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For four days in the grey month of December, Canboulay Dance Theatre will transform both Artword Theatre and Artword Gallery into an environment bursting with colour and spectacle, with dancers, singers and drummers. The event is In the Depths of My Palais, Canboulays seventh season, presented in collaboration with Artword Theatre, 75 Portland Street, December 13-16 at 8 pm.
The Palais is an African Caribbean tradition, a gathering space prepared by an individual where ceremonies such as the Saraca (name giving) and Thanksgiving feasts are held. For his Palais, Ronald Taylor, Canboulays Artistic Director and Choreographer, fuses an eclectic mix of his experiences in ballet and modern dance with the traditions and rituals of his native Trinidad.
World-renowned designer Christopher Pinheiro, known for his large-scale spectacles, featuring batik and tie-dyed fabric, will create a rich and colourful installation in the gallery to evoke the Palais tradition. The audiences will be invited to take part in exploring this environment in many different ways. Giant stiltwalkers, exotic food and other surprises are all part of the mix.
Ronald Taylors Palais includes the premières of two of his solo works, Beryl O Beryl and Songs My Mother Taught Me and the remounting and restaging of Andres Canvas, Piqué, and Bélé.
Beryl O Beryl, danced by Sharon Harvey, is a tribute to Beryl McBernie, the mother of Caribbean Dance, who played a major role in the reconstruction of Trinidad and Tobagos cultural identity. The music by André Tanker is performed by an a cappella singer.
Songs My Mother Taught Me, danced by Ronald Taylor, is a collaboration with Toronto filmmaker Kwan-Ho Tse, set to music of the Soweto String Quartet and an a cappella soloist. At dusk, a family gathers and stories are told with music and laughter, the clapping of hands and the stomping of feet.
Storyteller Roma Spencer, a specialist in Caribbean folklore, takes you on a journey into to the world of bacchanal, of gossip, myth, stories and rhymes.
"When I was a child in Trinidad," Ronald Taylor explains, "I would sit under a mango tree in my mothers backyard to observe the celebration and rituals that took place in her Palais. But I would fall asleep during the long nights rituals, and then would wake up to the sound of drums. In the Depths of My Palais evokes my memories as a child and ideas from my imagination."
Noted Mas designer Walter Elliott will design the costumes for In the Depths of My Palais.
In the Depths of My Palais performed by Canboulay Dance Theatre
Choreography by: Ronald Taylor
Produced by: Canboulay Dance Theatre and Artword Theatre
Dates & Times: Wednesday to Saturday, December 13-16, 2000 at 8 pm
Tickets: $20 regular; student/seniors $15; children $10; groups of 10 or more $12 each
Where: Artword Theatre, 75 Portland Street, Toronto (one block east of Bathurst, south of King)
Call: Box Office: 416-408-ARTD (416-408-2783)