Superstars share the spotlight with musicians and indie Fringe artists
Joni and Jen
The National Ballet of Canada ends its stellar season with a mixed program that includes three exciting pieces and two big events. Principal dancer Jennifer Fournier is hanging up her pointe shoes after dancing in the company for 22 years. She’s performing in Frederick Ashton’s Five Brahms Waltzes In The Manner Of Isadora Duncan, and famed ballerina Lynn Seymour made a trip from England to help her prepare for the role. Also on the program is The Fiddle And The Drum, performed by the Alberta Ballet and choreographed by Jean Grand-Maître, with songs and artwork by Joni Mitchell. Rounding out the program is William Forsythe’s the second detail – a must-see for any dance lover. June 13 to 22 at the Four Seasons Centre. 416-345-9595.
Forsythe for free
If you’re not sure you like abstract dance, William Forsythe’s City Of Abstracts might win you over – and it won’t cost you a thing. The free interactive video installation, part of Luminato, captures your image as you walk by, distorts it and projects it onto a screen. Then you can move around and see what your onscreen self looks like. Think of it as an unofficial audition for So You Think You Can Dance. June 10 to 15 wherever you see the City Of Abstracts Truck during the festival. www.luminato.com.
Once again, some of the best dance in the world makes a splash at Harbourfront this summer. Calgary’s Decidedly Jazz Danceworks performs during the weekend-long celebration of the Banff Centre June 27 to 29; breakdance fans won’t want to miss the Pop, Lock & Load breakdancing competition during the Beats, Breaks & Culture blast-off (July 4 to 6); the always hot Ritmo Y Color celebration (July 11 to 13) includes dance from throughout Latin America; and in the much-anticipated Tirgan: Iranian Festival (July 17 to 20), France’s Shahrokh Moshkin Ghalam and Djanbazian Dance Company make their Canadian debuts. Free. Around 235 Queens Quay West. 416-973-4000.
The loss of the festival formerly known as fFIDA has left a big gap in the indie dance scene. That hole’s being partly filled by the Fringe of Toronto’s collaboration with the Dance Umbrella of Ontario (DUO). For the fest’s 20th year, they’re including a dance component, and nine companies – including Toronto’s PushPull Dance and Artists’ Play Collective, as well as Montreal’s Solid State Breakdance – get to strut their stuff from July 2 to 13 at various Fringe venues. 416-966-1062, www.fringetoronto.com.
Park yourself here
What would the summer be without al fresco dance? The always well-programmed Dusk Dances travels to two parks in the GTA this summer. From July 3 to 6, choreographers like William Yong, Sylvie Bouchard and Menaka Thakkar join emerging local choreographer Lady Noyz in Chalkfarm Park at Jane and Wilson, and from August 12 to 17, choreographers Santee Smith, Karen Kaeja, Sashar Zarif and others showcase their work in Withrow Park at Logan and Carlaw. www.duskdances.ca.
The Mark Morris Dance Group delivers Mozart Dances June 6 to 8.
It’s been years since the Mark Morris Dance Group came to town, so it’s a good thing the troupe’s mounting three pieces – all Canadian premieres – during their Luminato stay. These include the huge, exuberant Mozart Dances (June 6 to 8), the powerful look at love Liebeslieder Waltzes/Grand Duo (June 14 to 15) and All Fours/Violet Cave (June 10 to 11), an energetic double bill full of cutting-edge music and a bold design. MacMillan Theatre (80 Queen’s Park). www.luminato.com.