sheen. There will be a DanceWorks presentation by Companie Danse Nyata Nyata, and remounted pieces performed by Caribbean Dance Theatre, Learie McNicolls, Ronald Taylor Dance and Danny Grossman. All are woven together with film by Gregory Christmas and spoken word artist Amani.

DanceWorks DW 193: Sylvain Émard Danse – Fragments - Volume 1
A Sylvain Émard Danse and Canada Dance Festival co-production, in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut.
March 3, 8 p.m. (Enwave Theatre)
Tickets: $17-$33.50
The first part of a diptych that places the dancer at the very heart of creation, Fragments – Volume 1 is a collage of miniatures - a veritable patchwork of insistent urgency. In three solos and a duo, Sylvain Émard has crafted roles that are adapted to dancers’ most pressing needs, establishing four contrasting worlds where the depth and authenticity of gesture convey the complexity and vulnerability of the individual.

Ballet Creole – Exodus
March 8-10, 8 p.m. (Fleck Dance Theatre)
Tickets: $20-$45
This production celebrates and highlights the dance life of Almond Small, principal dancer for OMO Dance Company (Debbie Wilson). Two signature pieces from the OMO repertoire will be remounted. Danny Grossman also remounts one of his pieces with Ballet Creole dancers. Patrick Parson says farewell to Almond by presenting one of his ballets. Gabby Kamino will also contribute to this exodus. Choreographer: Artistic Director Patrick Parson.

Kalanidhi Dance Festival – Spring Festival of Contemporary Indian DanceMarch 14-17, 8 p.m. (Fleck Dance Theatre)
Tickets: $22.50-$35
Under the artistic direction of Sudha Khandwani, the company presents four evenings of contemporary Indian dance featuring the Anjika Manipuri Dance Troupe from Calcutta and new works by Canada’s top Indian dance companies, including Menaka Thakkar Dance Company, Sinha Danse and others.

The Chimera Project – Fresh Blood
Presented in association with Harbourfront Centre
March 16 & 17, 8 p.m. (Enwave Theatre)
Tickets: $18-$20
Fresh Blood presents interesting, innovative and surprising dance works of tomorrow’s contemporary dance superstars. Each emerging Canadian choreographer on the programme has less than five years of professional experience and is given five minutes to showcase his or her work.

The Chimera Project – The Calm BeforeMarch 19-25, 8 p.m. & March 25, 2 p.m. (Enwave Theatre)
Tickets: $18-$35 (March 25 matinee is pay-what-you-can)
Known for delivering high-intensity productions and superb ensemble work, The Chimera Project’s The Calm Before blurs the lines between theatre, urban and contemporary dance. Malgorzata Nowacka investigates the fear, fight and success of the human condition in the face of unpredictable darkness.

Badass Dance Fun
Presented in association with Harbourfront Centre
Program A: March 28, 30, 8 p.m.; Program B: March 29, 31, 8 p.m.;
Programs A & B: March 31, 2 p.m. (Studio Theatre)
Tickets: $15 or $25 for both programmes
Badass Dance Fun is Harbourfront Centre’s newest platform for experimental contemporary dance. Curated by Eroca Nicols (a.k.a. Lady Janitor), experience a mini-festival featuring play, unapologetic fun, and really loud music. A super-cool lineup with two different nights of programming, each with a curtain raiser and a main programme. Or, come to the Saturday matinee and see all performances back to back.

inDANCE – Quicksand
April 12-14, 8 p.m. (Fleck Dance Theatre)
Tickets: $22-$35
inDANCE’s two original journeys into a vivid labyrinth of nine intense human encounters in 60 minutesThe very notion of cultural distinction is jettisoned as a multiracial cast of 10 bare-chested men mash nine archetypal moods popular in Indian dance, into a techno-hip, strutting declaration of freedom from the constraints of tradition and conventional sexuality. Self-expression is the thematic link between Quicksand’s cascade of bold, surging ensembles and more contemplative solos. As a prologue toQuicksand, nine brief classical solos alternate between complex rhythmic dance and poetic textual interpretation, showcasing the Navarasa: love, disgust, compassion, valour, humour, fear, wonder, anger and peace.

DanceWorks DW 194: Bboyizm – IZM
April 13-14, 8 p.m. (Enwave Theatre)
Tickets: $17-$33.50
Deeply rooted in authenticity, choreographer-dancer Crazy Smooth explores street dance tradition in a modern production setting, pushing current popular boundaries of the dance spectrum. IZM brings together 10 of Canada’s most talented performers of the genre in a piece that evokes the essential nature of pure street dance with all its intricacy and passion.

Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company – Celebrating 30 Years
April 19-21, 8 p.m. & April 22, 3 p.m. (Fleck Dance Theatre)
Tickets: $21.50-$43
Flamenco is a living, ever-evolving art, inspired and influenced by the world around us. Dance, song and music express the full range of human emotion from sorrow to joy. Through flamenco we share our life experiences which come, always from the heart. In this production, the company is joined by guest dancers and singers from

Toronto Dance Theatre – Rivers
April 25-28, 8 p.m. & April 28, 2 p.m. (Fleck Dance Theatre)
Tickets: $15-$40
Rivers is a series of intricate minimalist pieces for piano (by late Canadian composer Ann Southam) that range from serene to playful to rhapsodic. Christopher House, a choreographer of rare musicality, collaborates with TDT’s 10 amazing dancers to create a fluid and unpredictable counterpoint to this sublime music, reflecting its rushing cascades, luxuriant eddies and quiet islands of calm. Renowned virtuosa Christina Petrowska-Quilico will perform Rivers live at each show.

DanceWorks DW 195: BoucharDanse – Histoire d’amour
May 3-5, 8 p.m. (Enwave Theatre)
Tickets: $17-$33.50
Histoire d’amour is a full-length trio marrying dance and theatre. Five choreographers were invited to engage with historical narratives on idealized love to illustrate, through movement and images, expressions of affection in various times. These were then used as diving boards into poignant and comical journeys for three timeless lovers.

Kaha:wi Dance Theatre – TransMigration
Co-produced with Harbourfront Centre’s Planet IndigenUs
May 10-12, 8 p.m. & May 13, 3 p.m. (Fleck Dance Theatre)
Tickets: $18-$35
TransMigration melds traditional and contemporary dance, design and music, weaving a narrative that lives between reality and dreamscapes. This thrilling piece created by Santee Smith and performed by a company of eight dancers was inspired by the paintings and life of iconic Ojibwe shaman-artist Norval Morrisseau, known as the “Picasso of the North”.

Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre – Arena
May 25-26, 8 p.m. (Fleck Dance Theatre)
Tickets: $22.50-$38
Arena resounds with dynamic drama, sure to entrance every age and taste, featuring six contemporary dance works including two premieres by 2012 resident guest artist Sylvie Bouchard and artistic director Deborah Lundmark. Remounts selected from the company’s 120 dance repertoire complete the production. A family friendly performance.

Raagini Dance/ Bageshree Vaze – Damaru/Mudra
May 25-26, 8 p.m. (Enwave Theatre)
Tickets: $18-$28
The two new exciting dance works in this performance highlight separately the “Tandava/Lasya” aspect of Indian dance, or the masculine vs. feminine. Tandava is embodied through rhythm, while Lasya is depicted through lyrical movement. Damaru is choreographed and performed by Indian dance exponent Bageshree Vaze; Mudra is co-choreographed by Vaze and contemporary dance artist Andrea Nann, and performed by the latter. Damaru is composed by Vaze and tabla virtuoso Vineet Vyas, and depicts –through live drumming and Kathak dance – the cosmic drum (damaru) of the Hindu God Shiva, considered the drumbeat of time. Mudra means “hand gesture” and explores the 28 hand gestures of Indian classical dance along with contemporary dance and movement.

Menaka Thakkar Dance Company – Sitayana and Prince Rama in the Wilderness
Sitayana: May 31-June 2, 8 p.m. (Fleck Dance Theatre)
Prince Rama in the Wilderness: May 31-June 1, 2 p.m. & June 2, 1 p.m. (Fleck Dance Theatre)
Tickets: $22.50-$35
Canada’s premiere Indian dance company presents a dance weekend of two productions choreographed by Menaka Thakkar based on the Ramayana as well as a symposium. Prince Rama in the Wilderness is a children’s matinee that focuses on Prince Rama’s exile in the forest. Sitayana is a remount of Thakkar’s feminist classic which is a retelling of the Ramayana from Sita’s point of view.

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

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

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