Harbourfront Centre's World Stage to Welcome Palestinian Dancers in BADKE This Month

Harbourfront Centre's World Stage 2016 will present the Canadian premiere of Badke, a highly energetic, politically charged and stylistically diverse performance by 10 Palestinian dancers who integrate the movements of circus, capoeira and hip hop into traditional folk dance. Only four performances will be presented February 17 - 20 at the Fleck Dance Theatre.

The title Badke is a play on the Arabic social folk dance "dabke" and the production expresses the universal desire to belong through its fusion of the traditional and contemporary, and the local and global. These diasporic artists, who have trained outside of their home country, perform the traditional dance and infuse it with new proposals, vocabularies and ideas.

"Badke begins in celebration and one feels the joy of communal dancing; reminding us that dance is a universal, borderless language," explains Artistic Director Tina Rasmussen. "But as the aerobic, bacchanalian mood heats up, the tenor shifts and we begin to see isolation, anxiety, fear, and images of protest, persecution and people under siege. Given the recent terrors on the global stage, Badke is an accurate and artful reflection of our shared humanity."

Badke is a collaboration between Belgian choreographers Koen Augustijnen, Rosalba Torres Guerrero and Hildegard De Vuyst and the Palestinian performers who weave between solo dances and vigorous group pieces all set to an infectious party music score by Naser Al-Fares.

This is a co-production between the prolific and groundbreaking KVS (the Brussels City Theatre), les ballets C de la B, and the A.M. Qattan Foundation, which administers the Palestinian Performing Arts Network.

Special discussions will complement these Badke performances (free with ticket purchase):

- February 17: Pre-show Tea on Opening Night with World Stage's Scholars-in-Residence from the University of Toronto, Denise Cruz and Matthew Sergi.

- February 18: Post-show "Talkshow" invites the audience to connect with the artists who will answer questions about the performance.

Since its inaugural season 30 years ago in 1986, World Stage continues to present groundbreaking contemporary performances from around the world. The 2016 season, curated by Artistic Director Tina Rasmussen, includes seven international theatre, dance and multidisciplinaryperformances from Belgium, Canada, England, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Palestine.

In addition to Badke, World Stage 2016's impressive and eclectic season includes: The World Stage Mirror Ball: January 30, Harbourfront Centre Theatre; Germinal: January 20 - 23, Fleck Dance Theatre; Portraits in Motion: April 13-16, Harbourfront Centre Theatre; Looking for Paul: Inez van Dam vs. the Buttplug Gnome: April 27-30, Harbourfront Centre Theatre; Steer: May 11-14, Fleck Dance Theatre; Backstage in Biscuit Land: May 25-28, Harbourfront Centre Theatre; and Every Song I've Ever Written: June 9, The Power Plant & June 11, WestJet Stage.

About World Stage - Since its beginning in 1986, Harbourfront Centre's World Stage has evolved into a varied season of international performance. With bold curatorial vision, World Stage assembles and presents today's performance leaders to share and develop Toronto's understanding of contemporary performance.

About Harbourfront Centre - Harbourfront Centre is a Canadian charity operating the 10 prime acres of Toronto's central waterfront as a free and open public site. It celebrates the multiplicities of cultures that comprise Canada and enlivens the city through the creative imaginations of artists from across the country and around the globe.

Harbourfront Centre's World Stage 2016 presents BADKE, co-produced by KVS, les ballets C de la B, A.M. Qattan Foundation at Fleck Dance Theatre, 207 Queens Quay West, Wednesday, February 17 - Saturday, February 20, 2016. All performances at 8PM.

Tickets: $15 for Youth (up to 29 years) and full-time students / $54 for Adults. To purchase tickets, call 416-973-4000, go online at harbourfrontcentre.com/worldstage or visit the Box Office at 235 Queens Quay West.

World Stage Season Pass: Access to all productions including the World Stage Mirror Ball.
Three-Show Flex Pass: Three transferable tickets for any performances during the season.

Both passes provide savings of up to 45%.The Season Pass is available until January 23 and the Flex Pass is available until February 20.

Discounts are available for groups, seniors and arts industry professionals.

For more information, visit harbourfrontcentre.com/worldstage, or follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using @WorldStageTO.

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