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Luminato 2009 Preview

Siiigh, June is upon us and that means only one thing. Well, actually, it means a lot of things, but in the city’s art scene, June means that the metro corps is about to come alive with the dulcet tones of musical interludes, foot patters of choreographed routines, and vibrant splashes of artistic frenzy. Yes, June in the city means Luminato is coming!

Naturally, She Does the City is your go-to site for sassy interviews, reviews, and much ado about Toronto’s perennial arts fest. Here’s what you can expect from us this Luminato season:

First night festivities: Rock out at Yonge-Dundas square with Randy Bachman, a free concert for you and your 1000 closest friends. While you’re at Y-D2 , check out their four evenings of dancing running from June 6-10. Get your Salsa, Country, Bollywood, Disco, and Swing on from 7pm until 11pm on each of these nights. PLUS! Enjoy FREE! dance instruction on how to break it down in each of these genres (not that you need it!) from 7-8pm each evening.

Oy Vey! We’ll be reviewing Zisele, the North American premiere of Tel Aviv’s Beit Lessin Theatre’s production. A smattering of music and theatrical styles colours this play’s exploration of mother-daughter relationships in Yiddish culture. Zisele runs from June 5-13 at the Jane Mallett Theatre at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts.

This ain’t no Milly Vanilly! Check in here for a review of Lipsynch, an epic 9-hour multimedia extravaganza. If you don’t have the kind of stamina required to sit through the whole show (we’re a little worried about ours!), check out the performance in three 150 minute sections running from June 9-11 at the Bluma Appel theatre at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts.

Where in the world is Carmen? Actually, she’s being performed at the Four Seasons centre in a new take on the ol’ ballet from June 6-14. Spoken word, film, and choreography combine to create a new Carmen that will leave you shivering in your gumshoes. Our girl on the ground will give you the scoop on the show and the lead ballerina behind the tutu.

Got Balls? Toronto does. Well, really it only has one big red one. Throughout the festival, keep your eyes peeled for Redball an ongoing installation project that places a giant red ball (we’re just glad it isn’t blue) in a different location around the city each day. If it happens to cross your path, take a photo and send it to us at talk2us@shedoesthecity.com and we’ll post it to the site!

One of the overarching themes of this year’s Luminato is Poe. No, we’re not talking about that fourth teletubby of that awful early-00s notoriety, but Edgar Allan, the Poe. Quoth-ing the raven, check in here for the scoop on the Poe Cabaret and Nevermore. These are evenings of Poe-inspired muzak and “heart-breakingly comic musical-gothic fairy tale for adults,” respectively. We have no idea what to expect other than the quirky, fabulous frenzy for which both Poe and Luminato have gone down in the books. Once we find out, you will naturally be the first to know. Poe Cabaret plays at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre from June 8-10. Nevermore plays at Winter Garden Theatre from June 11-13.

What arts fest would be complete without a Jam Sesh? Not a one. Thus, drop into the Young Centre for the Performing Arts from June 6-7 and then again from the 11th until the 14th for the New Waves Festival: a good old-fashioned jam that crosses disciplines, cultures, and generations; we like to call it a strARTberry jam. (Lame pun? Lame pun.)

If those weren’t enough to keep you busily engaged in the arty melee for the 10 jam-packed days of Luminato, we’ve got more. (*deep breath in) The Toronto premiere of the Nederlands Dans Theatre opens June 11 and runs until June 13. The show is composed of a threesome of thrilling pieces from renowned choreographers.

Phew. If you’re craving even more performance, dance, culture, music, macramé, collage, time-warping, creative good times, check out the Luminato site at www.luminato.com for a complete set of listings. Warning: it’ll knock your socks off. On the other hand, if the above-mentioned looks just peachy to you, check in here throughout the festival for sassy updates, reviews, and their ilk. June 5-14. Be there or…don’t be.

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