by Zolton in New Events on Thursday 4 June 2009

I’m heading up to Toronto on the weekend to take in the events around the annual Luminato festival, which is now in its third year as a ten-day celebration of the arts — filling Toronto’s stages, streets, and public spaces with theatre, dance, classical and contemporary music, film, literature, visual arts, and design. It’ll be an interesting few days, especially given that part of the experience of attending Luminato is to have ‘accidental encounters with art’. Hmmm, hmmm. The event is designed to showcase Toronto’s thriving downtown area which is driving the city’s ongoing cultural renaissance.

For anyone heading to Toronto for the Luminato festival, here’s a few events you can check out:

Redball Project Toronto
Having made headlines in cities from Barcelona to Chicago, something big red comes bouncing into Toronto on its global trek. Experience Toronto the imagination and vitality of RedBall. Easing into entranceways, basking beneath bridges or wedged into alleyways, RedBall searches for new opportunities as the city itself becomes a canvas of possibilities. Perschke’s project investigates Toronto’s specific urban landscape and history. With vision, curiosity and wit, RedBall reveals places we never noticed before and re-imagines familiar landmarks. RedBall represents an immediate creative impulse embedded in all of us – the simple act of seeing afresh. Seek it out as it touches down in a different Toronto location every day. “RedBall straddles the realms of formalist sculpture, street performance, ephemeral urban installation and hands-on art object… its presence in Barcelona was an unequivocal success.” – Jeffrey Swartz, Barcelona Curator

Communication/Environment
Linked to a theme of contemporary communications that runs through this year’s Festival, these eye-opening installations by internationally exhibited artists will transform your perceptions of Toronto’s downtown core. At the Allen Lambert Galleria, Brookfield Place, is long wave, a new commission from Toronto’s David Rokeby. Extending north along Bay Street is Binary Waves, an interactive piece by Belgian group LAb[au] that responds to urban presence and the unseen electromagnetic communications signals all around us. At the Exchange Tower, you’ll discover Broken Arrow, an exciting new work by Canada’s Germaine Koh in collaboration with Ian Verchere. Also, visit Sam Pollock Square at Brookfield Place every day to check out The Luminato Box: a temporary experimental gallery where 10 artists each have a day to present their latest work.

The Great Canadian Tune
Bring your guitar and help get Toronto into the Guinness Book of World Records! Grab your guitar and come to Yonge-Dundas Square, where The Heartbroken will play all 10 top-ranked songs, ending with Helpless. Join the band in playing it as we try to break the world record for largest guitar ensemble. (The number to beat is 1,802: that’s how many gathered in 2007 in Leinfelden-Echterdingen, Germany, to play Smoke on the Water.)

Carmen
There has never been a Carmen like this ground-breaking, genre-bending re-conceptualization by provocative Italian choreographer Davide Bombana. Carmen, choreography by Davide Bombana Skin Divers, choreography by Dominique Dumais Choreography, film and the spoken word combine in two innovative dance pieces produced by The National Ballet of Canada. In its Canadian debut, Italian choreographer Davide Bombana’s groundbreaking, genre-bending re-conceptualization of Bizet’s Carmen dispenses with the story’s inessentials and goes straight for the latent carnality and primal passions at its heart. The program’s other Canadian premiere is inspired by Ann Michaels’ poetry collection Skin Divers, where Dominique Dumais’ choreography, complemented by projected visuals, explores the idea of the human body as “a living archive of experience.” Plus, all Carmen ticket holders will enjoy a flamenco music performance by the Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company, 45 minutes before show time in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre. Featuring guitarists and singers, patrons can enjoy this riveting performance from one of Canada’s most innovative companies.