July 23rd 2009

2010 Cultural Olympiad lineup announced

The Cultural Olympiad  celebrates the arts, sweeping music, dance, theatre, visual arts, media art, film, and literature all into one contemporary celebration. The festival highlights local, national and international artists, capturing the diversity of Canada.

Vancouver 2010 will showcase these events in three festivals. The sixty days of celebration begins on January 22, continuing through March 21, 2010.

The program eventually includes over 600 performances and exhibitions in fifty venues in Vancouver.

Major projects have been commissioned, among them Robert Lepage’s The Blue Dragon/Le Dragon Bleu, Compagnie Marie Chouinard’s world premiere, and an extended version of Joni Mitchell’s ballet The Fiddle and The Drum. These, along with the many others, undoubtedly display a wealth of talent – and not to be missed.

The first 20 projects of Cultural Olympiad 2010 are:

The Blue Dragon/Le Dragon Bleu – Robert Lepage
A commissioned stagecraft sequel to his series The Dragons’ Trilogy

Moon Water – Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan
Lauded worldwide for its innovation and grace, Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan’s Moon Water is a contemporary exploration of Tai Chi Tao Yin movement, an ancient Chi Kung exercise, set to Bach’s Six Suites for Solo Cello. It will be the troupe’s first performance in Vancouver since 1997.

Canada’s first theatre of ice and snow comes to Lost Lake in Whistler. NiX follows an arsonist through the fireworks at the end of the world. It features a flaming tuba, snowman death scene and an explosive love story. Commissioned by Arts Partners in Creative Development.

Nunavut – Kronos Quartet featuring Tanya Tagaq
Performed by Grammy Award-winning Kronos Quartet and featuring Inuit vocalist Tanya Tagaq, the centrepiece of Nunavut is Tundra Songs – a new work by Canadian composer Derek Charke that paints a mesmerizing Arctic soundscape.

Michael Lin: A Modest Veil
Taipei-based artist Michael Lin will create a massive mural covering the Vancouver Art Gallery’s northern facade using the patterns and exuberant colours found in traditional Taiwanese fabric designs and decorative art. It will mark the first presentation of his work in Canada.

Where the Blood Mixes – Playhouse Theatre Company
Emerging Canadian playwright Kevin Loring goes beneath the surface of the Aboriginal residential school system and celebrates its survivors. Co-commissioned by Arts Partners in Creative Development.

Joni Mitchell’s The Fiddle and The Drum – Alberta Ballet
This extended, full-length collaboration production of the dazzling ballet features four additional Joni Mitchell songs, illuminated by her latest artwork and the choreography of Alberta Ballet’s artistic director Jean Grand Maître. Commissioned by the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad. Tickets on sale May 15, 2009.

Laurie Anderson: Two Sided Plays
Renowned multimedia artist Laurie Anderson will premiere her newest work, a compelling series of 10, two-character plays in which Anderson plays both roles defined through the use of audio and visual effects and set design. Co-commissioned by the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad.

Nevermore – Catalyst Theatre
Inspired by Edgar Allan Poe, the great master of the macabre, this whimsical, chilling musical fairytale by Edmonton’s Catalyst Theatre reveals the psychology of a man whose haunting writings continue to resonate.

Compagnie Marie Chouinard: World Premiere
This newly-commissioned group piece by Canada’s reigning queen of contemporary dance is based on the notion of time recaptured. For the first time, Marie Chouinard will create an accompanying vocal score. Co-commissioned by the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad.

Nixon in China – Vancouver Opera
Vancouver Opera presents the Canadian premiere – and a new production – of John Adams’s modern masterpiece about U.S. President Richard Nixon’s historic 1972 visit to China. Canadian coloratura soprano Tracey Dahl, as Madame Mao, joins opera greats Robert Orth as Nixon and Alan Woodrow as Mao Tse-tung under the musical leadership of Maestro John DeMain who led the 1987 premiere of the opera.

Rain – Cirque Éloize
Montreal’s Cirque Éloize brings the wonder of childhood to vivid life in this amazing circus arts performance. The company expresses its innovative nature by combining circus arts with music, dance and theatre.

Mahler Symphony No. 8: Symphony of a Thousand – Vancouver Symphony Orchestra
Maestro Bramwell Tovey and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra will give a rare live performance of Mahler’s monumental masterpiece, featuring hundreds of musicians, eight vocal soloists and three choirs, including soprano Measha Brueggergosman, the Vancouver Bach Choir and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir.

Beyond Eden– Theatre Calgary
Written by Bruce Ruddell and starring John Mann, this spellbinding new rock musical was inspired by Wilson Duff and Bill Reid’s 1957 groundbreaking and controversial expedition to Haida Gwaii. Beyond Eden will have its world premiere during Cultural Olympiad 2010.

Elephant Wake – Globe Theatre
Globe Theatre’s production digs deep into the pain and anger of a man trying to come to terms with his own marginalized existence and the struggle to keep his culture, family and town relevant in Saskatchewan. Tickets on sale June 15, 2009.

Fear of Flight – Artistic Fraud of Newfoundland
This music and movement spectacle tracks 14 nervous passengers on a bumpy transcontinental flight. The production by Artistic Fraud of Newfoundland combines monologues, choral text and movement – all performed by an ensemble of singing travellers. Tickets on sale June 15, 2009.

Tear the Curtain! – Electric Company Theatre
Murder, mayhem and movies take centre stage in this stylish new thriller from Vancouver’s innovative Electric Company Theatre. Inspired by the true history of the Stanley Theatre, which opened as a movie house in 1930, this multimedia spectacle offers a new twist to the classic whodunit.

Kidd Pivot: Dark Matters
Created by Kidd Pivot artistic director Crystal Pite, this new work brings together six dancers for a moving exploration of human significance in the wake of catastrophe and planetary frailty. Co-commissioned by Arts Partners in Creative Development.

Juste pour Rire 2010
Three brilliant evenings of fun and laughter with la crème de la crème of Canada’s francophone comedians, the hottest emerging and internationally acclaimed artists on the scene today. Co-presented by Le Centre Culturel Francophone de Vancouver and the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad. Tickets on sale September 1, 2009.

Martha Wainwright and Jorane: Chanteuses modernes
Powerfully raw singer/songwriter Martha Wainwright and award-winning singer/cellist Jorane, known for her unique “cello rock,” weave their musical spell in an evening of emotionally frank and unforgettable songs. Tickets on sale June 12, 2009.

The full slate of Cultural Olympiad 2010 events, along with ticket information, will be available online at www.vancouver2010.com/culturalolympiad as soon as events are announced.

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As a musicologist, writer, personal fitness trainer and food-enthusiast, Laurie just can't decide what she likes best - so she does them all. She is also the editor of Ecoki.com, an eco-lifestyle community bringing you all things green.