Trust Buddies in Bad Times to play with our concepts of performance. They've dubbed the second segment of this year's season Audience Relocation and invited in cutting-edge artists to give viewers a different perspective on artist and audience.
Don't be surprised if you're turned into the people being watched rather than the ones doing the watching. Maybe there won't be any seats to sit in, whether you're audience or performer.
Coordinated by Erika Hennebury, the series starts with Connect The Dots: The Information Revolution, staged by Small Wooden Shoe. The company's tongue-in-cheek look at the results of the Industrial Revolution, Do You Have Any Idea How Fast You Were Going?, was a highlight of last year's Rhubarb! fest.
Part lecture, part debate, part demo, the work is conceived and directed by Jacob Zimmer. It's part of the company's Dedicated To The Revolutions series, an ongoing examination of how progress has affected our lives. The creator/performers include Frank Cox O'Connell, Chad Dembski, Ame Henderson and Erin Shields, with design by the inventive Trevor Schwellnus.
Later pieces - usually having a short run - involve the talents of Lindy Zucker, Adam Lazarus, Montreal's 2boys.tv, Gil Garratt, Ian Carpenter, Darren O'Donnell, Kevin Rees, Sean MacMahon, Shannon Cochrane, Laura Nanni, Sherri Hay, Steve Marsh, Canadia dell'Arte, Clinton Walker and Cahoots Theatre Projects.
For Connect The Dots, see Opening, this page.
On your toes
If seeing more live dance is on your list of New Year's resolutions, then you're in luck this weekend. Besides being able to check out Namesake (see cover story, page 58), you can head down to Harbourfront Centre for Dance Ontario's annual two-day blowout of homegrown talent.
DanceWeekend 2007 is a great way to see dozens of troupes representing pretty much every style of dance. Companies usually have about 10 or 15 minutes to strut their stuff, so if they're good you can file the name away for later; and if they suck, well, it'll be over soon.
High-profile troupes include the Danny Grossman Dance Company, Kaeja d'Dance, OMO Dance Company, InDANCE, Blue Ceiling dance and award-winning dance films from the Moving Pictures Festival Of Dance On Film & Video.
Also look for the world premieres of two works commissioned by Dance Ontario. The Four Heavenly Kings marks one of the first performances by former Toronto Dance Theatre ace William Yong's new troupe, William Yong's Zata Omm Dance Projects.
And after wowing crowds at Fashion Cares and fFIDA, recent Ryerson U grad Lacey Smith debuts a work called Unframed Portraits.
Programs kick off at 1 pm and run through 7:40 pm Saturday and Sunday (January 13-14) at the Premiere Dance Theatre. See Dance Listings, page 61, for details.
When Nightwood's artistic director, Kelly Thornton, takes maternity leave at the end of next month, Maja Ardal steps in as company caretaker.
Ardal's been an exciting theatre artist over the past several decades, developing her skills not just as a performer - she worked with George Luscombe at Toronto Workshop Productions, one of Toronto's first indie troupes - but also as a writer (Midnight Sun, JOY) and director. Her last script, the solo show You Fancy Yourself, was a hit at SummerWorks 2006.