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10 things to do at the Ontario Scene : May 7

10 things to do at the Ontario Scene : May 7

Published by Leonardo Calcagno

01. Stretch Orchestra, Jaron Freeman-Fox and The Opposite Of Everything
Info: With a repertoire that runs the gamut from jazz to rock to folk, often within the same tune, STRETCH ORCHESTRA is one of the most musically adventurous groups around. Truly a band to look up to, JESSE STEWART, KEVIN BREIT, and MATT BRUBECK have taken their eclectic sound to national and international audiences, playing with the likes of Tom Waits, Norah Jones, the Dixie Chicks, k.d. lang, and Hugh Laurie, among others. And yes, they are all very, very tall – average height: 6’5”.

Contorting the violin into new traditions, violinist/composer JARON FREEMAN-FOX dances down the very fine line between the beautiful and the outrageous. With his fiery band THE OPPOSITE OF EVERYTHING, Jaron fuses his fiddling roots with his study of Indian classical music and jazz, and redefines what the violin can do.

02. Tchaikovsky’s Fourth with the Gryphon Trio
Info: Maestra Xian Zhang leads this Ontario Scene celebration, featuring Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony, which he called “an echo of my most intimate spiritual life.” Jordan Pal composed his Triple Concerto for fellow Torontonians the Gryphon Trio (“three exceptional musicians who think, breathe and act as one. Theirs is a powerful and majestic sound…”~ Canada Council for the Arts), describing it as “reminiscent of flocking starlings, performing breathtaking, whirling displays [with] evocative and startling colours.”

03. Graceful Rebellions
Info: In this brilliant and engaging one-woman show, playwright and performer SHAISTA LATIF transitions seamlessly between distinctly complex characters in a deeply personal work. Moving across cultures and generations, Graceful Rebellions tells the stories of three Afghan women, each bartering for small joys and challenging the cultural norms that exist under Afghanistan’s patriarchal rule. Shaista lovingly portrays characters, by turns funny and heartbreaking, who struggle in a world where women commonly have no power, in a culture that has long been dominated by war.

Often identifying more with the hyphen than with the identities in “Afghan-Canadian,” Shaista is a captivating performer who has important things to say about cultural pressure and “the graceful rebellion that lives in the heart of every Afghan girl.”

04. Indigi-nate NOW : A Province of Nations on Film
Location: CLUB SAW
Info: imagineNATIVE, a film and media arts festival held every year in Toronto, is one of the most important Indigenous arts festivals in the world. Since 2000, imagineNATIVE has celebrated the artistic work of Indigenous peoples in film, video, audio, and new media, reflecting the vitality and diversity of their art and culture.

05.Post Eden
Info: Named one of Canada’s top 10 theatre productions in 2013 by The Globe and Mail, Post Eden is the breakthrough production of boundary-shattering playwright, director, and 2014 Governor General’s Award-winner JORDAN TANNAHILL.

06. New Country Rehab with Oh Susanna, Simone Schmidt and Old Man Luedecke
Info: NEW COUNTRY REHAB cuts through the clutter of musical imitation with a high-voltage, alt-country sound full of love, loss, longing, and joy. Building on the success of their January residency at Toronto’s legendary Dakota Tavern, NCR will be joined by a group of stellar singer-songwriters, each performing their own songs as well as a clutch of covers by their favourite artists.

With her unique mix of grit and subtlety, and finely honed storytelling skills, OH SUSANNA looks into the flawed human soul to interpret the music of the Rolling Stones. SIMONE SCHMIDT (aka Fiver) uses her arresting voice to revisit songs penned by the Byrds founder Gene Clark. And modelling himself on the ruffian qualities of pure folk and bluegrass, two-time JUNO Award winner Old Man Luedecke brings his storyteller’s hear to bear on the music of Rufus Wainwright III.

07. PUP with Big Dick and Bond Girls
Info: The thing that sets PUP apart in Ontario’s booming punk scene is their ability to fuse raw punk energy with catchy earworms, big hooks, and scream-along choruses. Their songs are loud and fast, equal parts unchecked energy and calculated arrangements, with hairpin turns, raging guitar riffs, and an overload of gang vocals. Live, the band brings it full-throttled, every single show.

They’ve gained a reputation for their sweaty, raucous, no-holds-barred live set. They play loud. Like really, really loud. And every time PUP gets on stage, you can be certain they’re going to play their guts out. Ottawa’s BIG DICK has cultivated a sound that borders on progressive punk and post-hardcore, while gravitating towards both the melodic and absurdly heavy. And, with a sound self-described as “angular fuzz garage rock,” the BOND GIRLS deliver the kind of music that’s perfect for not going to bed until the sun comes up.

08. North of the 45th
Location: GALLERY 101
Info: North of the 45th looks at the diversity of artistic practices and voices from Northern Ontario. From drawing to ceramics to video to performance, these works dismantle stereotypical notions of regional identity by offering complex and thoughtful expressions of the relationships that connect land, memory, and history.

09. Ontario in Âjagemô
Info: Ontario boasts a rich history of visual and media arts – due in large part to its size, diversity, and vibrant urban centres. But is Ontario art distinct? Do Ontario artists have a single, discernible viewpoint? A unique cultural psychology? Judge for yourself at this exhibition in the Canada Council’s Âjagemô exhibition hall*. Ontario in Âjagemô draws on a selection of five decades of works from the Canada Council Art Bank to reveal that the most interesting conversations emerge from viewpoints that are both unique and personal.

Since 1972, the CANADA COUNCIL ART BANK has been collecting works by the best Canadian artists of our times, amassing the world’s largest collection of contemporary Canadian art. Almost 4,000 of these works are by Ontario artists.

*Âjagemô is the Algonquin word for “crossroads.”

10. BioART: Collaborating with Life
Info: A lawn that mows itself, human cells co-cultured with apple cores, a feminist re-interpretation of military camouflage, and the ultimate locavore culinary experience: what do they have in common? They’re all artworks in BioART: Collaborating with Life.

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