4 years ago

Volume 24 Issue 8 - May 2019

  • Text
  • Theatre
  • Symphony
  • Concerts
  • Singers
  • Arts
  • Jazz
  • Choral
  • Musical
  • Toronto
  • Choir
What a range of stuff! A profile of Liz Upchurch, the COC ensemble studio's vocal mentor extraordinaire; a backgrounder on win-win faith/arts centre partnerships and ways of exploring the possibilities; an interview with St. Petersburg-based Eifman Ballet's Boris Eifman; Ana Sokolovic's violin concert Evta finally coming to town; a Love Letter to YouTube, and much more. Plus our 17th annual Canary Pages Choral directory if all you want to do is sing! sing! sing!


IN CONVERSATION GETTING UNDER THE COMPOSER’S MUSICAL SKIN Eifman Ballet’s Tchaikovsky. PRO et CONTRA JENNIFER PARR Scene from Tchaikovsky. PRO et CONTRA COURTESY EIFMAN BALLET COURTESY EIFMAN BALLET Boris Eifman Good ballet is a feast for the senses, whether classical or contemporary in style. Music, movement and design create a symbolic display or depict character and story, with dancers moving through space delineated by the choreographer’s specific interweaving of physical steps and musical phrases, offset by the physical design of set, costumes and lighting. But conveying inner stories is not typically the art form’s long suite. Having no words is usually an integral part of the definition of ballet; yet, recently, choreographers have been getting closer to finding a way to articulate thoughts and feelings that demand words as their medium of expression. Balletic adaptations of Shakespeare’s later, more complex plays are a case in point. Kevin O’Day’s Hamlet is extraordinarily effective at communicating Hamlet’s intellectual and spiritual torment. Christopher Wheeldon’s The Winter’s Tale is magical in how clearly the complexity of Leontes’ jealousy is conveyed. The Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg, coming to Toronto this month, has become internationally renowned for full-length ballets of great psychological depth; ballets that require not only a choreographer able to meld music and movement in ways that will invoke a powerful, detailed response in audiences, but also dancers able to embody his creations. Around the world, audiences have responded with great applause dubbing the company “unique” in their approach. This week I had the exciting opportunity to speak with Boris Eifman, the founding artistic director and choreographer of the Eifman Ballet as the company prepares to begin a new North American tour in Toronto with Eifman’s latest production, the already acclaimed: Tchaikovsky. PRO et CONTRA. What makes the company unique, Eifman says, is that in every ballet he choreographs, they “are really trying to reflect on the interior world of the characters, showing the emotions and feelings of that inner world through the language of dance and movement.” While grounded in the strong traditions of classical Russian ballet that emphasize having a clear storyline, emotional content and strong acting, they have taken those elements into the present, utilizing new contemporary choreography, modern design and cutting-edge technology. Founded by Eifman in 1977 as the Leningrad New Ballet, the company recently celebrated 16 | May 2019

TORONTO’S INTERNATIONAL ARTS FESTIVAL JUNE 7-23 LUMINATO.COM FREE! MAADA’OOKII SONGLINES June 23, 8pm Harbourfront Centre, Lakeside A massive choral event with 200 singers from 11 diverse choirs, 4 soloists, and an Indigenous ensemble braiding their songs, styles, voices and cultures, set against Toronto’s breathtaking waterfront. PRESENTED BY SUPPORTED BY Composer Cris Derksen Directors Tim Albery, Michael Mori Choirs Bruised Ears Choir, Canadian Arabic Orchestra Choir, Coro San Marco, Darbazi, Faith Chorale, Oakville Choir, Vesnivka, Yip’s Children and Youth Choir with City Choir, Common Thread Community Chorus, and The Element Choir Soloists Bryden Gwiss Kiwenzie, Jennifer Kreisberg, Alanna Stuart, Maryem Hassan Tollar FOUNDING GOVERNMENT PARTNER Made possible in part by Luminato’s Board of Directors MAJOR PARTNERS LUMINATO.COM

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