DANCE TO THE BEAT OF ANOTHER DRUM: At Harbourfront Centre & The Power Plant this Weekend

The best from China. The best from Canada. In Toronto.

The most magical space that joins us all in some deep and ancient place is dance – the mysteriousness of a beat and where it takes our hearts, and minds when we start to move our feet.

One of the best places in this city to experience incredible dance is at the Fleck Dance Theatre. Part of the Harbourfront Centre, with programs like World Stage and Next Steps, Fleck showcases the most talented dancers and choreographers from home and around the world.

And just steps away is The Power Plant “Canada’s leading public gallery devoted exclusively to contemporary visual art” (cited www.thepowerplant.org)

Stunning Contemporary Chinese Dance.

Tonight and tomorrow Fleck features the Chinese dance troupe TAO Dance Theater. Reviews of their show Weight x3 & 2 have been amazing. Time to treat yourself, a little something for your soul!

A Mashup of Music, Art & Dance.  

And also on tonight, as part of the programming for Beat Nation, the Power Plant hosts a dance battle bringing into the gallery “dancers representing moments in Aboriginal and hip-hop dance history to create a unique, interdisciplinary event…16 of Toronto’s best dance crews will compete for $1,000 cash prize in a 2-on-2 elimination battle format and time rounds. ” (cited www.thepowerplant.org)

The Beat Nation Exhibit will be open until 9 with the competition beginning at 8:30.

This weekend dance to the south east west north earth sky.

TONIGHT & TOMORROW NIGHT…
TAO Dance Theater of China presents
Weight x3 & 2
Fleck Dance Theatre @ 8 pm
Purchase Tickets Here | Directions to Fleck

TONIGHT…
Beat Nation Dance Battle
The Power Plant
5:30 – 9 pm Gallery Open | 5:30 – 8:30 Cash Bar | 8:30 Dance Battle Begins
Directions to The Power Plant

MIXED BAG MAG also recommends checking out Vancouver’s Grunt Gallery and Beat Nation’s official website full of the good stuff and a taste of what you can find at The Power Plant!

#FF on Twitter:
@HarbourfrontTO
@ThePowerPlantTO
@gruntgallery
#PPBeatNAtion
#DanceTO

HOT TICKET: First Thursdays at the Art Gallery of Ontario

First Thursdays text and Art Gallery of Ontario's logo
Flyer for art event with various listings of the night and photographs of the performers

Re-contextualizing and re-energizing the Art Gallery of Ontario space with a eclectic and provocative set of performances.

At the tail end of 2012 AGO introduced a new event – 1st Thursdays – that has been running the first Thursday of the month ever since. And it is always SOLD OUT. What to expect? Interactivity, performance, unique giveaways, live music, and a well dressed crowd. And of course, art. For the price of the ticket ($10) you get full access to the Gallery as well as entertainment by provocative Canadian acts like the Yamantaka Sonic Titan (self described as a multidisciplinary hyper-orientalist cesspool of ‘east’ meets ‘west’ culture clash) and Indi DJ collective A Tribe Called Red.

“Their innovative blend of underground club sounds with pow wow music has reached a much wider audience than they’d imagined when they started throwing their monthly parties in Ottawa in 2008. And no one could have predicted the role they’d play in promoting a wider dialogue around aboriginal rights.” (read more on www.nowtoronto.com)

Tonight the AGO snagged “Godmother of Punk”, Patti Smith, as the performance of the month to coincide with AGO’s show Camera Solo an exhibition of Patti’s beautiful photography.

“Smith, known for her improvisational approach, looks for process-based accidents. Going through the exhibition, I was reminded of a line from “25th Floor,” a song on her second album Easter: “The transformation of waste is perhaps the oldest preoccupation of man.” It is certainly Smith’s preoccupation, an imbibing of Mapplethorpe’s Catholic attachment to the object-world, and to a belief in transubstantiation, resurrection and other forms of metamorphosis.” (read more on www.canadianart.ca)

A definite unique time, if you want to get to next’s month 1st Thursday, plan ahead!! Follow @AGOToronto & #AGO1ST to catch the moment tickets go on sale for April’s event.

Read reviews on 1st Thursdays:

BlogTO

Torontoist

She Does the City

People putting up collage on wall with paste in buckets
Man added collage to blue wall using brush with paste
Two woman and a man working on pasting paper up to a blue wall and collaborate on a collage
Pieces of paper and printed photographs pasted to blue wallParticipatory art – getting engaged with Local artist Shannon Gerard leading “interactive wheat pasting and cityscape sketching workshops”.

Art installation using discarded strips of wood to build a wooden wave where a painting of boy rides atop
image of two people fencing in a dual spray painted on plywood boardsInstallation by Aaron Li-Hill in the Galleria Italia.

3 male deejays performing with turntables and screen behind them with reappropriated and remixed images of Native Americans
3 male deejays performing with turntables and screen behind them with re-appropriated and remixed images of Native Americans and First Nations people.A Tribe Called Red performing in front of the Baroque Stair. All images by Leah Snyder for Mixed Bag Mag.

BEAT NATION: Art, Hip Hop and Aboriginal Culture @ The Power Plant

Contemporary Aboriginal art in a large gallery space with white wallsInstallation view of Beat Nation: Art, Hip Hop and Aboriginal Culture at The Power Plant, Toronto. 15 December 2012 – 5 May 2013. Photo by Toni Hafkenscheid.

EXHIBITION – Beat Nation: Art, Hip Hop and Aboriginal Culture
Exhibit runs until May 5, 2013.

More info on The Power Plant website
Also on The Toronto Star – “Beat Nation:Art, Hip Hop and Aboriginal Culture at the Power Plant: Review”

Contemporary Aboriginal art in a large gallery space with white walls
Installation view of Beat Nation: Art, Hip Hop and Aboriginal Culture at The Power Plant, Toronto. 15 December 2012 – 5 May 2013. Photo by Toni Hafkenscheid.

HIP HAPPENING – A Tribe Called Red @ The AGO

FYI  – A Tribe Called Red Artist Talk
Wednesday, February 6
Art Gallery of Ontario
Jackman Hall (McCaul Entrance)
6 – 7 pm
more info here

Hosted by OCADU’s  Aboriginal Visual Culture Program

www.electricpowwow.com
Follow on twitter @atribecalledred  & like on Facebook!

IDLE NO MORE: Sharing in the Value of Contemporary Aboriginal Culture

Idle No More Logo with fist holding feather in front of Canadian Flag

As a whole we are greater than the sum of our parts.

Not only is Black History Month about celebrating the contributions African Canadians have made to our society but it is also about calling Canada out on its educational amnesia with regards to a history stretching back to our origins as a Nation.

Unfortunately the system has been slow to change and in the 21st Century we still have problems. The Idle No More movement shows that there is much to be done in acknowledging that as a whole we are greater than the sum of our parts. If there is historical or contemporary exclusion of any group of people in this country we all suffer.

So for the month of February, as we draw nearer to the rebirth of Spring, MIXED BAG MAG will be focusing on the process of cultural healing – what does it mean, how can it look, and where can we all go together?

One of the most powerful ways to transform our perspective is when we allow ourselves to see the humanity of another human being as shared with our own. Art, performance, music, and storytelling create spaces of understanding. As we watch with our eyes, listen with our ears, often our hearts open as well.

African symbol called Sankofa two curvy lines meeting in the shape of a heartTo kick off Black History Month in the spirit of Sankofa (an African symbol that means to look back at where you have come to understand where you are going) Mixed Bag Mag is going back to the source of this continent by showcasing and posting on Aboriginal Artists as Cultural Provocateurs.

In Toronto we are lucky to have some great events taking place this week into the next.

Logo for A Tribe Called Red, feathers like a headdress around a pair of headphones

WEDNESDAY at the AGO (6 pm at Jackman Hall) is an artist talk with Ottawa’s A Tribe Called Red moderated by artist and educator David General. This event is hosted by OCAD University’s Aboriginal Visual Culture Program. More info on this event here!

Contemporary Aboriginal Woman
Image from www.powerplant.org.

On now at the Power Plant (on until May 5) is the exhibition Beat Nation.

“Beat Nation describes a generation of artists who juxtapose urban youth culture with Aboriginal identity to create innovative and unexpected new works that reflect the current realities of Aboriginal peoples today. #PPBeatNation(cited from www.powerplant.org)

Block cut printed poster of First Nations man in traditional dress with banner Indigenous Sovereignty Means Immigrant Rights Image from www.justseeds.org.

FRIDAY is the opening (6 – 10 pm) of JustSeeds: Migration Now!

“Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative is a decentralized network of 24 artists committed to making print and design work that reflects a radical social, environmental, and political stance. With members working from the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, Justseeds operates both as a unified collaboration of similarly minded printmakers and as a loose collection of creative individuals with unique viewpoints and working methods. We believe in the transformative power of personal expression in concert with collective action. To this end, we produce collective portfolios, contribute graphics to grassroots struggles for justice, work collaboratively both in- and outside the co-op, build large sculptural installations in galleries, and wheatpaste on the streets – all while offering each other daily support as allies and friends.” (cited from www.justseeds.org)

This exhibition runs from February 8 – 14 at the OCADU Graduate Gallery at 205 Richmond St. West.

Mixed media collage of Aboriginal Woman with wind turbines and upside down trees bordering the image
Work by Shelley Niro. Image from Akimbo.

SATURDAY at Ryerson is the  “Pictures of by Indians” Symposium.

“Pictures of By Indians is a one-day symposium and discussion of photo-based art, culture and decolonization. This free public presentation will examine these issues through the practices of five internationally acclaimed Indigenous artists, and provide an opportunity to engage with the ways in which Indigenous photographic practices shape art and cultural discourses in Canada. The work of these artists represents a vast landscape of Indigenous artistic research, methodology and practice in the field of Indigenous photo-based arts and activism: Scott Benesiinaabandan, Rosalie Favell, Mary Longman, Shelley Niro and Jeff Thomas.” (cited from www.ryerson.ca/ric)

A joyful crowd of African Americans jeering white police man during civil rights movement
Image from www.ryerson.ca/ric.

Also at Ryerson Image Centre until April 14 is Human Rights Human Wrongs an amazing exhibit by British curator Mark Sealy of Autograph ABP.

“Using the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a point of departure, HUMAN RIGHTS HUMAN WRONGS examines whether images of political struggle, suffering and victims of violence work for or against humanitarian objectives, especially when considering questions of race, representation, ethical responsibility and the cultural position of the photographer.” (cited from www.ryerson.ca/ric)

Portrait of young blonde woman with hair in bun
Image from www.thepowerplant.org.

Sunday take advantage of Power Plant’s “Sunday Scene” where a guest comes to give a talk and tour of the latest exhibits. This Sunday artist and writer Kristie McDonald will be giving on Beat Nation.

“Kristie MacDonald is an artist and writer who lives and works in Toronto. She is currently the Archivist at Vtape. Her art practice engages notions of the archive and the collection, as well as their roles in the evolving meanings and contextual histories of images and artifacts. Kristie holds a BFA from York University specializing in Visual Arts, and an MI from the University of Toronto specializing in Archival Studies. MacDonald will speak about our current exhibition Beat Nation.”(cited from www.thepowerplant.org)

black and white headshots of middle age woman and young man
Image from www.powerplant.org.

Wednesday of next week return to Power Plant for In Conversation with Bonnie Devine and Dylan Miner.

“Bonnie Devine and Dylan Miner will discuss the emergence and significance of the artist/activist in historic and contemporary Indigenous aesthetic practice. Their conversation will address the convergence of art-making and political action to affect social change.” (cited from www.thepowerplant.org)

More events will be happening around the Beat Nation exhibit. You can find out more about each of them at www.thepowerplant.org.

Colourful wood block cut print poster with North and South American continents surronding by peace doves
Image from www.justseeds.org.

 

#MYMANIFESTO: A Revolution Accomplished Artfully!

MANIFESTO Festival 2012 “Love by Every Means Necessary”

There are moments that the impact of art takes your breath away. The deep beauty of Sara Golish’s portraits was the force that hit leaving me temporarily without air or words.

And that was just the start of what turned out to be a well curated show celebrating 20 years of Toronto’s Fresh Arts program. The one-night-only show also included artists-at-work outside on the patio of the beautiful new Regent Park Arts & Cultural centre.

This event was part of the Manifesto Festival, the brainchild of cultural provocateur Che Kothari. The festival is now in its 6th year and has proved a powerful force in mobilizing many of Toronto’s youth by offering programming and events that ignite youth to use art as a tool for personal transformation that can lead to social change.

Manifesto seems to draw into its orbit of raised consciousness an immense talent pool of people that are thoughtful, activated and ready to push positive change forward – the perfect antidote for a world burdened with a lot of pain and in need of some artful healing.

More about Manifesto on their website – www.themanifesto.ca. You can also follow them on twitter @Manifest_TO.

Check out some of night’s artistic talent…

Sara Golish
Malcolm Yarde
Jordan Clarke
Mark Stoddart
Eugene Paunil













Photography by Leah Snyder for Mixed Bag Mag.

HARBOURFRONT CENTRE SOUNDCLASH: & the winner is! Chloe Charles

Chloe Charles, a musical mix!

It has been a month of musical-mashup-madness with more coming up next week when Small World Music’s 2012 Festival begins (Sept 20 – 30). This week though you can take in the unique “genre mushing” music of Chloe Charles, this year’s Harbourfront Centre SoundClash Winner, at her video release party for her newest single “Business”.

With musical styling that is distinctive and a voice that is touching, Mixed Bag Mag wishes Chloe continued success in what has been a great year for her!

You can RSVP and get the deets on Chloe’s facebook page and follow Chloe on her blog or on twitter @chloe_charles

CULTURAL HYBRIDITY: Fragmented or Fused?

Do we lose or gain in a world where we ‘cherry pick’ our cultural expressions?

Mixed Bag Mag attended a unique networking event this past Thursday at Tryst Nightclub – BINDAAS: Indian and Israeli Fusion.

Described as an evening where the Jewish and Indian communities could learn about each other’s cultures the club looked like it was filled with a transmigratory crowd that already knew when it is appropriate to say “Mazel Tov!” and that Mehndi isn’t something you eat. In the space was a collection of open minds, worldly and experienced, ready to be entertained by the hottest new hybrid!

So it provoked a question.

In a time and place where many of us use a string of hyphenated descriptors to tie together who we are, what we do and how we worship, is the essential thread getting unrecognizably knotted?

Experiencing the reaction of the crowd to Shye Ben Tzur’s mix of Muslim-Hebrew-Indian-classical-contemporary music the answer is that the 21st Century is about meaningful fusion not fragmented remnants. Something old is not being lost but rather something fresh and new is being gained.

Mixed Bag Mag had a great time at BINDAAS and thanks Size Doesn’t Matter for hosting a distinctive event.

Follow Size Doesn’t Matter on Facebook & Twitter @SDoesntMatter







Photography by Leah Snyderfor Mixed Bag Mag.

MASHUP MUSIC: Ashkenaz Festival Wrap Up

Celebratory Finale

“The signature event of the Ashkenaz Festival, the Ashkenaz Parade transforms Harbourfront Centre into a swirling cavalcade of music, dance, theatre, masks, giant puppetry, stiltwalkers and various other forms of pomp and pageantry. Once again under the direction of Toronto street theatre stalwarts Shadowland Theatre (Anne Barber and Brad Harley, Artistic co-Directors), the Parade features hundreds of musicians, artists and community participants in a joyful and whimsical procession that serves as the penultimate climax to the Ashkenaz Festival. This year’s Parade is based on an imagined “sequel” to the famous tale of the Golem of Prague, in which the famous monster of Jewish folklore embarks on a journey of self-discovery in order to find love and personal fulfillment.” (cited www.ashkenazfestival2012.sched.org )










Photography by Leah Snyder for Mixed Bag Mag

FYI – Mixed Bag Mag recommends checking out Caribbean Tales Film Festival running this week at Harbourfront Centre. More information on film screenings here.

MASHUP MUSIC: Ashkenaz Festival, a Little Sampling

A little this, a little that…

Mixed Bag Mag wanted to give you a taste of what went down at Harbourfront Centre this weekend with a cross-cultural, genre-bending line-up of amazing musical acts at the ASHKENAZ Festival.

YEMEN BLUES

SHYE BEN TZUR

KLEZMERSON

Photography by Leah Snyder for Mixed Bag Mag.