Top queer SummerWorks shows
It's summer and along with it comes less clothing, sweaty-er parties, rain, and festivals. Toronto hosts a ton a great ones all season but SummerWorks takes the cake when it comes to the theatre contingent. For those who haven't been to the fest, it's a place to see new up and coming works of theatre and dance before they blow up and tour the country. This year we are being served a lot of queer and amazing work, so we went through the program and dug our top picks from this year's on-stage extravaganza to help guide you.
The Principle of Pleasure
Heels, fetish, strip club, intimate connections breaking the rules - Can you give me more keywords in one paragraph to get us fired up ... and it is done to the songs of Janet Jackson... Living for this!
"Inspired by the pleasures found in a Montreal trans bar, Manhattan vogue balls, Berlin fetish parties and Portland strip clubs, the virtuosic dancer-choreographer Gerard Reyes forges intimate connections with the audience by breaking the rules and conventions of these spaces. It’s a celebration of freedom, glamour, seduction and the unifying power of pleasure – set to the songs of Janet Jackson."
– Conceived, Directed, Choreographed and Performed by Gerard Reyes
Erased: Billy and Bayard
If you haven’t seen the Queer songbook orchestra yet, you are absolutely missing out. The talent that comes out of these people is unbelievable and this time they tackle important social issues through the lens of a black artist during the civil rights movement. Come be entertained and educated all at once!
“Two men altered the course of civil rights and music, yet their stories were pushed into the shadows. Being extraordinary meant little if you were black and queer. One was a creative force behind the Duke Ellington Orchestra, the other devised one of the greatest demonstrations for freedom alongside Martin Luther King Jr. The Queer Songbook Orchestra intersect music with storytelling, illuminating the lives of Billy Strayhorn and Bayard Rustin.”
– Created and Performed by the Queer Songbook Orchestra and featuring Andrew Broderick and Stephen Jackman-Torkoff
The world expecting us to fit the masculine ideal?! WHAT?! This contemporary dance piece explores gender and how it affects every part of our lives. Let's see how we can play and dance through gender norms!
"An expressive, physical journey using memory and personal truth to explore the expectations of trying to fit the masculine ideal. Mixing explosive athleticism with compassion and sensitivity, Less looks at how gender inhabits our movements, interactions, and relationships."
– Created by Ryan Lee
Feel like watching a badass all-female cast in a post-apocalyptic setting talking to you about the importance of water and community?! Me too.
"Ontario is out of water and a pair of bandits search for their last hope – a water diviner by the name of Penn. Stories say she can crack the world like a coconut and make water bubble to the surface with nothing but her hands. But the bandits aren’t the only ones hunting her down. And what if there’s nothing left for Penn to divine?
An all woman cast in Natalie Frijia’s post-apocalyptic wild west asks how we would survive in world without water. Would we turn to community… or to revenge?"
– Written by Natalie Frijia and Directed by Claire Burns
When a contemporary dance show blends some of the most iconic females or our times with the Romantic music of Dvorak - You got this show. Mélanie Demers and her company MayDay explore the feminine and all its form in her forward thinking work.
"The music of Dvořák mixes with the auras of the Virgin Mary and Beyoncé to invent a kind of Barbie doll under the influence – both divine and disposable. Part of Stabat Mater series of choreographic commissions, Icône Pop marks the meeting between choreographer and performer Mélanie Demers and composer and singer Mykalle Bielinski."
– Choreographed by Mélanie Demers | Composer and Singer Mykalle Bielinski
Summerworks Late Night DJs
How could you miss the party and especially this year alongside Andy B Bad, DJ New Chance and DJ L’Oqenz, you can find two of Yohomo's favourite: DJ John Caffery spinning on August 7th and DJ Regina Gently on August 8th.
Back-to-back awesomeness. Plus it's a patio. and it's summer. Summer-patio-dance-party!