SummerWorks Guide: Strong Female Voices


Strong Female Voices

AUGUST, AUGUSTA, by Jocelyn Mah

Accompanied by live jazz musicians, a trio of exceptional female dancers becomes the physical embodiment of music. Using elements of jazz,vernacular, and contemporary dance, the performers inhabit the improvisation, rhythm, and individuality that drives the music.

DIVINE, by Natalie Frijia

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?

DOLPHIN, by Alyssa Martin

In a contemporary dance-romp through a faux-spiritual aquatic neverland, the characters from Gossip Girl attempt to find themselves through dream ballet, crystal cocktails, mystery, and romantic scandal.Dolphin protect us. Dolphin guide us. We don’t need to be saved. We need to be found.

HOW TO RELAX, by Jenny Laiwint and Alison Daley

Combining dance, experimental performance art, and self-help, How to Relax asks what it means to undergo a personal transformation in the company of others. Using an obscure self-help book from the 80’s as an entry point into participation, seemingly simple instructions – or “psychotechniques” – become tools to generate a performance related to the authentic transformations that the author promises to deliver.

ICÔNE POP, by Mélanie Demers

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.

MOTHER SEA / MANMAN LA MER, by Djennie Laguerre

In the tradition of Haitian storytelling, Mother Sea / Manman la Mertakes us on a journey that joins magic, love, and redemption. It is the story of a woman who can see the future in her dreams but is cut off from her abilities by her mother’s fear. After healing from a mysterious sickness, her dreams disappear along with her sense of self. 25 years later, only her grandmother can restore her faith and her ancestral lineage.

O NOSSO FADO, by Kathy Martinez

An honest narrative exposes the complex feelings first generation Canadians experience toward their working class parents: frustration, pity, shame and love. Lucy, a twelve year old, studies as her mother, Maria, cleans the toilets of an office building. A labour dispute reveals the personal embarrassment, sacrifice and ultimately the power Maria and her colleagues share as they discover a melody of hope and change.

REALITY THEATRE, by Julia Lederer

Reality and fantasy blur for a woman playing a spoon in Beauty and the Beast. A man reconsiders a contract signed in blood. And the world wide web disappears into thin air. Reality Theatre is a fast moving collection of short, interwoven plays that explore our anxieties about change, the acceleration of technology, and maintaining human relationships in a world quickly becoming less human.

RUIN ROAD, by Jane Alison McKinney

Inside a dark, vibrating, isolated world, three individuals desperately search through a dense labyrinth. They are alone, but their instinct for survival reveals a recognizable human vulnerability in the darkness. You are the witnesses. Performed by Jane Alison McKinney, Naishi Wang, and Kathia Wittenborn; Ruin Road explores the tension between our natural and mediated environments and the pull of individuals to the whole.

SPAWN, by Cheyenne Scott

Theresa is haunted by the traditional Coast Salish story of the Salmon Spirit, and the death of her mother who drowned in the Pacific Ocean. Now that she’s pregnant, her disconnected family must prepare for a new generation.

TO DO, TO DON’T, by Jenn Goodwin

A solo, a duet. With a blanket, with hair. Through comfort, protection, hostility and weight, the work touches on being enough. Trying to get out of bed, take it in, keep it out, change, or make change. The possibility to hold sorrows of the world, and one’s own, while not forgetting the day to day. There is a lot to do. And a lot to don’t.

WHAT DO YOU SEE?, by Jasmyn Fyffe

A new, intimate, probing solo dance-theatre work that seeks to explore a plethora of ideas around the female black body.

See the rest of the guide here.

The SummerWorks Performance Festival is on in Toronto from August 3 – 13.Click here for tickets or more information

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