Luca "Lazylegz" Patuelli and Justin Hines dazzled the audience in
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
"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.
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.
Canada's national anthem was performed in English and French by singer
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.
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 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.
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
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.
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
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
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 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."
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."
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.
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