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Posted in Dance
Contributed by Christopher Jones
11/7 2011

Ballet Jorgen Wins NAC Award

2011NACaward
Congratulations to Bengt Jörgen and the entire Ballet Jörgen company for being honoured with the 2011 National Arts Centre Award for Distinguished Contribution to Touring. The award recognizes Ballet Jörgen Canada for its leadership role in the development of touring by professional dancers and companies in Canada, and is the first time the recognition has been bestowed on an Ontario performing arts organization. Pictured above from left are Simone Deneau of NAC, Erin Benjamin of the Canadian Arts Presenting Association, Bengt Jörgen and Cameron Smilie of Ballet Jörgen Canada.

Posted in Film
Contributed by Christopher Jones
11/4 2011

“The Language of Beauty”

verticalToronto-based filmmaker Cuong Ngo, left, must be a VERY persuasive individual. Somehow, he was able to convince a coterie of Vietnamese movie stars and world-class composers Alex Pauk and Alexina Louie, to work for nothing or nearly nothing on his first feature film, Pearls of the Far East. The movie receives its world premier at Toronto’s Reel Asian Film Festival November 13, which is thrilling for Ngo who cherishes the festival and attends it each year with great enthusiasm.

Ngo’s career has been helped enormously by Toronto’s robust film fest culture. His 2009 film, The Golden Pin, was named Best Canadian Short two years ago at the Inside Out LGBT Film and Video Festival.

“I’m so proud to be part of Reel Asian because they’ve done so much to support Asian Canadian filmmakers,” says Ngo. “I hope the festival will be a springboard because this is an art house film and it’s a foreign film. But I really want an audience to see the film and see Vietnam portrayed like this by a Vietnamese director.”

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Posted in Museums
Contributed by Christopher Jones
11/2 2011

The Secret Life of a Schoolmistress

Adrianna Prosser in Secret Life of Schoolmistress
As part-time jobs go, being a historic museum interpreter is anything but run of the mill and that’s why Adrianna Prosser likes it. “It’s so much better than ‘would you like fries with that,’ ” she says. “It’s an amazing job.”

Prosser’s training as performing artist has come in very handy in her role as a docent but the actress has taken it a step further and actually created three site-specific plays like her latest effort, The Secret Life of a Schoolmistress, playing at North York’s Zion Schoolhouse this Friday and Saturday (November 4 & 5 at 8 pm).

“My supervisors have really nurtured where I’m coming from as a performing artist,” says the writer/performer. “It’s a lot of work to do for just two performances but there’s always the hope of a re-mount and we sometimes develop our plays into school programs. It’s really about driving a need for further research because as interpretive staff giving tours over and over again, it can get a little boring.”

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Posted in Theatre
Contributed by Christopher Jones
11/1 2011

Public Consultation On Civic Theatres

theatre
The Mayor’s Task Force on the Arts and Theatre is inviting participation in public consultations with reference to the future of Toronto’s three civic theatres: the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, and the Toronto Centre for the Arts.

Mayor Rob Ford appointed a Task Force to examine the role and function of the three City-owned theatres in the context of the recent Core Service Review. Chair of the Task Force, City Councillor Gary Crawford (Ward 36, Scarborough Southwest), has appointed four distinguished citizens to serve on a Theatres Panel; John McKellar (Chair of Theatres Panel), Chris Lorway, Don Shipley and Peter Steinmetz. The panelists will investigate the impact of these theatres on the local economy and make recommendations regarding their operations in light of the City’s objectives.  Input of the theatre community and stakeholders is strongly encouraged.

You are invited to attend public consultations being held November 9 from 9:30 – 11:30 am at St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts (27 Front Street East) and from 6:30 – 8:30 pm at Toronto Centre for the Arts (5040 Yonge Street), pictured above.

For more information contact Tina Ferreira, Executive Assistant to Councillor Crawford, at tferreira@toronto.ca

Posted in Theatre
Contributed by Christopher Jones
11/1 2011

2P4H: A “Bulletproof” Production

Richard Greenblatt and Ted Dykstra
In separate interviews last week, 2 Pianos 4 Hands creators Richard Greenblatt, left, and Ted Dykstra both observed that they have “nothing left to prove” with the remount of their wildly popular show, on now at Toronto’s Panasonic Theatre until November 20.

And yet, rather than resting on their laurels, the pair are knocking it out of the park with what is billed as the “farewell” performance of the show that was born as a Tarragon Theatre workshop piece in 1994, and later blown into a full-fledged show as part of the 1995/96 Tarragon season.

Reviews of this 15th anniversary production of 2P4H have been unrestrained. The Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star both awarded the show four stars with the Globe‘s Paula Citron observing that Dykstra and Greenblatt’s “comic timing is superb, and the construction of the show is perfection . . .” READ MORE