LSM Newswire

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Toronto Dance Theatre Presents Christopher House's Rivers

Toronto Dance Theatre presents Rivers,

a major new work by Christopher House

set to the beloved piano music of Ann Southam

March 19, 2012—Toronto Dance Theatre is pleased to announce the world premiere performances of Rivers, a major new work by Artistic DirectorChristopher House set to the celebrated piano music of the same name by the late Ann Southam. Rivers will be played live by renowned virtuosa Christina Petrowska Quilico, one of the foremost interpreters of Southam’s music. With set design by Michael Levine and lighting by Simon Rossiter, Rivers marks an exciting confluence of leading Canadian artists.

Rivers will be presented at the Fleck Dance Theatre from April 25-28, 2012 (8pm) and April 28 (2pm) as part of Harbourfront Centre’s NextSteps series.

The music, composed from 1979-81, is an epic cycle of minimalist works:

Built on intricately and unpredictably interlocking melodic patterns, the pieces carry the listener into shimmering, at times ecstatic, realms.” - Tamara Bernstein, National Post

Christopher House, a choreographer of rare musicality, is working with ten dancers to create a fluid and unpredictable counterpoint to this music, reflecting its rushing cascades, luxuriant eddies and attentive stillnesses.

Rivers will be House’s first new work inspired by an existing score in over a dozen years. He has had the privilege of creating work with Ann Southam’s music several times in the past, most notably with her Glass Houses No. 5, the score for his internationally acclaimed Glass Houses (1983).

In advance of this production, TDT will host The Process Revealed: Rivers on April 16, 2012, 7pm (FREE), at the Winchester Street Theatre, 80 Winchester Street. Audiences will have the opportunity to preview sections from this new work and participate in a dialogue with the artistic team about the creative process.

Collaborator Biographies

Christopher House was born and raised in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Resident Choreographer since 1981 and Artistic Director since 1994, he has contributed over sixty works to the Toronto Dance Theatre repertoire. His most recent works include Dis/(sol/ve)r (2009) and Pteros Tactics (2010). Christopher House has also created choreographies for Lisbon’s Ballet Gulbenkian, the National Ballet of Canada, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens and Ballet British Columbia, among others, directed two collaborations with Joel Gibb and The Hidden Cameras and pursued an interest in dance film and video. He is currently creating a solo for Claudia Moore. He has received many awards for his work, including three Dora Mavor Moore Awards for Outstanding New Choreography. He received the Muriel Sherrin Award for International Achievement in Dance in October 2009, and was made an Honorary Doctor of Letters by Memorial University in 2010.

As a performer, Christopher House has appeared in his own works and in those of Sarah Chase, Peter Chin, David Earle, Deborah Hay, James Kudelka, Mark Morris and Peter Randazzo. Most recently, he performed his solo adaptation of Deborah Hay’s At Once in London and Brighton, UK, in December, 2011. He is Artistic Advisor of the Professional Training Program of The School of Toronto Dance Theatre and has taught technique and creative process across Canada and at such international institutions as the Juilliard School, Rotterdam Dansacademie and Jacob’s Pillow. He is an Associate Dance Artist of Canada’s National Arts Centre.

One of Canada’s foremost pianists, Christina Petrowska Quilico is widely recognized as an innovative and adventurous artist and a leading champion of the music of our time. She has made her mark as a brilliant interpreter of contemporary classical music. The New York Times hails her as a “promethean talent”, with “an extraordinary talent with phenomenal ability… dazzling virtuosity.” Over the course of her career, Petrowska Quilico has collaborated with a long list of eminent international and Canadian composers, including Violet Archer, Pierre Boulez, Glenn Buhr, John Cage, Christos Hatzis, Lowell Liebermann, György Ligeti, Alexina Louie, R. Murray Schafer, Krzysztof Penderecki, Luis de Pablo, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Claude Vivier and John Weinzweig. She has performed with most new music groups and chamber ensembles in Canada. Her concert tours, both as a soloist and with her late husband, the legendary Metropolitan Opera baritone Louis Quilico, have taken her across four continents. On the recital stage, her appearances include such prestigious New York City venues as Carnegie Hall, LincolnCenter’s Alice Tully Hall, and Merkin Concert Hall.

Ann Southam was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1937 but lived most of her life in Toronto. After completing musical studies at the University of Toronto and the Royal Conservatory of Music in the early 1960's, Ann Southam began a teaching and composing career which has included a long and productive association with modern dance. As well as creating music for some of Canada's major modern dance companies and choreographers including, Toronto Dance Theatre, Danny Grossman, Dancemakers, Patricia Beatty, Christopher House and Rachel Browne, she was an instructor in electronic music at the Royal Conservatory of Music and also participated in many "composer-in-the-classroom" programs in elementary and high schools. She composed concert music for a variety of acoustic instruments and instrumental ensembles, working with such artists and ensembles as Eve Egoyan, Christina Petrowska Quilico and Arraymusic. She was a member of the Canadian Music Centre, the Canadian League of Composers and a founding member of the Association of Canadian Women Composers. Ann Southam passed away November 25, 2010.

Michael Levine is Canadian. He has worked internationally as a set and costume designer for the past 30 years. He studied stage design at The Central School of Art and Design in London. He has designed for La Scala Milan, The Paris Opera, The Metropolitan Opera, Vienna State Opera, English National Opera, Opera Nomori Tokyo, The Netherlands Opera, Flanders Opera, Welsh National Opera, Scottish Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Geneva Opera, The San Fransisco Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera, Houston Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Royal National Theatre of Great Britain, The Royal Shakespeare Co., Old Vic Theatre, Glasgow Citizen’s Theatre and for London’s West End and Broadway. In Canada he has worked for The Shaw Festival, Canadian Stage, Tarragon Theatre, SoulpepperTheatre, National Ballet of Canada and Dancemakers. His work has been honoured with a Gemini Award, Paris Critics Prize, The Edinburgh Festival Drama and Music Award, Two Dora Awards and a Toronto Arts Award. Michael is a Chevalier des Arts et Lettres.

Simon Rossiter is a freelance lighting designer based in Toronto, Ontario. He has had the pleasure of working on more than eighty productions with a variety of artipsts companies; including, adelheid dance projects, the Alumnae Theatre Company, the Classical Theatre Project, the Crazyfish Collective, D.A. Hoskins and the dietrich group, Dancemakers, Darryl Tracy, Diasporic Genius, Hart House Theatre, JD Dance, Lacey Smith, Montgomery Theatre, Oakridge Musical Theatre, Peggy Baker Dance Projects, ProArteDanza, Ruth Cansfield Dance Company, The School of TDT, Théâtre Français de Toronto, Toronto Youth Theatre, urban ink and Yvonne Ng.

Toronto Dance Theatre presents Rivers

A new work by Christopher House set to Ann Southam’s Rivers,

played live by pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico.

April 25-28, 2012 (8pm), April 28 (2pm)

Fleck Dance Theatre, Harbourfront Centre, 207 Queens Quay West

Tickets $15-40 (discounts for students, seniors, and CADA members).

For more info and to purchase tickets call the Harbourfront Centre Box Office at 416-973-4000

or visit

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