Luminato Festival – Top 5
Luminato, the yearly and truly multi-disciplinary arts festival in Toronto is here – yes, it is here now, happening June 14 to 23. The 2013 edition is Artistic Director Jörn Weisbrodt’s first fully-curated Luminato (he hopped aboard as artistic director a tad too late, early in 2012, to change last year’s sails) and already this year’s festival is getting to its brave, new destination smoothly, stately, and grandly, with a helping gust of hype. Luminato 2013 is attracting a great deal of Toronto’s attention, in a way it hasn’t before, to make this year very luminescent. Because the festival is in-progress, this shall be a preview AND a review of what will be good and what was grand.
Yes, the artist is present. All around the city. She’s everywhere at the festival, giving viewers and attendees a comprehensive what-it-is-to-be-Abramović experience. There’s The Life and Death of Marina Abramović (June 14 to 17), an autobiographical extravaganza – a play, opera, and everything else, all about the famed performance artist, created with the help of director, Robert Wilson, and actor Willem Dafoe. “Life-changing,” said one viewer. There’s MAI (MarinaAbramovićInstitute) – Prototype (June 14 to 23), a DIY performance piece in which participants – while wearing lab-coats! – craft their own experience of being the artist, through the ‘Marina Abramović Method,’ experimenting, investigating, and working with exercises from Abramović’s past work. Expect a good deal of sitting/eye-to-eye staring, some close-proximity mouth-to-mouth screaming, “AAA!!!” but, no, no stars on fire. There’s The Past, The Present, and The Future of Performance Art: A Lecture (June 18), a review, and preview, of the artist’s art, with who else? Abramović herself.
Joni: A Portrait in Song – A Birthday Happening Live at Massey Hall (June 18, 19), will fête the home-grown gal’s birthday (70-years, but you’re never to ask a lady her age) for a sold-out set of shows. Unfortunately this truly multi-disciplinary talent, we hear, won’t sing herself but she’ll recite poetry, including a new poetic creation. However, Mitchell is bringing along friends such as Chaka Khan so there’s sure to be some musical interludes.
Almost every evening (June 14 to 21), a talk about a luminescent subject shall, hopefully, enlighten the luminaries. The City as a Stage (June 14), has Toronto’s chief planner, Jennifer Keesmaat, and Vancouver’s “Condo King,” Bob Rennie, discussing a city and its relationship to its citizens; Verdi vs. Wagner, A Love Story? (June 17), collects Rufus Wainwright and Alexander Neef for a clanging discourse of those two composers (on their 200th birthdays), while A Gala Reading (June 20) brings together authors Claire Messud, Sheila Heti, Lisa Moore, and Miranda Hill to, presumably, read an almost-bedtime story.
Future Tastes of Toronto: At the Kids Table (June 15, 16), the lyrics, “Anything you can do I can do better,” pop-up at the thought of school children cooking alongside Toronto chefs, such as The Harbord Room’s Chef Cory Vitiello, and President’s Choice’s head chef Tom Filippou at this venture. Cooking food such as burgers, fries, strawberry shortcakes, and a lot more, the kid-chefs will wow parents, and possibly, make food trucks a little jealous.
Toys, toys, toys:
Dolls By Viktor & Rolf (June 9 to June 30), displays the creepy-cool collection of blank-eyed dolls in clothing of the Dutch design duo Viktor & Rolf’s creation. These miniatures are clothed in one outfit from each of their past 31-collections, in small-but-top-notch form. It is good to remember that, no, the dolls shall not awaken, or walk along the runway, at any point, despite their model-similarities.
Pasquale Casullo is a young-and-old gentleman, writer, reader, flâneur, gin drinker, Shinan Govani’s The Scene Party-Proxy, and a Toronto Life ‘Camera’ Reporter. His ‘Social Gallops’ can be found at www.pasqualecasullo.com