Dance greats Baryshnikov and Côté get immersive this fall


If you’ve been missing live concert dance for the past year-and-a-half, Lighthouse Immersive – the same folks behind Immersive Van Gogh and Jamie Allan’s Illusionarium – are offering up the next best thing.

This fall they’re presenting Looking For The Dance: The Photography Of Mikhail Baryshnikov, an installation featuring works by the global dance superstar, and Touch, an immersive dance work by National Ballet of Canada principal dancer Guillaume Côté in collaboration with artist Thomas Payette.

Russian-born dancer and choreographer Baryshnikov has a special relationship with Canada, since he requested political asylum in Toronto and defected here in 1974. But he has never exhibited his photography in this country.

Looking For The Dance consists of portraits of dancers Baryshnikov has met during his travels.

“Looking For The Dance is an extension of my journey to capture dance in transformative moments – most recently within the Argentinian milongas and the South Indian Odissi styles,” says the Oscar-nominated artist in a press release.

“On these journeys, more than the shape, I am looking for emotional impact through colors, gestures and steps of the dance and dancers.”

Baryshnikov will be in Toronto next month to help launch the exhibit, which is getting its North American premiere.

Photo by Karolina Kuras

Touch is a world premiere immersive dance work by Lighthouse Immersive and Côté Danse.

Guillaume Côté is one of the most beloved current National Ballet of Canada principal dancers, and he’s emerged recently as a very strong choreographer – most notably in his recent high-profile work Frame By Frame, a collaboration with director Robert Lepage. (He’s also got a work in the recent Fall For Dance North festival this fall.)

With Touch, multimedia artist Thomas Payette’s projections will respond to the movement of dancers and the audience.

“Lighthouse Immersive has inspired me to look at the creation of dance and movement differently,” says Côté in the press release. “Like a beautiful empty canvas, the space gives freedom for a creator to think of exciting new opportunities. I am thrilled that Touch places dance amongst the audience and is a total immersive experience.”

Looking For The Dance runs September 18 to October 17. Tickets start at $12.50. Touch runs September 29 to October 17. Tickets start at $49.99. Both take place at the Toronto Star building.




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