Canadian Stage continues its 2015-2016 season this February with a series of boundary-stretching dance-theatre performances at the Bluma Appel Theatre including a pair of returning audience favourites and a newly commissioned North American premiere.

“We are thrilled to be starting the New Year with a triptych of shows that is truly exemplary of Canadian Stage’s broad and genre-defying vision for contemporary performance, and what audiences have come to expect from us,” said Artistic and General Director Matthew Jocelyn.

“We are revisiting the magical, multimedia world of Kiss & Cry – all while experiencing Michèle Anne De Mey and Jaco Van Dormael’s phenomenal new creation Cold Blood, a Canadian Stage co-production – and bringing back the deeply affecting dance-theatre tour-de-force Betroffenheit, a rare theatrical gift for audiences who missed the much talked-about Panamania performances.”

After stunning audiences last season and bringing home a Dora Award for Best Touring Production in the 14.15 season, Kiss & Cry for a four-performance run from February 4-7, followed by the North American premiere of Cold Blood from February 10 – 14. Presented as part of an international tour, this pair of interdisciplinary works by Belgian creative duo Michele Anne De Mey and Jaco Von Dormael combines live cinematography, contemporary dance and poetic storytelling into a wholly original viewing experience.

In Kiss & Cry, an elderly Gisele reflects on her life and past romances, starting with her first love: a boy whose hand she touched for a few seconds on a crowded train when she was 13 years old. Each character is portrayed exclusively through “nanodanse” choreography: hands and fingers dancing with extreme precision and sensuality on miniature landscapes, and then projected live on a panoramic screen.

For the first time, Canadian Stage will join forces with the Théâtre français de Toronto to present a performance of Kiss & Cry in its original French language and supertitled in English on Friday, February 5th at 7 pm.

Neither a sequel nor an epilogue, Cold Blood pushes the boundaries of the cinematographic conventions featured in Kiss & Cry to explore the uncertain, universal and inevitable last moments we experience before we die.

“In contrast to the magical world tinged with childhood portrayed in Kiss & Cry, Cold Blood was conceived to depict a more cynical, darker universe posing questions around the functions and dysfunctions of our society,” explained Michèle Anne De Mey and Jaco Van Dormael. “We drew inspiration from the imperfect, imaginary or premonitory worlds found in films such as Méliès’ “The Impossible Voyage”, Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis” and Truffaut’s “Fahrenheit 451.” ”

Co-commissioned by Canadian Stage and presented at the Bluma Appel Theatre as part of its international tour, Cold Blood reunites De Mey, an internationally-acclaimed choreographer, and Dormael, an award-winning filmmaker (Mr. Nobody, Toto the Hero), with their skilled ensemble of creators, including Thomas Gunzig (text) and Julien Lambert (cinematography).

Returning to the Bluma stage February 18 – 21 after an acclaimed run during Panamania (July 2015) is Betroffenheit, the tour-de-force collaboration between internationally-renowned choreographer Crystal Pite (Kidd Pivott), and performer Jonathon Young (Electric Company Theatre). This hybrid dance-theatre creation explores, with unflinching honesty – through comedy, drama, poetry and movement – what happens to the individual in the wake of a trauma.

Examining themes of loss, grief, guilt, and addiction, Betroffenheit – co-created by Pite and Young and directed by Pite – brings together a stellar group of performers for a fascinating hybrid performance rich in spectacle.

Tickets for all February performances from $24 to $99 are available online, by phone at 416.368.3110 or in person at the Berkeley Street Theatre box office. For details

Kiss & Cry

February 4-7, 2016

Alone on a train station platform, an elderly woman reflects on her life, starting with her first love, a boy whose hand she touched for a few seconds on a crowded train when she was 13 years old. Two hands, one male, one female, portray the characters of this narrative with an engaging and sensual presence as they dance around a set of miniature landscapes with absolute precision. Simultaneously, this intricate performance is caught on camera by a film crew with sound effects courtesy of onstage foley artists, resulting in a unique live experience re-created every night. Projected on a panoramic screen, this extraordinary blend of film, dance, text and theatre is unlike anything you’ve seen before and is sure to leave you breathless.

By : Michèle Anne De Mey, Jaco Van Dormael & collectif
In creative collection with: Gregory Grosjean, Thomas Gunzig, Julien Lambert, Sylvie Olivé, Nicolas Olivier
Director : Jaco Van Dormael
Choreography, Nanodanses : Michèle Anne De Mey & Gregory Grosjean
Dancers : Michèle Anne De Mey & Gregory Grosjean
Texts: Thomas Gunzig


February 18-21, 2016

A state of shock and bewilderment encompasses you in the wake of a disaster. It is a timeless, liminal space where you return again and again even while struggling to gain and maintain distance, repeatedly responding to the disaster long after it has subsided. Here, a crisis-management team is keeping your emergency situation alive and present, a trusted voice is urging you to come to terms with the past, and a steady supply of “The Show” is available for all the distraction, escape and pleasure you might crave. In one sense, you are the survivor and this is your refuge. In another, you’re the disaster waiting to happen. Betroffenheit brings the choreographer of Dark Matters (2012) and The Tempest Replica (2014) with co-creator and lead actor of Tear the Curtain! (2012) in a groundbreaking hybrid of theatre and dance.

Co-created by: Crystal Pite and Jonathon Young
Script: Jonathon Young
Choreography and Direction: Crystal Pite
Performers: Bryan Arias, David Raymond, Cindy Salgado, Jermaine Spivey, Tiffany Tregarthen, and Jonathon Young
Composition and Sound Design: Owen Belton, Alessandro Juliani and Meg Roe
Set Design: Jay Gower Taylor Costume Design: Nancy Bryant Lighting Design: Tom Visser

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