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Harbourfront Centre Launches Fall Season with Canadian Streaming Premiere of DOG WITHOUT FEATHERS

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Over the course of eight movements, the artists come to embody not only the landscape of the Capibaribe region, but also the frogs, birds, and fauna that call the region.

Harbourfront Centre Launches Fall Season with Canadian Streaming Premiere of DOG WITHOUT FEATHERS

Harbourfront Centre, in partnership with Digidance, has announced the Canadian digital broadcast of celebrated Brazilian choreographer Deborah Colker's Dog Without Feathers, streaming Sept. 29 to Oct. 11, 2021. Inspired by a poem by João Cabral de Melo Neto of the same name ("Cão Sem Plumas"), Colker crafts a mesmerizing vision of mud-and-dust-covered dancers shown as emergent from the animal and elemental worlds, yet at the same time destructive of them. In creating the work, Colker's 14-member company explored the beauty as well as the cultural and environmental impact of Northeast Brazil's Capibaribe River; the work is saturated with the sounds, landscape, animals, plants and people of the region.

The broadcast of Dog Without Feathers is due to the coordinated effort of Digidance, a national initiative formed in response to COVID-19 in 2020 between four of Canada's leading dance presenters: DanceHouse (Vancouver), Harbourfront Centre (Toronto), the National Arts Centre (Ottawa), and Danse Danse (Montreal).

"Last year, we opened a window on the world of dance with our new streaming series Digidance - but there are so many more incredible experiences to be shared," says Nathalie Bonjour, Director, Performing Arts at Harbourfront Centre and Digidance Partner. "Dog Without Feathers is the perfect work to kick off our new season of digital presentations. Colker's creation transports its viewers to the rich, earthen shores of the Capibaribe River with its vision, astounds audiences with the virtuosity and athleticism of its artists, and remains a timely commentary on the climate crisis. We could not be more thrilled to share this impactful production with dance lovers across the country."

Founded in 1994 and based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil's Companhia de Dança Deborah Colker is a company well-known for combining "death-defying feats on giant hamster wheels, vogueing, hip-hop, acrobatics and anything else that suits Colker's eclectic sensibility" (New York Times). The work's title, Dog Without Feathers, speaks to the sluggish Capibaribe River and the people who live by and depend upon it. Speaking to its message and intentions, Colker explained, "It conveys the soul of Brazil from the rich and miserable to the mud and mangroves."

Following its premiere in 2017, the work quickly received international acclaim and attention. In 2018, in recognition of Dog Without Feathers, Colker was honoured as the choreography recipient of the International Dance Association's Prix Benois de la Danse - otherwise known as the "Oscars of dance" - joining the ranks of such luminaries as Crystal Pite, Christopher Wheeldon, Jiří Kylián, among others. In addition to the Prix Benois de la Danse, she became the first Brazilian to win a Laurence Olivier Award in 2001 for "Outstanding Achievement in Dance". Beyond the work she has created for her own company, Colker served as Cirque du Soleil's first-ever female choreographer for 2009's Ovo and as the Movement Director and Choreographer for the 2016 Olympics in her hometown of Rio de Janeiro.

Dog Without Feathers welcomes audiences into its world with voiceovers of Cabral's poem, accompanied by Cláudio Assis' black and white film projections and photography of the Capibaribe River, which include a??a??startling images of a dry river bed, of a burning crop field, rugged terrain, lush forests and a shanty town. The lithe and intensely athletic dance artists enter the space in mud-coloured tights and coated with fine dust that plumes into clouds as they move through Colker's mercurial, dynamic, and acrobatic choreography.

Over the course of eight movements, the artists come to embody not only the landscape of the Capibaribe region, but also the frogs, birds, and fauna that call the region home. Ultimately, they evolve to represent humanity itself - and explore how our species are simultaneously dependent upon and destructive of the natural world.

Digidance's presentation of Dog Without Feathers will also include a 20-minute pre-show documentary.

For tickets and information on Dog Without Feathers and Digidance, visit: harbourfrontcentre.com.


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