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light on your feet

Luminato Logbook, Day Six

If imagination is the core of the soul, then Toronto’s spirit is strong indeed, and on full display during Luminato. This annual celebration of arts and creativity brings to the city an international array of theatrical and dance performances, world-music concerts, visual art displays, literary events and much more—all of which you can read about here daily. Expand your horizons and imagine new heights; for 10 days in Toronto, anything is possible.

TODAY’S TOP TICKETS

Bruce Cockburn plays his hits with friends at Massey Hall

NATION’S PRIDE Massey Hall once again hosts Luminato’s Canadian Songbook, a multi-artist showcase of this country’s most storied popular music. This year, Bruce Cockburn gets the tribute treatment: the legendary songwriter takes the stage to survey his hits with such friends as Hawksley Workman, Colin Linden and others. Massey Hall, 178 Victoria St., 7:30 p.m., $55 to $85.

NOVEL STANDPOINT Just as global affairs can be dictated by geographic concerns, so are the interactions of Canadians influenced by sense of place. As such, the meaning of East/West in Canadian Fiction is always a hot topic amongst local literati. A coast-to-coast quartet of writers—including Edmonton’s Lynn Coady and Newfoundland-born Michael Winter—refreshes the debate. Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge St., 7 p.m., free.

MORE MUST-SEE SHOWS

>> Pay tribute to Luminato co-founder David Pecaut, who succumbed to cancer last December, by viewing the Atom Egoyan–curated film installation Solar Breath (Northern Caryatids)/Light Air. Brookfield Place, 181 Bay St., 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., free.

>> Experience a candy-coloured wonderland in the heart of Toronto: Miami-based art collective FriendsWithYou transforms the city centre into a “Rainbow City” with bouncing castles, giant totems and all-around warm feelings for its Wish Come True Festival. Queen’s Park, Queen’s Park Crescent and Wellesley Street, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., free.

>> He was only 12 when he hatched his dream of becoming a fashion designer; now Canadian Mark Fast’s knitwear is known the world over. A Luminato-exclusive showcase of his couture is now on display. Brookfield Place, 181 Bay St., all day, free.

>> Step on to a 30-foot Chinese junk and reflect upon life aboard the uncaptained Ship O’ Fools. Trinity Bellwoods Park, Queen Street West and Strachan Avenue, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., free.

>>The delicate subject of Rights in the Arts—artists’ rights and intellectual property—is explored by Erika Batdorf (One Pure Longing), Anthony Black (Homage) and magician David Ben. Roots (2nd floor), 100 Bloor St. W., 12:30 p.m., free.

>> Three points of view merge in The Africa Trilogy, an East-meets-West exploration that unites playwrights, directors and performers who ask: How do we see each other? Fleck Dance Theatre, 207 Queens Quay W., 7 p.m., $30 to $45.

>> Celebrated singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright achieves something stunning with his opera, Prima Donna, the spellbinding story of an aging soprano who ponders a return to the stage. Elgin Theatre, 189 Yonge St., 7:30 p.m., $50 to $200.

>> Audience members—along with real-life gamers and game designers—help bring the theatrical production Best Before to life with the help of representative avatars. Berkeley Street Theatre, 26 Berkeley St., 8 p.m., $35.

Purchase Luminato tickets daily at the T.O. Tix booth, located at Yonge-Dundas Square.

Luminato Logbook, Day Five

If imagination is the core of the soul, then Toronto’s spirit is strong indeed, and on full display during Luminato. This annual celebration of arts and creativity brings to the city an international array of theatrical and dance performances, world-music concerts, visual art displays, literary events and much more—all of which you can read about here daily. Expand your horizons and imagine new heights; for 10 days in Toronto, anything is possible.

TODAY’S TOP TICKETS

The Africa Trilogy

THE POWER OF THREE An international assemblage of playwrights, directors and performers attempt to bridge the East-West divide in The Africa Trilogy—three experimental plays that deconstruct cross-continental relationships by asking how we see each other and, just as crucially, how we see ourselves. Fleck Dance Theatre, 207 Queens Quay W., 7 p.m., $30 to $45.

NEW MOVES The interactive dance lesson cum flash mob Light On Your Feet offers its final night of fleet-footed fun. Over the past few days, dancing queens took centre stage for flamboyantly themed evenings that honoured divas of several stripes—from luscious Latinas to Bollywood superstars. Tonight’s music and dancing session culminates in an “Ultimate ’80s Dance Party.” Yonge-Dundas Square, southeast corner of Yonge and Dundas streets, 7 to 11 p.m., free.

MORE MUST-SEE SHOWS

>> Pay tribute to Luminato co-founder David Pecaut, by viewing the Atom Egoyan–curated film installation Solar Breath (Northern Caryatids)/Light Air. Brookfield Place, 181 Bay St., 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., free.

>> He was only 12 when he hatched his dream to become a fashion designer; now Canadian Mark Fast’s knitwear is known the world over. A Luminato-exclusive showcase of his couture is currently on display. Brookfield Place, 181 Bay St., all day, free.

>> Reflect on your life’s journey aboard a 30-foot Chinese junk, salvaged by Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller with the intent of examining artists’ and writers’ fascination with the image of an uncaptained Ship O’ Fools. Trinity Bellwoods Park, Queen Street West and Strachan Avenue, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., free

>> Delve further into Luminato’s East/West theme with Canadian poet and playwright George Elliott Clarke in a lunchtime conversations on “Africadian” Literature. Roots (2nd floor), 100 Bloor St. W., 12:30 p.m., free.

>> Celebrated author Azar Nafisi—known for her book Reading Lolita in Tehran—offers insightful discussion on the contrasts and similarities between East and West in Reading and Writing Iran. Al Green Theatre (Miles Nadal JCC), 750 Spadina Ave., 7:30 p.m., $15.

Purchase Luminato tickets daily at the T.O. Tix booth, located at Yonge-Dundas Square.

Luminato Logbook, Day Four

If imagination is the core of the soul, then Toronto’s spirit is strong indeed, and on full display during Luminato. This annual celebration of arts and creativity brings to the city an international array of theatrical and dance performances, world-music concerts, visual art displays, literary events and much more—all of which you can read about here daily. Expand your horizons and imagine new heights; for 10 days in Toronto, anything is possible.

TODAY’S TOP TICKETS

Janis Kelly stars in Rufus Wainwright's Prima Donna (photo by C. Antony Crook)

MERCURIAL MUSE It’s hard not to think that Rufus Wainwright’s career has been but a dress rehearsal for Prima Donna, such is the hype surrounding its North American debut. Known for his operatic take on pop music, the composer now offers a true French opera, in which a retired soprano, inflamed by new romance, ponders a return to the stage. Elgin Theatre, 189 Yonge St., 7:30 p.m., $50 to $200.

AUTHOR, AUTHOR! You can judge this event by its title: Monday Night Fiction offers two separate discussions with leading writers Ben Okri and Roddy Doyle. A British-educated Nigerian, Okri weaves the oft-contrasting perspectives of these nations into a vivid literary tapestry. Doyle, the Irish iconoclast, debuts his latest novel, The Dead Republic. Al Green Theatre, 750 Spadina Ave. (Okri); Jane Mallett Theatre, 27 Front St. E. (Doyle), both at 7:30 p.m., $25.

MORE MUST-SEE SHOWS

>> Pay tribute to Luminato co-founder David Pecaut, who succumbed to cancer last December, by viewing the Atom Egoyan–curated film installation Solar Breath (Northern Caryatids)/Light Air. Brookfield Place, 181 Bay St., 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., free.

>> Art, fashion and beauty are woven into the world-renowned stitch works of Canadian Mark Fast’s Luminato-exclusive display. Brookfield Place, 181 Bay St., all day, free.

>> Board a 30-foot Chinese junk as Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller explore artists’ and writers’ fascination with the image of an uncaptained Ship O’ Fools. Trinity Bellwoods Park, Queen Street West and Strachan Avenue., 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., free.

>> One Pure Longing performer and director Erika Batdorf explains the inspiration for her work in a Lunchtime Conversation at Roots (2nd floor), 100 Bloor St. W., 12:30 p.m., free.

>> Swing your hips like Bollywood divas at this evening’s Light on Your Feet dance party. Yonge-Dundas Square, 7 to 11 p.m., free.

>> A powerful act is commemorated in One Pure Longing: Táhirih’s Search, which recounts through dance, poetry and music the execution of a 19th-century Persian woman who refused to wear a veil. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander St., 8 p.m., $35.

Purchase Luminato tickets daily at the T.O. Tix booth, located at Yonge-Dundas Square.

Luminato Logbook, Day Three

If imagination is the core of the soul, then Toronto’s spirit is strong indeed, and on full display during Luminato. This annual celebration of arts and creativity brings to the city an international array of theatrical and dance performances, world-music concerts, visual art displays, literary events and much more—all of which you can read about here daily. Expand your horizons and imagine new heights; for 10 days in Toronto, anything is possible.

TODAY’S TOP TICKETS

Two Faced Bastard splits the stage (photo by Chris Budgeon)

DOUBLE STANDARD Approach your viewing of Two Faced Bastard with an open mind—or better yet, a mind split in two. Addressing dualities of existence, this hard-to-classify stage show is actually two simultaneously occurring performances, each viewed by one half of the audience, that eventually combine in a humorous and provocative dance-theatre mash up. Joey & Toby Tanenbaum Opera Centre, 227 Front St. E., 4 p.m., $50.

FREEDOM OF CHOICE A historic act of courage is revived by Toronto’s Erika Batdorf and her company in One Pure Longing: Táhirih’s Search. The multi-disciplinary work employs dance, poetry and traditional music to tell the story of a Persian woman who, in 1848, was executed for appearing publicly without a veil. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander St., 8 p.m., $35.

MORE MUST-SEE SHOWS

>> Pay tribute to Luminato co-founder David Pecaut, who succumbed to cancer last December, by viewing the Atom Egoyan–curated film installation Solar Breath (Northern Caryatids)/Light Air. Brookfield Place, 181 Bay St., 11 a.m. to 5 pm., free.

>> Art, fashion and beauty are woven into the world-renowned stitch works of Canadian Mark Fast’s Luminato-exclusive display. Brookfield Place, 181 Bay St., all day, free.

>> Reflect on your life’s journey aboard a 30-foot Chinese junk, meant to explore artists’ and writers’ fascination with the image of an uncaptained Ship O’ Fools. Trinity Bellwoods Park, Queen Street West and Strachan Avenue., 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., free.

>> Members of Chunky Move, the company that presents Two Faced Bastard, provide insight into the show at a Lunchtime Conversation. Roots (2nd floor), 100 Bloor St. W., 12:30 p.m., free.

>> Three points of view merge in this afternoon’s preview of The Africa Trilogy, an exploration of East meets West uniting playwrights, directors and performers who ask: How do we see each other? Fleck Dance Theatre, 207 Queen’s Quay W., 1 p.m., $30 to $45.

>> Catch the last Luminato performance of the National Ballet’s West Side Story Suite, presented as part of a triple bill that also includes Jerome Robbins’ Opus 19/Dreamer and the world-premiere of Pur ti Miro by Jorma Elo. Four Seasons for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen St. W., 2 p.m., $20 to 210.

>> Bust a move at Light on Your Feet. Tonight’s focus is drag divas. Yonge-Dundas Square, 7 to 11 p.m., free.

Purchase Luminato tickets daily at the T.O. Tix booth, located at Yonge-Dundas Square.