Evolution Dance Theatre PresentsFOLLOW YOUR HEART, Now thru 5/11
With a special emphasis on the empowerment of women, Follow Your Heart tells an inspiring story of love and struggle, rooted in the rich traditions of Middle Eastern dance and culture. It tells a courageous tale of a modern Middle Eastern woman, Almaza, in love with Jivan, a traditional man, in modern-day Toronto that resonates with cultural truth as it portrays the struggle between contemporary norms and traditional values.
With a talented international cast, spectacular costumes, a compelling love story, gorgeous music and stunning dance - ranging from traditional belly dance to jazz to hip hop and more - Follow Your Heart seamlessly combines Western contemporary dance forms and traditional Middle Eastern dance styles with theatre and live original music for a truly unique, cross-cultural event as it draws audiences into a world of beauty, mystery and passion. A Middle Eastern story with a universal appeal, Follow Your Heart inspires and educates as it entertains.
Acclaimed Toronto dancer Mateo Galindo Torres, who recently performed with Peggy Baker Dance Projects in he:she, now joins the company to portray Jivan in this beautiful and passionate work. (He replaces California's Niraj Mehta, originally announced.) Torres has also worked previously with lauded choreographers Danny Grossman, Christopher House, Allen Kaeja, Tedd Robinson, and Roberto Campanella. Powerful Randolph Dance Theatre-trained singer-dancer and two-time Jr. Canadian Rhythmic Gymnastics Champion Teria Morada portrays Almaza. Morada performed in the Latino/Pachuco version of 'Romeo & Juliet" (East L.A. Classic Theatre) in California and was the lead dancer, singer & choreographer at The Beijing International Expo & Beijing International Triathlon Opening Ceremonies 2013 in China representing Rio Brasil L.A. Lina Demirjian, Elisheva Elizabeth Gluck, Ian Huggins and Roula Said are part of the multi-faceted, multi-ethnic global cast that also includes Erepuni (the dance ensemble of Toronto's Hamazkayin Armenian Cultural Association), a fusion drum ensemble showcasing master female Persian percussionist Naghmeh Farahmand as well as Native Canadian and African drummers, and many more.
With the majority of the Middle Eastern roles portrayed by those steeped in the culture - Arabs, Persians, Armenians - Follow Your Heartoffers a genuine Middle Eastern cultural experience. Kendra Ray, who helped coach the gold medal winning skating pair Meryl Davis and Charlie White on belly dance nuance for their win at the recent Olympics, is the Rehearsal Director. Stephan Droege, a 14-time Dora Mavor Moore Award nominee, is the Lighting Designer and Jacques Collins is the Digital Designer. Isole Pleasants-Faulkner is the stage manager. Keshishian notes, "I am excited to bring audiences a transformative story that showcases the rich and colourful Middle Eastern traditions and culture that is so mysterious to many in the Western world. Follow Your Heart is a feast, not only for the eyes, but also the soul. We see how the East is different from the West - but by the time the tale is told, we realize we are not really that different, and that we are all connected." Keshishian's previous acclaimed productions for EDT include behind the Veil and EvolutionŠ of the human kind ("Here's how to put on a show!" - Toronto Star). Evolution Dance Theatre presents the world premiere of Follow Your Heart A love story of taboo and tradition - A Middle Eastern spectacle with over 45 performers on stage! Conceived, choreographed and directed by Armineh Keshishian Lighting designer: Stephan Droege, Digital designer: Jacques Collins
Thursday May 8 - Sunday May 11, 2014 Harbourfront Centre's Fleck Dance Theatre, 207 Queen Quay W., Toronto Thursday-Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 2pm Tickets: $45/$40/$35 (Students/Seniors: $40/$36/$31; CADA/Equity/Groups 10+: $40/$36/$31) Tickets: 416-973-4000 or visit www.EvolutionDT.ca.