Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad muscles up with 36 new projects: Kirov
Ballet's prima ballerina, STREB, Raphael Saadiq, Phoenix, and outdoor
installations of Canadian art

VANCOUVER, Nov. 19 /CNW/ - A Russian prima ballerina known for portraying the fleeting final moments of a dying swan and an acrobatic New York youth dance troupe that dodges swinging cinder blocks and "flies" through glass like action heroes are adding some muscle to the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad, presented by Bell, which starts in just 64 days.

The 36 new Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad projects announced today include: Passion of Russia starring famed ballerina Uliana Lopatkina in her Canadian debut and viola master Yuri Bashmet in an evening marrying music and ballet from the Host Nation of the 2014 Winter Games, a soulful double-bill of R&B crooners Raphael Saadiq and India.Arie, as well as Phoenix, an alternative rock outfit from France with early links to Daft Punk. For those more interested in seeing the riskier side of show business, STREB's dancers will perform acrobatic and show-stopping jumps, falls and live action dance stunts using found materials and bizarre contraptions in Raw.

"Amazing feats of athleticism at the 2010 Winter Games won't be restricted to the snow and ice - they'll also be on our stages throughout the Games region as some of the world's premiere dancers, actors and musicians join our cultural celebrations," said Burke Taylor, vice president of culture and celebrations for the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC).

"Strength is often found by exploring vulnerability and taking risks, and the artists involved in our Cultural Olympiad are known for pushing the limits - both physically and artistically - in incredibly exciting and rewarding ways for the audience," he continued.

Starting in January, international visitors and locals alike will also encounter contemporary art by simply stepping out their door and walking through downtown Vancouver as they happen upon one of the most visible Cultural Olympiad projects - Endlessly Traversed Landscapes - featuring large-scale versions of dozens of works of art by Canadians on transit shelters, the SkyTrain and other public spaces.

The festival of music, theatre, visual arts, dance, and digital programming kicks off January 22, 2010 in Metro Vancouver and British Columbia's Sea to Sky corridor. Tickets and information are available on all 186 projects announced to date at

"Having the Cultural Olympiad here is an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity - it's not like typical festivals," added Robert Kerr, the Cultural Olympiad's program director. "We're bringing together literally thousands of some of the best musicians, dancers, actors, and artists from all across the cultural sphere, from Canada and around the world, to create something of a magnitude that has not been seen here before. It will be new, it will be breathtaking and it will be memorable for everyone who shares in it."

The new projects added today are:



From the roof of the world comes a circus like no other. The Nunavut-based arts collective combines big-top thrills - acrobatics, juggling and clowns - with Inuit throat singing, drumming and traditional games.

LunarFest: Soul, Art, Life

Be dazzled by 2010 lanterns in a forest of light, a bright public art display designed by schoolchildren, Aboriginal creators and professional artists from Taiwan and Canada. And on February 13, visitors can make their own lanterns and join the magical Public Dreams procession.


Majumder/Cullen/Payne: Laugh it Out!

Three of Canada's funniest performers embark on an adventure to an alternative kingdom of stand-up comedy punctuated by much musical naughtiness. With multiple Canadian Comedy Award-winners Shaun Majumder, Sean Cullen and Nikki Payne.


The National Dance Company of Korea: The Scent of Spring

A story of star-crossed lovers, based on a Korean folk tale, becomes a world-class piece of dance theatre. Choreographed by Jung-hye Bae, this national treasure, 50 years in the making, reveals and updates the glamorous, delicate artistry of traditional Korean dance.


Do not try this at home! The New York dance company STREB Extreme Action designs bizarre, prototypic contraptions, puts them together with found building materials, and then uses them as launching pads for acrobatic and show-stopping jumps, falls and live-action dance stunts.

We yah hani nah Coastal First Nations Dance Festival 2010

The Dancers of Damelahamid, a traditional Gitksan group from northwestern British Columbia, present masked dances, stories and songs - some stretching back thousands of years - that depict their peoples' origins and welcome visitors.


In Situ

This three-dimensional art experience from Aeriosa Dance Society and the Vertical Orchestra presents aerial dance choreography and original spatial music at various heights throughout the Vancouver Public Library, inside and out.

The Passion of Russia: Uliana Lopatkina & Yuri Bashmet

The Host Country of the 2014 Winter Games presents a divine evening of ballet and classical music - Tchaikovsky, Paganini and Stravinsky - performed by some of the country's leading artistic figures: viola master and conductor Yuri Bashmet; Uliana Lopatkina, principal dancer at the Kirov Ballet/Mariinsky Theatre, who personifies the Russian school of ballet; the Moscow Soloists, a Grammy-winning chamber ensemble; and performers from the Mariinsky and Bolshoi theatres.


Striving for Excellence in the Homeric Times

Dramatic readings from one of the world's greatest poems, Homer's The Iliad, bring to life the action, excitement and suspense of an ancient athletic contest.


Amir Koushkani and Rahim AlHaj

Music that brings people and cultures together. Virtuoso oud player and composer Rahim AlHaj, born in Iraq, has found in his ancient instrument a unique voice that translates into music the suffering and joy he has both witnessed and experienced. Vancouver-based Amir Koushkani is a forward-thinking Iranian musician, composer and singer who has mastered the tar, a Persian lute. His "expressive and heartfelt" work introduces fresh sounds to the centuries-old traditions of Iranian/Persian music.

CODE Live Night Life: Bell Orchestre Presents: Sound and Screen

Montreal's Bell Orchestre brings together members of Arcade Fire, Torngat, Ark of Infinity and (iks) to blur the lines between chamber music and jazz.

Damien Robitaille

The Franco-Ontarian singer-songwriter is a born showman. He mixes instruments - piano and guitar - and musical accents: 70s groove meets funk, soul and rock.

Mes Aïeux

Mes Aïeux has a feel-good style that musically fuses Quebec folk legends, electrified traditional fiddle tunes and 1970s rhythm and blues.

Moscow State Chamber Choir

Experience the richness and opulence of Russian choral music, a centuries-old tradition. This ensemble of distinguished soloists, formed almost 40 years ago by the maestro who leads it today, Vladimir Minin, is one of the world's greatest a cappella choirs. Hear and feel a selection of authentically sung classics, from sacred and secular masterpieces to rousing Russian folk songs.

The Mississippi Sheiks Tribute Project

The Mississippi Sheiks live on. The country and blues string band has been called the Radiohead of its era, recording over 60 hugely influential songs between 1930 and 1935, including Sittin' On Top of the World. Producer/musician Steve Dawson leads an all-star lineup - John Hammond, Jim Byrnes and the Sojourners, Oh Susanna and many more - in this tribute to the trail-blazing Sheiks of the South.

Nathan and The Deep Dark Woods

Slow-burning tunes to heat up a cold winter night. The Winnipeg quartet Nathan plays ethereal, acoustic pop with hand-warming melodies. Saskatoon's The Deep Dark Woods playfully sift through the shadowy side of roots music.

Paul Plimley Solo/Trio

Vancouver's Paul Plimley plays the piano, guitar, vibraphone, marimba and synthesizer. Over three very active decades he has released more than 30 CDs, LPs and music documentaries, written hundreds of original compositions, and toured the world to perform with other great jazz and new-music improvisers.


The four core members of this dance-rock band started playing music together in grade school, in Versailles, France. They collaborated with the electronic duos Daft Punk and Air before taking the name Phoenix to specialize in music that is full to bursting with hooks and smarts. With special guests and Vancouver indie favourites You Say Party! We Say Die!

Porn Flakes

The ultimate cover band, the Porn Flakes tackle classic rock with a Quebec twist.

Radio Radio

A hot hybrid. The New Brunswick outfit feverishly fuses electro with hip-hop, and raps in Chiac, an Acadian dialect that combines French and English.

Raphael Saadiq and India.Arie

Vintage rhythm and blues by potent young artists. India.Arie's Grammy-winning R & B, which recalls such soul masters as Roberta Flack and Stevie Wonder, makes "faith, goodness and positive thinking seductive," according to The New York Times. Raphael Saadiq is a throwback, a retro-soul practitioner who has mined a rich vein of old-school R & B and Motown cool since his days with 80s hitmakers Tony! Toni! Toné!

Soir de Semaine

Francophone folk fusion, straight out of Whitehorse. The festive Yukon band has a distinctive sound, combining folk, rock, funk and reggae to keep the all-ages party going.

Tanya Tagaq: Tuusalangna

A true original. The Nunavut-born Tagaq combines Inuit throat singing with orchestral and contemporary influences, creating a primal and dynamic sound that is all her own. She has toured and recorded with another unique talent, Björk, and wowed festival audiences across the globe.

Umalali: The Garifuna Women's Project

An entrancing journey into the heart and soul of a unique and inspiring culture, blending the rich vocal textures of women from the Garifuna communities of Central America with echoes of rock, blues, African and Caribbean music.

Yelo Molo

Quebec's Yelo Molo has carved out a special place in the Canadian music scene, combining ska, pop and jazz influences with a distinctive brass-laden sound.


Paradise Garden

Playwright Lucia Frangione's modern romance finds free-spirited local boy Day living next door to worldly Layla, a career-driven intellectual. Over time these divergent souls come to understand each other in a way neither thought possible.


Before & After

This group exhibition featuring work by Emily Carr University of Art and Design alumni, guest curated by Sophie Brodovitch, reflects on transformations in the social, cultural and environmental spheres on British Columbia's northwest coast.

Culture Shock: Video Interventions at the QET

The lobby of this historic arts venue will be transformed by film and video artists. Curated by Stephanie Rebick, the exhibit invites viewers to consider the relationship between the work on its screens and the theatrical setting.

David Hoffos

Truly special effects. David Hoffos is an Alberta artist who investigates and reveals illusions found in genre movies, stage magic, museum displays and theme-park attractions.

Endlessly Traversed Landscapes

A public poster project, curated by Natalie Doonan, featuring works by Canadian artists placed throughout Vancouver. Appropriating advertising spaces such as billboards and bus shelters, these images draw attention to the myriad functions of public space.

Etienne Zack: Name, Medium, Size, Year

Montreal artist Etienne Zack turns a painting into a three-dimensional sculpture, a wood and canvas wonder that stylistically links the factory-like production processes underlying the cultural and sporting industries.

Isabelle Hayeur: Fire with Fire

The Montreal-based artist sends images flickering out through the windows of a Downtown Eastside building, connecting conditions in the neighbourhood today to its fiery past.

Landon Mackenzie: Vancouver as the Centre of the World

For this Vancouver artist, any map of the world, though based in fact, is a template for the imagination. Mackenzie uses her creative license to chart geography, fact and fiction, in part as a response to the internet-ready Earth that is becoming familiar to us all.

Out from Under: Disability, History and Things to Remember

This luminous and elegant display of 13 diverse objects pays tribute to the resilience, creativity and cultural contributions of Canadians with disabilities.

The Syndicate of Public Speakers: Eight times an unknown quantity

Public Speakers, a collective of autonomous cells in five cities, brings together eight - or more - speakers in one idea-packed day.

Trimpin: Sheng High

A beautiful thing - a wall of 24 bamboo pipes centred in vessels of water - that makes beautiful sounds. This ingenious sound sculpture, created by Seattle-based artist Trimpin, takes its form and inspiration from an ancient Chinese reed instrument.

Note to Photo Editors:

Images of the latest Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad acts are available as high resolution downloads from the media centre image gallery at

About the Cultural Olympiad

The Cultural Olympiad, presented by Bell, is a series of multidisciplinary festivals and digital programs showcasing the best in Canadian and international arts and popular culture. Launched in 2008, the program culminates in the 60-day Cultural Olympiad 2010 (January 22 to March 21, 2010), which begins before and continues throughout the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. CODE is the Cultural Olympiad's digital edition, a series of programs developed to creatively engage national and global audiences through the use of digital technology.



Bell is Canada's largest communications company, providing consumers and business with solutions to all their communications needs, including Bell Mobility wireless, high-speed Bell Internet, Bell TV direct-to-home satellite television, Bell Home phone local and long distance, and IP-broadband and information and communications technology (ICT) services. Bell is proud to be a Premier National Partner and the Exclusive Telecommunications Partner to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Bell is wholly owned by BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE). For information on Bell's products and services, please visit For corporate information on BCE, please visit


The Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad is grateful for the support of the Government of Canada and the governments of all of Canada's provinces and territories and their respective cultural agencies: British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nunavut, Northwest Territories, and Yukon. In addition to the Cultural Olympiad's government and corporate partners, CODE is proudly supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and the National Film Board of Canada. New Media BC and Wavefront Innovation Society are also both active participants in the project. The National Presentation and Touring Program is generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts.


VANOC is responsible for the planning, organizing, financing and staging of the XXI Olympic Winter Games and the X Paralympic Winter Games in 2010. The 2010 Olympic Winter Games will be staged in Vancouver and Whistler from February 12 to 28, 2010. Vancouver and Whistler will host the Paralympic Winter Games from March 12 to 21, 2010. Visit


For further information: For further information: Media contacts: Janet Miller, VANOC Communications, Tel.: (604) 403-3546, E-mail:

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