The Americas were Invited to Celebrate Infinite Possibilities in Toronto in 2015

Luca "Lazylegz" Patuelli and Justin Hines dazzled the audience in Guadalajara

GUADALAJARA, Mexico, Nov. 20, 2011 /CNW/ - An  inspired performance infused with music and dance has made it official—everyone in the Americas is invited to celebrate infinite possibilities in Toronto in 2015 for the next Parapan American Games.

During the Closing Ceremony of the Guadalajara 2011 Parapan American Games, spectators at the Telmex Athletics Stadium saw how the cultural canvas of Toronto—a mosaic of athleticism, artistry and ability—will be the setting for inclusive and accessible Games in less than four years from now.

"As Canada has always welcomed people from around the globe with open arms, so will Toronto in 2015 as we celebrate achievement, participation and inclusion at the Parapan Am Games," said Ian Troop, Chief Executive Officer of the Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee (TO2015).

The Honourable David C. Onley, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario and the Honourable Bal Gosal, Canada's Minister of State (Sport), accepted the Americas Paralympic Committee flag, signaling the official countdown to the 2015 Parapan Am Games has begun.

Following the flag handover, singer Justin Hines, who uses a wheelchair as a result of the joint condition Larsen syndrome, performed Canada's national anthem in both official languages.

Toronto's eight-minute creative segment, performed by nine acclaimed Canadian dancers, explored how the limitless potential of youth and community contributes to the human drive that guides athletes to achieve perfection in athletics through training, ambition and perseverance. One of the dancers, Luca "Lazylegz" Patuelli, showed what is possible with movement. He was born with a rare muscle disorder that limits motion in the joints.

The program also featured sweeping projected images of Toronto and the surrounding region, and a range of high-energy Aboriginal, Caribbean and Latin dance performances resembling an urban street party, similar to those found on the streets of Toronto.

BaAM Productions, a Toronto-based creative development and project services company, was the executive producer of the Toronto 2015 portion of the Guadalajara 2011 Parapan Am Closing Ceremony.

The creative team included composer, producer, musician and Gemini Award winner Lou Pomanti, world-renowned choreographer Luther Brown and image designer Alexis Laurence.

Media Backgrounder

Toronto—Journey to Infinite Possibilities

On Sunday, November 20, the Toronto 2015 segment of the Guadalajara 2011 Parapan American Games Closing Ceremony took spectators on a visually driven, image-filled journey supported by a musical score of global harmonies and instruments.

O Canada

Canada's national anthem was performed in English and French by singer Justin Hines.

Overture

A projected collage of Pan and Parapan athletes and intense colour and motion applauded the excellence of form and the pursuit of perfection embodied in the courageous and determined athletes.

Journey of the Athlete

The dancers reflected the various people of the Pan American countries, a mosaic of athleticism, artistry, ability and ethnicity—the cultural canvas of Toronto.

In an artistic, but highly athletic dance style, the performers explored sport movement. Featuring a performance by world-renowned Luca "Lazylegz" Patuelli, the dance quickly became the human twin of the athletes in the accompanying video, striking impossible shapes and creating dynamic and unforgettable silhouettes.

Exploring youth, sport, dance and the human drive that strives to achieve perfection in athletics, the dance shapes morphed into instantly recognizable sporting forms with unexpected nods to traditional Latin American and Caribbean dance forms (tango, salsa, mambo, meringue and capoeira). The thread of the act was the journey of the athlete to achieve goals and perfection.

Infinite Possibility

This section opened with soft music. A beautiful and artistic child was revealed. She holds a secret. Moving artistically and with confidence, the audience learned this child represents every child, every athlete or every dancer—a child with limitless potential. A delicate and inquisitive dance of light presented the discovery and release of beautiful monarch butterflies. The butterflies began a journey from Mexico to Canada.

Journey to Toronto

The migration north by the monarch butterflies was illustrated with projected cinematic pictures of land, water and sky. This is a representation of how the people of the Americas will be drawn north to celebrate the Parapan Am Games in 2015 in Toronto. The segment showed how Toronto is excited and ready with open arms and with the unbridled support of the multicultural essence of its neighbourhoods.

Welcome to Toronto in 2015

In the finale, the stage exploded with an exciting urban performance of dance and celebration. The dancers characterized an urban street party with Aboriginal, Caribbean and Latin performances.  The projection returned with a showcase of invitations to the 2015 Games from the people of Toronto in all the Pan Am languages.

The Creative Team

Lou Pomanti—Composer and Music Director

Composer, producer, musician, Gemini Award winner and five-time nominee, Lou Pomanti is highly respected across Canada as one of the country's finest musical talents. With more than 25 years of credits in scoring, songwriting and performing, his expertise has awarded him hundreds of musical projects for film, television and album work. He composed, arranged and recorded the eight-minute original soundtrack for Toronto—Journey to Infinite Possibilities.

Luther Brown—Choreographer

Luther Brown grew up in a household where music and the arts were part of daily living. With an ear for music, he assisted his father on the Toronto-based radio show, The Caribbean Crucible, on CHRY 105.5. As a songwriter and choreographer, he has worked with world-renowned artists such as Diddy, Janet Jackson, Alicia Keys, Brandy, Shawn Desman and Jully Black. He has been a resident judge and choreographer on the "So You Think You Can Dance Canada" TV series.

Turbine Creation—Image Designer, Alexis Laurence

With experience in large-scale projection, Turbine Creation has been involved in numerous award shows and celebratory productions since 2002, including Cirque du Soleil, the Juno Awards and Canada Day shows on Parliament Hill.

Performers

Justin Hines —O Canada performer

Born in Newmarket, Ontario, Justin Hines is a renowned multilingual singer-songwriter who has a rare genetic joint condition called Larsen's syndrome. Hines, who uses a wheelchair, has a foundation in his name for people with a disability. "The reality is I don't really look at my situation as that big a deal," said Hines. "We all have our things that challenge us; just some people's are a little more visible in the forefront." That natural optimism permeates much of his Latin American debut, Days to Recall—a collection of heartfelt songs about life and love released in August 2011.

Dancers

Lisa Auguste

Based in Toronto, Lisa Auguste (pronounced O-geest) is a multi-faceted performer. She has trained extensively in ballet, tap, jazz, acrobatics, modern, salsa, hip hop, break-dance and acting. She is an avid teacher, choreographer and student of her craft. Auguste appeared in the feature film Shall We Dance and music videos for Our Lady Peace, Lauryn Taylor and Love Inc, Jully Black and Shawn Desman.

Amanda Cleghorn

Taking her first dance steps at the age of four, Amanda Cleghorn has trained extensively for 15 years in various styles including ballet and pointe, modern, lyrical/contemporary jazz, hip hop, tap and musical theatre. Cleghorn appeared in the third season of "So You Think You Can Dance Canada" finishing in the top two as the country's favourite female dancer.

Mackenzie Green

Born and raised in Regina, Saskatchewan, Mackenzie Green has always had a love and passion for dance. After graduating high school, Green moved to Vancouver, BC, where he was hired as a company member of "MOVE: The Company," one of Canada's top contemporary/modern companies. Green is best known for his participation in the third season of the TV show "So You Think You Can Dance Canada" where he was a top-three male competitor.

Christian Hazell

Born in Calgary, Alberta, Christian Hazell is an award-winning cultural and First Nations dancer. Proud of his Métis heritage, his contemporary take on the traditional hoop dance has twice earned him the title of World Teen Hoop Dance Champion. He was recently named valedictorian at his high school, Foothills Academy. The Calgary Herald has been following Hazell for some time, naming him a Calgary Herald Class Act in June 2011.

Danny Lawn

Danny Lawn began dancer training at the age of 12 at a small studio in Brockville, Ontario. After graduating from high school, Lawn worked as a contract dancer with Royal Caribbean Cruises. In 2009, he made it to the top 14 on season two of "So You Think You Can Dance Canada." He continues to take on video and film work and has been a guest performer at various industrial galas, competitions and fashion events.

Luca "Lazylegz" Patuelli

Born with arthrogryposis, a rare muscle disorder that limits motion in the joints, Luca Patuelli of Montreal, Quebec has had 16 surgeries on his legs and spine. With his muscular arms and natural athleticism, he began exploring extreme dynamic activity which led to his first breakdance show and competition. Shortly after that, "Lazylegz" was born. He has performed with artists such as Kanye West, Talib Kweli, K-OS and Nappy Roots. In 2007, he appeared in the movie Kickin' It Old Skool.  His message: "It's about taking the bad and making it good."

Shane Simpson

Dancing around the house at the age of seven, Shane Simpson would imitate music videos in front of friends and family. With an obvious desire to dance, his mother signed him up for lessons in Toronto and they've never looked back. Though trained primarily in jazz and contemporary, Simpson trained at five different studios practicing hip hop, acrobatics, lyrical, tap, ballet and modern. Working with notable performers including Lady Gaga, Jully Black and K-OS, Simpson says his biggest accomplishment to date is making the top six in season four of "So You Think You Can Dance Canada."

Savannah Storm

A high school student in Toronto, Savannah Storm has been dancing and training at the Sean Boutilier Academy of Dance since the age of eight. She was admitted into the competitive program at the age of 10 where she is involved in pointe, jazz, ballet, tap, acro and lyrical. She has completed her Cecchetti Exams (ballet) up to grade three where she attained honours each year.

Bree Wasylenko

Born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, Bree Wasylenko has trained in many dance styles including jazz, tap, ballet, contemporary, modern and hip hop. She has appeared in many commercials and music videos for artists such as Shawn Desman, Danny Fernandes, Massari, Addictiv, Eva Avila, Carly Rae-Jepson, Kim Davis and Kreesha Turner.  Wasylenko made the top 20 of the third season of "So You Think You Can Dance Canada."

About the Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games
The Pan American Games are one of the world's largest international multi-sport events, held every four years for athletes of the 41 member nations of the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO). The Games comprise all Olympic Summer Games sports, as well as traditional Pan American sports. The Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games will draw 10,000 athletes and officials and feature 48 sports in 17 municipalities across the Greater Golden Horseshoe area. The Toronto 2015 Pan American Games will take place July 10-26 and the Parapan American Games August 7-14. For more information about the Games, please visit toronto2015.org.

About BaAM Productions
BaAM is a creative development and project services company specializing in the unique requirements of high-profile and large-scale sports, cultural and entertainment projects. Clients include the National Hockey League, Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the Aga Khan Foundation Canada, the CN Tower and the Olympic Spirit Group. Follow #BaAMProductions on Twitter and at www.baamproductions.com to stay up-to-date with all of our exciting projects and events.

SOURCE Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games

For further information:

For media inquiries, please contact:

Carlene Siopis, Communications Advisor, TO2015, Tel:  647.206.0259

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Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games

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