LUMINATO Unveils 2011 Theater And Dance Program


Luminato, Toronto Festival of Arts and Creativity, today announced the Festival's 2011 theatre and dance program. The art of storytelling is woven throughout Luminato 2011, as the curatorial vision for the Festival sees old stories revived and reinvented in contemporary interpretations. New partnerships and continuing collaborations infuse the theatre and dance offerings for the fifth anniversary edition of Luminato.

"For Luminato's fifth anniversary, we are tremendously pleased to present several new, Luminato-commissioned works, world premieres, and North American premieres by accomplished local and international talent," said Janice Price, CEO of Luminato.

"The 2011 Festival celebrates the art of storytelling," said Chris Lorway, Artistic Director of Luminato. "In the Festival's fifth anniversary, Luminato is proud to present some of Toronto's most important arts companies alongside other remarkable artists from across the country and around the world. This year, Luminato is forming new partnerships with Toronto arts organizations, while building upon relationships we have established over the past four years."

Complete Luminato 2011 theatre and dance programs:


One Thousand and One Nights
One Thousand and One Nights brings to the stage one of the world's greatest folk story cycles. The tales are told by Shahrazad to prevent King Shahrayer from taking terrible daily revenge for his wife's infidelity. Each night he marries a virgin only to kill her the next morning. Shahrazad prolongs her life by keeping the King engrossed in a labyrinth of stories that never ends - a mesmerising kaleidoscope of life, love and destiny.

One Thousand and One Nights is presented as a two-pArt Theatre piece performed over successive evenings, as well as two-part weekend performances from June 11-19, 2010. Tickets are on sale now.

In Necessary Angel's new and radical adaptation of Racine's Andromache, the war has ended in a hail of brutal crimes against women and children. The new leader, Pyhrrus, has become infatuated with a hostage, the recently widowed Andromache. She now faces a sickening dilemma - should she allow her surviving child to be publicly executed by her enemies, or should she sell herself to Pyrrhus? Canadian poet Evie Christie collaborates with director Graham McLaren on a modern adaptation of Andromache that examines how obsessive love and lust leads people to commit unspeakable acts. The world premiere of Luminato-commissioned Andromache will be presented June 10-12 and June 14-19 at The Theatre Centre.

Tout Comme Elle (Just Like Her)
The English language premiere of Necessary Angel's Tout Comme Elle, commissioned by Luminato, combines song with a rich and poetic text to explore the painful, but necessary separation of mother and daughter. Conceived by acclaimed Québec director Brigitte Haentjens, and featuring a cast of 50 women, Tout Comme Elle is a poignant and daring piece of theatre about the inevitability of loss and the eternal nature of love.

Tout Comme Elle features veteran Canadian actors alongside up-and-coming talent, including Laura Burns, Allegra Fulton, Barbara Gordon, Tanja Jacobs, Amber Mills, Fiona Reid, and Severn Thompson. Tout Comme Elle is written by Louise Dupré and translated by Erín Moure. Tout Comme Elle will be presented June 14-18 at the Bluma Appel Theatre.

Lu Xun Blossoms
Theatre Smith-Gilmour and the Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre's production of Lu Xun Blossoms is the first ever theatre co-production between Canada and China. Lu Xun Blossoms is based on five short stories of Lu Xun, a great, early 20th century Chinese writer and teacher. Considered by many to be the father of contemporary Chinese literature, Lu Xun wrote about China at a time of great change. Using deeply etched characters and riveting images, Lu Xun Blossoms documents the early urbanization of China and the conflicts and joys of the early 20th century. The North American premiere of Lu Xun Blossoms will be presented June 15-18 at the Isabel Bader Theatre.

Soulpepper Summer Repertory
Luminato presents an incredible week of theatre, showcasing the tremendous talent of one of Toronto's premier companies, Soulpepper Theatre Company. Housed at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts in the Distillery Historic District, each day consists of four distinct performances - two in the afternoon and two at night - followed by a Community Cabaret hosted by the artists of the Soulpepper Academy and featuring guest artists from Luminato at large.

Performances run from June 10-19 at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts and include: Thornton Wilder's Our Town, William Saroyan's The Time of Your Life, John Gray and Eric Peterson's Billy Bishop Goes to War, Guillermo Verdecchia's Fronteras Americanas, Jorge Luis Borges' The Aleph (adapted by Diego Matamoros and Daniel Brooks/Design by Michael Levine), rebirth: E.E. Cummings in song (created by Mike Ross and the Soulpepper Academy), Window on Toronto (created by László Marton and the Soulpepper Academy), and a Community Cabaret, featuring the Soulpepper Academy and artists of Luminato.


Sampadaya Dance Creations' Artistic Director, Lata Pada, wins over audiences with her distinctive synthesis of traditional and contemporary dance, all the while earning South Asian dance a much deserved place on main stages across North America. A new work from this award-winning company brings together the best of artistic collaborators from Canada and India in a 90 minute dance-theatre production. Using specially commissioned music and stunning visual design, TAJ depicts a turbulent period of Indian history, underwritten by one of the greatest love stories ever told: The saga of Emperor Shah Jahan's undying love for his wife, Mumtaz, whose memory inspired the construction of the spectacular Taj Mahal.

TAJ recreates the glory of that period in a sensitive intertwining of human, love, emotion and power. Canada's award-winning playwright, John Murrell has been commissioned to write an original script for this contemporary work. TAJ features acclaimed Bollywood stars Kabir Bedi and Canadian actress Lisa Ray. The world premiere, Luminato-commissioned production of TAJ will be presented June 10-12 at the Fleck Dance Theatre.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
British choreographer Christopher Wheeldon's unique synthesis of neo-classical and modern dance vocabularies has established him as one of the most important - and sought-after - choreographic artists at work today.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is a co-production between The National Ballet of Canada and The Royal Ballet (UK) and is based on the famous Lewis Carroll book of the same name. The Alice stories have long fascinated and attracted other artists, including choreographers, both for their fantastic effects and the rich psychological and emotional terrain they present. Wheeldon's ballet seeks to restore the book's fundamental appeal: Its brilliantly anarchic and unfettered evocation of the imaginative world of childhood. The North American premiere of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland opens at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts on June 4, 2011, and will be presented at Luminato from June 10-12.

Akram Khan and Nitin Sawhney celebrate the union of kindred spirits, and explore the nature of the creative process, in this thrilling fusion of dance, live music, and projection. Akram Khan, noted for his distinctive blend of classical Indian kathak with contemporary dance technique, as well as his collaborations with artists from varying disciplines, is one of the most acclaimed choreographers of his generation in Britain today. Nitin Sawhney-composer, producer, songwriter, DJ, and multi-instrumentalist-is a latter-day Renaissance man who has collaborated with Khan over much of the past decade on such works as kaash, zero degrees, bahok, and, most recently, Vertical Road.

Confluence takes the form of a conversation in motion and music between these two friends and artistic co-creators. Khan and members of his company join Sawhney and his fellow musicians-including the astounding young vocalist Nicki Wells-live on stage to revisit highlights of their past work together, to present a new piece created for the occasion, and to explore the psychological, emotional, and spiritual terrain of the creative journey itself. Confluence premiered at Sadler's Wells London in November 2009. The North American premiere of Confluence will be presented June 16-18 at the MacMillan Theatre.

The fifth anniversary edition of Luminato takes place from June 10-19, 2011. Tickets for all Luminato 2011 programs will be available for sale in April 2011. For details, please visit

For 10 extraordinary days in June, Toronto's stages, streets, and public spaces are illuminated with arts and creativity. Luminato is an annual multi-disciplinary celebration of theatre, dance, music, literature, food, visual arts, fashion, film, and more. For more information, please visit

Luminato gratefully acknowledges the generous support and vision of its Founding Luminaries, SuperNova donors, and Patron Circle Members. The Festival would not be possible without the support of our Partner in Creativity, L'Oréal. Luminato also acknowledges the support of the Government of Ontario, the Government of Canada, and the City of Toronto.

Luminato Partners: L'Oréal, TELUS, National Bank Financial Group, President's Choice, OLG, RBC Foundation, Manulife Financial, Scotiabank Group. List represents commitments as of November 25, 2010.

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