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 /CNW/ - 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
with everyone."
    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
        Factory Theatre.

    -   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 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
           international artists.

    -   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.

    -   See
        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.

    -   Hear
        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.

    -   Feel
        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.

    -   Move
        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
        will be:

        -  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.

    -   Share
        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.
           Location TBA.

        -  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.

    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
        Q&A sessions.

    -   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 for
regular program updates.

    Tickets for selected Luminato events go on sale in April 2008.

    Festival at a Glance
    Opening Night Concert
    Slow Dancing
    Black Watch
    Mark Morris Dance Group
        All Fours/Violet Cavern
        Mozart Dances
        Love Song Waltzes/New Love Song Waltzes/Grand Duo
    StreetScape - Citywide Wall Painting Exhibition
    Mikel Rouse Trilogy
        Failing Kansas
        Dennis Cleveland
        The End of Cinematics
    Opening Weekend Events
        Funk Fest
        Queen West Celebration
        Scottish Music Festival
        Light on Your Feet
    Rocket and the Queen of Dreams
    Sanctuary Song
    Short Story Festival
    Vancouver Playhouse
        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
    Mille Femmes
    Diaspora Dialogues: Launch of TOK Book 3
    Kronos Quartet & Tanya Tagaq
    Laurie Anderson
    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
    Illuminations Series

    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 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 further information: For media inquiries regarding Luminato, please
contact: Laura Erika Barron, (416) 368-3100 ext. 242, or (416) 271-2402

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