Luminato 2011

2011 Toronto Luminato Festival preview

The 2011 Luminato Festival is fast approaching and this year's 10-day event (June 10-19) is all about storytelling. Its Literature and Illuminations program will host some renowned Arabic authors visiting Canada for the first time as part of the festival's night of Arabic Poetry and Beirut39 at Luminato, a program in partnership with the UK's Hay Festival.

This year's Modern Day Shahrazads program highlights the contribution of women to storytelling, featuring Canadian launches by Leila Aboulela and Maxine Hong Kingston. Other notable female authors at Luminato 2011 include Joyce Carol Oates, Ann Patchett, Jeanette Winterson, and Geraldine Brooks.

New this year, Luminato's free music program will be held at one location for the entire 10 days. Called the "Festival Hub," nightly concerts, interactive programs, as well as the returning 1000 Tastes of Toronto will be at Metro Square at King and John Street. K.D. Lang will also perform at the Festival Hub on Friday June 17.

Another big draw with be Tim Supple's production of One Thousand and One Nights, a theatrical production based on Arabic classic stories adapted by Hanan al-Shaykh.

Here are some other Luminato 2011 events that may be worth checking out:


Tout Comme Elle (Just Like Her)
Debuted in Montreal in 2006, Tout Comme Elle is making its English-language premiere at Luminato, exploring the mother-daughter bond using movement, text, and song. The show will run June 14-18 at the Bluma Appel Theatre.

LU XUN blossoms
The Theatre Smith-Gilmour and the Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre have collaborated to bring together this theatrical adaptation of stories by Chinese short-story writer, essayist, and poet Lu Xun. Performed in both Mandarin and English, the show will run from June 15-18 at the Isabel Bader Theatre.


Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Performed by the National Ballet, choreographed by Britain's Christopher Wheeldon. June 10-12 at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.


Kronos Quartet
The Grammy Award-winning string quartet will be performing June 10, 11, and 15, along with international guest artists Alim Qasimov, Homayun Sakhi, and Wu Man.

The Joel Plaskett Emergency
For Joel Plaskett fans, he'll be performing with Emergency during a free concert starting at 8 p.m. on June 10 at the Festival Hub. Just one of a series of free concerts throughout the week.


Natural Magick
Magic is back for the second year at Luminato, and Natural Magick by magician and author David Ben will be making its world premiere. The show explores magic as theatrical art. June 10-12, 14-16.


Poised to sell out, this series is a new collaboration between the festival and the New Yorker Magazine. Some of the magazine's celebrated writers including Malcolm Gladwell, David Remnick and Deborah Treisman are making the trip. The Gladwell event titled Paradoxes of Innovation has already been moved to a larger venue to accomodate brisk ticket sales.

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