Whole wide World
Can't travel to see theatre and dance outside Toronto? Stay right here this winter to catch the significant lineup for New World Stage , Harbourfront Centre 's international performance series. Among the companies are Belgian troupe Victoria 's Aalst , a mix of fact and fiction based on the murder of two children by their parents (March 14-17), and Halifax's 2b theatre 's luminous Revisited (April 4-19), which wowed us in an earlier incarnation last year. Dance performances include works by Brazilian Cristina Moura and Canadian Sarah Chase (April 3-5) and Norway's zero visibility corp. (February 7-10). Great chance to compare Canadian talent with that of visiting companies. Various Harbourfront Centre venues (231-235 Queens Quay West). 416-973-4000, www.harbourfrontcentre. com/nws.
You may not have heard of Canada's legendary avant-garde sound poetry troupe from the 1970s, the Four Horsemen ( Rafael Barreto-Rivera , Paul Dutton , Steve McCaffrey and bpNichol ). But the innovators are going to be in the spotlight again for The Four Horsemen Project, a multidisciplinarily homage to their influential work. The brainchild of director Ross Manson and dancer/choreographer Kate Alton , it defies categorization, as anyone who's seen workshops of the piece knows. There's movement, sound and even animation. Begins February 15 at the Factory Theatre Mainspace (125 Bathurst). 416-504-9971.
A Russian freighter answers a distress call and finds a boat of lifeless Moroccan refugees whose bodies won't be accepted by any nation. Ahmed Ghazali 's The Sheep And The Whale , translated by Bobby Theodore and directed by Soheil Parsa , is an epic, poetic look at the world of refugees and the plight of both haves and have-nots, woven together with a haunting love story. A Cahoots and Modern Times co-pro in association with Theatre Passe Muraille , Sheep moved us in a workshop last year with characters cut adrift in a world whose borders are unclear. Performances start February 13 at Passe Muraille (16 Ryerson). 416-504-7529.
How well does an emotionally complex novel take to the stage? Adapted by director Colin Taylor and performer Alison Sealy-Smith , Austin Clark 's Giller Prize-winning The Polished Hoe starts with a murder confession by an elderly West Indian woman. Her story unearths the effect of slavery on several generations of characters. Hoe is Obsidian Theatre 's first mainstage premiere since its debut work, The Adventures Of A Black Girl In Search Of God. In April it'll be presented in Barbados by Frank Collymore Hall . Let's hope it's polished. Begins February 18 at Enwave Theatre (231 Queens Quay West). 416-973-4000.
Three times a lady
Peggy Baker , now in her early 50s, is one of those dance artists who gets better with age. 3 , her latest program of transcendent dance - she's the kind of performer who can convert non-dance-lovers - pairs her up with collaborators Larry Hahn , James Kudelka and Andrew Burashko for three premieres. Not to be missed. Opens March 1 at the Betty Oliphant Theatre (404 Jarvis). www.peggybakerdance. com.
The search for home and security underlies the writing of Wajdi Mouawad (Tideline, Alphonse), and Scorched continues that theme. Sergio Di Zio and Sophie Goulet play twins trying to fulfill the last request of their mother - who years earlier fled a civil-war-torn country - to find their lost father and brother. Don't expect just to sit back and be entertained, for the lyrical script, with its time-shifting, imagistic storytelling, invites an audience's active participation. Directed by Richard Rose , the production starts February 20 at the Tarragon (30 Bridgman). 416-531-1827.
Second to none
Second City 's pun-crazy titles always elicit a chuckle or two, making a clever comment on societal anxieties. Their latest revue's title would make Al Gore weep - and laugh. Tip Of The Melting Iceberg looks at war, corporate life, dating and - of course - global warming. Returning cast members Jim Annan , Lauren Ash , Scott Montgomery and Anand Rajaram are joined by newcomer Leslie Seiler . Another good sign is that designer Camellia Koo - NOW's #1 theatre artist of 2006 - has been hired to work magic on the fairly awkward stage. Now, if they can only do something about the theatre's acoustics.... The laughs begin February 1. Second City (51 Mercer). 416-343-0011.