Luminato Festival unveils 2008 program
June 6 to 15, 2008 Luminato Festival unveils 2008 program
Toronto’s second annual Festival of Arts and Creativity will once again
blanket the city with 10 days of world and Canadian premières, special
celebrations, artist residencies and free events
TORONTO, Dec. 5 – Building on the extraordinary success of its
inaugural season, Luminato, Toronto’s Festival of Arts & Creativity, today
unveiled its wide-ranging program for 2008. Conceived to shine a light on the
cultural richness of Toronto, Canada and the world, Luminato’s unparalleled
celebration of dance, music, theatre, film, literature and the visual arts
will run from June 6 to 15, 2008.
“See, hear, feel, move, share, go. These are some key words that we’re
associating with Luminato 2008,” said CEO Janice Price, as she announced the
program at a lunchtime press conference in the Jane Mallett Theatre. “They’re
all active words, and imperatives, because this Festival isn’t about passive
spectating. It’s about using your senses, engaging emotionally and
intellectually with artists and their work, and sharing the excitement of that
The program has been carefully constructed to enable audiences to explore
for themselves the many parallels and contrasts that can be drawn not only
among the individual works but also among the different genres to which they
“The more you look at all the events and performances we’re presenting in
2008,” said Ms. Price, “the more of these connections you’ll notice: little
ribbons, if you like, of ideas, genres, styles and perspectives. The ribbons
aren’t meant to bind or restrict; rather they invite you to follow them and
see where they go, to gather some together and weave them into your own unique
image of what this Festival is all about.”
Today’s Luminato announcement was attended by members of arts, business
and civic organizations, as well as local media.
“We are extremely excited by the magnificent programming being announced
today,” said Luminato Co-Founder and Co-Chair Tony Gagliano. “This June,
Toronto will once again welcome the world to a festival that unites the
artistic talents of the city with artists from around the globe.”
“Our second Luminato Festival will build upon the success of its
inaugural season to be acknowledged as a visionary and committed partner to
artists and arts organizations locally, nationally and internationally,” said
Luminato Co-Founder and Co-Chair David Pecaut.
Canadian and world premières, international collaborations and innovative
multi-media presentations are only some of the highlights of the Festival,
which also includes many free events, artistic residencies and an extensive
program of educational and community outreach. As before, local artists and
companies will take part in the Festival alongside their counterparts from
across Canada and throughout the world.
– Kronos Quartet and Tanya Tagaq – Grammy-winning, genre-bending
ensemble, Kronos Quartet present Nunavut, which includes a
spectacular musical collaboration with groundbreaking Inuit throat
singer Tanya Tagaq and a world première piece by Hurdy-Gurdy,
commissioned by Luminato. Isabel Bader Theatre.
– Mikel Rouse Trilogy – American composer and performer Mikel Rouse’s
innovative multi-media opera trilogy, presented for the first time in
repertory. Fifteen years in the making, these three sensational
pieces include: Failing Kansas, a one-man show inspired by the
murders and men at the heart of Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood;
Dennis Cleveland, in which Rouse transforms the landscape of
trash-talk TV into rock poetry; and The End of Cinematics, a
“hyper-real” 3-D movie live on stage. Failing Kansas: The Factory
Theatre. Dennis Cleveland: Toronto Film School Studio. The End of
Cinematics: Bluma Appel Theatre.
– Rocket and the Queen of Dreams – Roseneath Theatre, in association
with Puppetmongers Theatre, uses a brilliant fusion of shadow
theatre, puppetry, music and live performance to create this
astonishing journey into the dream world of a young boy. Written by
internationally acclaimed playwright David S. Craig, with puppet
design by David Powell and a full original score by Richard M. Sacks.
Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People.
– Sanctuary Song – A dynamic intersection of opera and dance by Toronto
artists Marjorie Chan and Abigail Richardson. An Asian elephant,
poached at a young age from the jungles of Indonesia, recalls her
remarkable life as her keeper leads her on a journey to sanctuary in
the hills of Tennessee. Presented in partnership with Tapestry New
Opera Works and Theatre Direct Canada. Berkeley Street Theatre.
– Where the Blood Mixes – Canadian First Nations playwright Kevin
Loring’s deeply personal story about three people from the N’lakapmux
nation of Lytton, B.C. Where the Blood Mixes speaks about the
emptiness we desperately try to fill in our hearts, our longing for
love and our return to a place within ourselves that we can call
home. Co-commissioned by Luminato and the Vancouver Playhouse. The
– A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Director Tim Supple’s internationally
acclaimed South Asian production of Shakespeare’s classic play. A
ravishing and enchanting Dream as you’ve never seen it before,
Supple’s production showcases the astonishing skills of 23 dancers,
street acrobats, martial arts experts, musicians, actors and
performers from across India and Sri Lanka, and is performed in seven
languages besides English: Tamil, Malayalam, Sinhalese, Hindi,
Bengali, Marathi and Sanskrit. Varsity Arena.
– Black Watch – The National Theatre of Scotland’s critically acclaimed
international theatre sensation. Hurtling from a pool room in Fife to
an armoured wagon in Iraq, Black Watch is based on recent interviews
conducted by playwright Gregory Burke – winner of the Writers’ Guild
of Great Britain’s Best Play (Theatre) award – with former soldiers
who served in Iraq. Viewed through the eyes of those on the ground,
Black Watch reveals what it means to be part of the legendary
Scottish regiment, what it means to be part of the war on terror and
what it means to make the journey home again. In its five-star
review, The Herald wrote, “Black Watch is an astonishing artistic
whirlwind. The world must see this play. Immediately.” Location TBA.
– City of Abstracts and Nowhere and Everywhere at the Same Time – Famed
choreographer William Forsythe is celebrated for reorienting the
practice of ballet into a dynamic 21st-century art form. The Forsythe
Company’s City of Abstracts projects and then distorts the movements
of passers-by onto a giant screen, resulting in an unconscious
choreography. In Nowhere and Everywhere at the Same Time, a group of
performers orient themselves around a series of hanging pendulums,
resulting in interpretations personal and scientific, crazed and
categorical. Locations TBA.
– Homeland – A new project from acclaimed American multimedia
performance artist Laurie Anderson. A “concert-poem,” Homeland
questions the current fears of Americans, their obsession with
security and their increasing loneliness and loss of freedom. Winner
of the 2007 Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize and the first artist-in-
residence at NASA, Anderson is internationally recognized for her
groundbreaking use of technology. Commissioned by Luminato and The
Barbican Centre, London; Cal Performances at UC Berkeley; Melbourne
International Arts Festival; Society for the Performing Arts,
Houston, Texas; and the University of Florida, Gainesville.
The Music Hall.
– Mark Morris Dance Group – Leading contemporary choreographer Mark
Morris brings his Brooklyn-based Mark Morris Dance Group to Canada
for the first time in 10 years. This Luminato Artist Residency will
– Mozart Dances – Inspired by the timeless music of Mozart, Mozart
Dances features 16 dancers performing against the bold backdrops
of British artist Howard Hodgkins and accompanied live by members
of the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra. The New York Times hailed
the piece as “a masterpiece…one of Mr. Morris’s grandest
achievements.” MacMillan Theatre.
– Love Song Waltzes/New Love Song Waltzes – Morris’s ravishing and
popular ballets set to Brahms’s Liebesliederwalzer, op.52, and
Neue Liebesliederwalzer, op. 65, paint a revealing picture of love
in our time, with fleeting portraits of despair, comfort, ardour
and loneliness, as well as relationships of every kind and size.
These pieces, never before seen in Canada, are accompanied on the
program by a performance of Grand Duo, one of the group’s most
popular works. MacMillan Theatre.
– Violet Caverns/All Fours – One of Morris’s instant classics, All
Fours features 12 dancers performing to Bartok’s String Quartet
no. 4. It is paired with Violet Cavern, a dance for 15 accompanied
by a live score composed and performed by dynamic jazz collective
The Bad Plus. MacMillan Theatre.
– Slow Dancing – Photographer David Michalek’s series of 43 larger-
than-life, hyper-slow-motion video portraits of dancers and
choreographers from around the world. Displayed on multiple giant
screens, each subject’s five-second movement unfolds gesture by
barely perceptible gesture into 10 minutes of extreme slow motion,
enabling the viewer to share in the simplest of movements. Of its
acclaimed installation at Lincoln Center, The New York Times wrote:
“At this scale and speed, everything the dancer does has an air of
the miraculous.” Co-commissioned by Luminato, the LA Music Centre and
Sadler’s Wells, London. Location TBA.
– Light on Your Feet – Stretch your legs and dance Light on Your Feet
over a series of evenings at Yonge-Dundas Square. The public square
will transform into a huge open-air dance hall, where live bands will
take the beat to the street, celebrating different musical genres
each night. Early-evening lessons in fancy footwork will be offered,
making these the ultimate dance parties for all ages and skill
levels. Yonge-Dundas Square.
– Opening Weekend – The Festival’s Opening Weekend Celebrations will
feature a variety of free programming and accidental encounters with
art, and will provide audiences with a multitude of opportunities to
– Opening Night Concert – Light on Your Feet kicks off with a
spectacular concert headlined by a leading swing orchestra and
all-star soloists. Hear music from around the world, move to the
rhythms of the night and share the experience with friends and
family as this free outdoor concert and dance party spills into
the streets. Yonge-Dundas Square.
– Opening Weekend Concerts
– Funk Fest – Nathan Phillips Square will come alive Saturday
afternoon with Luminato’s Funk Fest, featuring popular funk
bands and dancers. Nathan Phillips Square.
– Queen West Celebration – After Yorkville’s summer of love,
Toronto’s artist scene moved south to Queen Street West. The
1970s saw the birth of an era best known for New Wave and Punk
music, a movement centred on Queen West’s iconic music venues,
Grange Park and the Ontario College of Art and Design. Join
Luminato as we celebrate the original era of Queen West cool
through music, style and visual art. Queen West area.
– Scottish Music Festival – Enjoy the distinctive music of
Scotland and discover how Canadian artists have put their own
stamp on it. This show will set the scene for a later viewing
of the National Theatre of Scotland’s Black Watch down the
street. Yonge-Dundas Square.
– Closing Weekend – Luminato’s Closing Weekend will move the
Celebrations southward to Toronto’s waterfront, with the Luminato
Link boat and TTC bus shuttle providing convenient links between
– Harbourfront Centre’s Luminat’eau – a lakeside celebration of the
many water-based festivals and carnivals throughout the world.
Building on the success of last year’s Carnivalissima, and
inspired by the cultures represented in the 2008 Festival and the
themes that emerge from it, Luminat’eau will feature both large-
scale artistic works and community-engaged collaborative
– Luminato at the Historic Distillery District – The Young Centre
for the Performing Arts will build on the success of last year’s
program celebrating emerging artists and youth leadership.
Multidisciplinary performances, live creation of visual art,
workshops and community symposia will pepper the theatres and
laneways in the Historic Distillery District as the next
generation of Toronto’s arts leaders mix with local and
– Dan Zanes and Friends – Dan Zanes, former lead singer and songwriter
for the legendary rock and roll band The Del Fuegos, and his band
perform exuberant, irresistible handmade music for enthusiastic
crowds of kids and kids at heart. Drawing on a wealth of musical
traditions, Zanes, his band and his surprising and eclectic special
guests, create a rollicking “Woodstock for Kids,” including exuberant
American traditional songs, dance classics and smart, inventive
originals. Zanes’s week-long residency will provide an opportunity to
engage families and communities through a variety of sing-alongs,
workshops, question-and-answer sessions and other related events.
Music Hall and locations throughout the city.
– Mark Morris Dance Group – Mark Morris’s internationally acclaimed
dance company will take part in a comprehensive one-week Luminato
Artist Residency, which will include the Canadian première
performances of Mozart Dances, Love Song Waltzes/New Love Song
Waltzes and All Fours/Violet Cavern, as well as extensive community
outreach initiatives including pre-Festival workshops and school
The 10 days of Luminato provide the Festival-goer with a total sensory
experience. In addition to all the events and celebrations already
mentioned above, we invite you to see, hear, feel, move and share, in a
multitude of ways.
From The End of Cinematics to City of Abstracts, Luminato presents
visual spectacle in a breathtaking variety of forms. These will also
– StreetScape – Blank, vacant, abandoned and derelict walls are re-
imagined as monumental canvases as Toronto becomes host to some of
the world’s best large-scale wall painting, drawing and street
art. Locations throughout central Toronto and along the waterfront
will transform into a new type of exhibition space. In association
with the Art Gallery of Ontario. Locations TBA.
– Colour… For the End of Time (Messiaen Project) – In celebration
of Olivier Messiaen’s 100th anniversary, the Gryphon Trio’s
presentation of the Quartet for the End of Time brings art
together with science in an experience that reveals remarkable
connections between sound and colour. Utilizing references to
colour and sound association made by Messiaen in his works and
writings centred on his fascination with synesthesia, the
performance will feature a multimedia representation of the
colours associated to the chords and modes in Messiaen’s work. The
performance will also include a discussion of the science behind
synesthesia, led by local scholars.
The beat of Toronto’s many cultures, including those of South Asia
and Canada’s First Nations, drive such performances as Where the
Blood Mixes, Sanctuary Song and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. That beat
is also heard in:
– The Ecstasy of Rita Joe – A 40th-anniversary reading of the
acclaimed drama by George Ryga. One of the first Canadian plays to
address issues relating to Aboriginal people, The Ecstasy of Rita
Joe uses song, monologues and tableaux to tell the story of a
young Aboriginal woman who comes to the city. In partnership with
the Vancouver Playhouse. The Factory Theatre.
– Spotlight on New South Asian Writing – An evening of cross-
generational voices and discussion interwoven with musical
performance centring on ideas of exile and belonging. Hosted by
award-winning Toronto author Shyam Selvadurai (Funny Boy), with
Daljit Nagra (winner of the 2007 Forward Poetry Prize in England)
and others. Location TBA.
Such works as Black Watch, Homeland and Failing Kansas raise timely
questions about war, tradition and technology. No less powerful in
their discussion of contemporary issues are:
– The Fiddle and the Drum – Luminato and The National Ballet of
Canada present the Alberta Ballet in The Fiddle and the Drum. A
collaboration between renowned singer/songwriter Joni Mitchell and
Alberta Ballet Artistic Director Jean Grand-Maître, the piece
explores their thoughts on a series of modern themes, including
the environment and world conflict. The Fiddle and the Drum
features 25 dancers, 12 songs and projections of Mitchell’s
striking paintings, and will be presented with two other pieces
performed by The National Ballet of Canada: Etudes and the second
detail. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.
– The Glass Eye – The English debut of Quebec theatre creator Marie
Brassard. Devised around an existing work by Toronto actor Louis
Negin, The Glass Eye is a play within a play inspired by an
improbable meeting and a celebration of the mixing of cultures and
generations. Brassard’s distinctive work, both as a solo artist
and with acclaimed director Robert Lepage, is known for its mixing
of genres and blurring of boundaries and has been presented to
critical acclaim around the world. Location TBA.
– The Political Graphic Novel – An evening of literature, film and
images that will bring together a unique combination of writers
who focus on war and politics through the medium of illustration.
With Miriam Katin (We Are on Our Own) and others. Location TBA.
From the open-air dance party, Light on Your Feet, to the trio of
performances presented by the Mark Morris Dance Group, Luminato 2008
invites you to surrender body and soul to the rhythms of life. Among
the many other dance- and movement-related performances presented
– Etudes/the second detail – Two dance classics to be presented with
The Fiddle and the Drum and performed by the National Ballet of
Canada. One of the most popular of all ballets, Harald Landers’s
Etudes is an affectionate tribute to the art form of classical
dance. Meanwhile, the second detail rounds out the Festival’s
offering of William Forsythe with a playful and physical work that
alters one’s perception of just what dance is. Four Seasons Centre
for the Performing Arts.
Active participation, accidental encounters with art, festivities for
kids and a wide array of celebrations and free events make Luminato
an experience to be shared:
– Celebration of Isaac Bashevis Singer – The Nobel Prize-winning
writer and master of the short story will be fêted by contemporary
authors who are considered to be carrying on his tradition. With
award-winning American writer Dara Horn (The World to Come) and
others. Location TBA.
– Diaspora Dialogues: Launch of TOK Book 3 – Luminato, in
association with Diaspora Dialogues, presents the launch of the
third in a series of city-centric anthologies, showcasing the
emerging literary voices of Toronto. With Judy Fong Bates
(Midnight at the Dragon Café), Giller nominee Alissa York
(Effigy), poet Molly Peacock and playwright Yvette Nolan.
– Festival of the Short Story – Luminato, in partnership with the
Toronto Public Library, presents a celebration of short stories to
be programmed in library branches across the GTA. With Elyse
Friedman (Long Story Short) and other authors TBA. Various Toronto
Public Library branches across the city.
– Mille Femmes – A monumental photo exhibition by French artist
Pierre Maraval featuring portraits of 1,000 creative women from
all fields of the arts and culture in Toronto, celebrating the
city’s leaders and future visionaries. Mille Femmes is part of a
global series developed by Maraval, who hopes to have created a
tribute to women of all races and cultures throughout the world by
2015. Allen Lambert Galleria, Brookfield Place.
– The Luminato Illuminations program is a series of lectures, panels,
public workshops and open houses intended to complement and enrich
each Festival-goer’s experience. The 2008 Illuminations will offer
further insight into Festival themes such as fact and fiction, art
outside of traditional spaces, modern perspectives on South Asia and
First Nations, artists’ responses to contemporary issues and the role
of dance in life.
– The 2008 Illuminations will take place at venues across the city,
throughout the Festival’s 10 days.
EDUCATION AND OUTREACH
Organically linked with the curatorial vision for the Festival, Luminato
Education and Outreach Programs engage and inspire students, teachers and the
community through participation in interactive and inclusive encounters with
the arts. In 2008, these programs will feature performances and artist
involvement from Rocket and the Queen of Dreams, Sanctuary Song, Dan Zanes and
Friends, Mark Morris Dance Group, StreetScape, The Political Graphic Novel and
others. Luminato’s Education and Outreach programs are generously supported by
the Ontario Trillium Foundation.
– Education Programs – The Festival’s Education Programs support the
classroom curriculum while providing opportunities for experiential
learning through workshops, student performances, study guides and
– Community Outreach – Luminato’s Outreach Programs offer increased
accessibility to the Festival through interactive programming and
free public events for youth, families and the broad community.
– Luminato Volunteers – Volunteers play a vital role in the success of
Luminato, acting as ambassadors and engaging with guests throughout
the Festival’s 10 days. More than 500 volunteers were a part of the
inaugural Festival in 2007.
All programming is subject to change. Please visit luminato.com for
regular program updates.
Tickets for selected Luminato events go on sale in April 2008.
Festival at a Glance
Opening Night Concert
Mark Morris Dance Group
All Fours/Violet Cavern
Love Song Waltzes/New Love Song Waltzes/Grand Duo
StreetScape – Citywide Wall Painting Exhibition
Mikel Rouse Trilogy
The End of Cinematics
Opening Weekend Events
Queen West Celebration
Scottish Music Festival
Light on Your Feet
Rocket and the Queen of Dreams
Short Story Festival
The Ecstasy of Rita Joe
Where the Blood Mixes
Political Graphic Novel
Colour… For the End of Time (Messiaen Project)
Celebration of Isaac Bashevis Singer
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Marie Brassard & Louis Negin
Diaspora Dialogues: Launch of TOK Book 3
Kronos Quartet & Tanya Tagaq
The Forsythe Company
City of Abstracts
Nowhere and Everywhere at the Same Time
Harbourfront Centre: Luminat’eau
Luminato at the Distillery District
Alberta Ballet & The National Ballet of Canada
The Fiddle and the Drum
the second detail
Spotlight on New South Asian Writing
Dan Zanes and Friends
For 10 extraordinary days in June, the vibrant city of Toronto’s stages,
streets and public spaces are illuminated with arts and creativity. Luminato
is an annual multidisciplinary celebration of theatre, dance, classical and
contemporary music, film, literature, visual arts, design and more.
For more information on both free and ticketed Luminato events, including
dates, locations and schedules, visit www.luminato.com. Tickets will be
available in April 2008 through all Ticketmaster outlets (call 416-872-1111 or
Luminato gratefully acknowledges the generous support and vision of its
Founding Luminaries; corporate sponsors, particularly our presenting sponsor,
L’Oréal; our dedicated government partners, especially the Government of
Ontario; and other supporters.
Founding Luminaries: The Founding Luminaries were among the Festival’s
first supporters. These visionary arts patrons and civic-builders stepped
forward to help found Luminato, and will be recognized for their commitment in
Founding Luminaries – Mohammad and Najla Al Zaibak, Charles and Marilyn
Baillie, Avie Bennett, Helen Burstyn and David Pecaut, Kate Alexander Daniels
and David Daniels, Joan T. Dea and Lionel F. Conacher, Ian and Kiki Delaney,
John Donald and Linda Chu, The Duboc Family Foundation, Margaret and Jim
Fleck, Linda Frum and Howard Sokolowski, Kevin and Roger Garland, Anthony and
Helen Graham, Lucille and Urban Joseph, Michael and Sonja Koerner, Chetan and
Clara Mathur, Judy and Wil Matthews, Robert and Cheryl McEwen, Pierre L.
Morrissette, Sandra and Jim Pitblado, Jonas and Lynda Prince, Richard Rooney
and Laura Dinner, The Slaight Family, Marisa and Edward Sorbara, Larry and
Judy Tanenbaum, and David and Robin Young. Founding Corporate Luminaries – BMO
Financial Group, Ivey Foundation, MacLaren McCann, Manulife Financial, RBC,
St. Joseph Communications, TELUS, and Tourism Toronto.
2008 Luminaries: Tony and Anne Arrell, The Ira Gluskin and Maxine
Granovsky Gluskin Charitable Foundation, Joan and Jerry Lozinski, and Nancy
2007 SuperNova Program Development Fund: Margaret and Jim Fleck, Gretchen
and Donald Ross.
Luminato 2008 Sponsors: L’Oréal, CTV, The Globe and Mail, St. Joseph
Communications, Toronto Life, Tourism Toronto.
Government Partners: The Government of Ontario, The Ontario Trillium
This list represents commitments as of December 4, 2007. Additional 2008
sponsors, government partners, and individual donors will be announced
For further information: For media inquiries regarding Luminato,
please contact: Laura Erika Barron, (416) 368-3100 ext. 242,
or (416) 271-2402 (cell),
lbarron @ luminato.com (no spaces)