If you've ever been curious about the centuries-old tradition of cross-dressing in many Asian performing arts, then prepare yourself for some edgy gender-bending in Transformations . The three-day fest, presented by CanAsian Dance and curated by Peter Chin , includes legendary performers from Indonesia, Japan and China, as well as local lights like Chin and Hari Krishnan .
Rounding out the performances is a series of workshops and lectures on the differences between Eastern and Western cross-gender traditions in theatre by William Lau , Guillaume Bernardi , Krishnan and Yukio Waguri . June 8 to 10 (performances at Harbour-front Centre), June 10 to 11 (workshops and classes at various locations). 416-973-4000, www.canasiandancefestival.com.
Come July, you're gonna be dying for some relief from the heat. Turn down the AC and get some liquid refreshment. Wade is an interactive project that takes art out of the galleries and theatres and into 14 downtown public wading pools. Curated by architect/installation artist Christie Pearson and visual artist Sandra Rechicho , the three-day event includes works by a huge cross-section of talent that includes Chrysanne Stathacos , John Greyson and Peter Chin . You can be sure that dance and movement will be a big part of many of the shows. July 7 to 9. Free. www.wadetoronto.com.
Here's something that hasn't been seen recently in Toronto theatres. Living Ritual is a festival of world indi-genous dance and includes public performances as well as workshops, panels and master classes. Troupes from British Columbia, New Mexico, Colombia, Quebec and Ontario take part, and performers include Raoul Trujillo , fresh from The New World (and filming Mel Gibson's Apocalypto), Tewa Dancers and Singers of the North , Le-La-La Dancers (who are also performing down at Harbourfront this weekend) and Santee Smith 's new dance company, Kaha:wi Dance Theatre , who are presenting the historic event. It might be worth the trek up north to York University to check out the state of global indigenous dance forms. July 14 to 16, York University. 416-736-5888, www.livingritual.ca.
Harbourfront's Roots: Remix Festival is a fascinating look at how the past has influenced the present. The dance line-up for this year's showcase sounds terrific. Among the highlights are Please Dad , Japanese-Canadian choreographer Hiromoto Ida 's solo look at fatherhood, and In The Letters Of My Name , a piece by Holly Small and Sashar Zarif that's based on the 38 letters of Zarif's full name. The solo piece draws on Arabic, Persian and Azerbaijani culture, and blends autobiographical episodes from Zarif's life. July 14 to 16. 416-973-4000.
If you've been wondering what the inside of the Four Seasons Centre (aka the new ballet/opera house) looks like, you can find out - for free - when the National Ballet of Canada delivers its inaugural performance there on June 22. A live broadcast of the event, which features excerpts from the National's repertoire, can be seen in Nathan Phillips Square. Of course, if you want to get a closer look at how company members like Xiao Nan Yu , Ryan Boorne , Greta Hodgkinson , Guillaume Cté , Aleksandar Antonijevic and (fresh from filling in on Song & Dance) Piotr Stanczyk perform in the new hall, you can try getting tickets to the show itself. 416-345-9595.
The Winnipeg renaissance isn't just about music, film and art. It's also about dance, and there's a strong movement component to Harbourfront's highly anticipated celebration From The Peg . The Royal Winnipeg Ballet performs its award-winning modern piece, Belong , while the Winnipeg Contemporary Dancers take the term "walkabout" to a new level with In A Different Light , Sharon Moore 's interactive piece set in and around Ann Tindal Park. Local light Moore is a WCD alum who trained under the great Tedd Robinson and has the distinction of choreographing more than 900 undead characters in the Toronto-filmed Resident Evil: Apocalypse. How many choreographers have that kind of job on their resumé? July 28 to 30. 416-973-4000.