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Radar: WinterCity, Penderecki Plus, Spirited Away, White Cabin, Fuck the Internet, DanceWork's the Sneak, Critical Mass

Photo: "Untitled" by Hsien, member of the blogTO Flickr Pool.

Events on Toronto's Radar for FRIDAY JANUARY 29, 2010... lovingly handpicked from blogTO's events calendar.

FESTIVAL | WinterCity
Torontonians may be stuck living in a city where temperatures plummet to levels considered uninhabitable by the rest of the planet, but at least we know how to throw a party. Over the next two weeks the WinterCity festival will provide a welcome distraction from the winter doldrums with performances in Nathan Phillips Square, concerts at venues around the city, and mouth-watering Winterlicious events at restaurants all over town. The festival opens tonight with Time Is..., a choreographed dance and Kung Fu show that will see performers suspended on wires throughout Nathan Phillips Square. Other highlights include a fire installation by the Burning Man fire artists, animation workshops at the National Film Board, and Midwinter's Night Dream, a masked carnival at the Park Hyatt.
Throughout Toronto, January 29 - February 11

MUSIC | Esprit Orchestra presents Penderecki Plus
One of the most important composers of our time comes to Koerner Hall tonight to conduct the Esprit Orchestra through two of his famous works. During the 1960s, Polish-born Krzystof Penderecki began composing avant-garde pieces that shattered the way classical musicians thought of harmony. He later abandoned abject experimentalism but continues to push the boundaries of his art form. It's a rare treat to have him here in the city let alone to watch him at work. Tickets are almost sold out, but a batch of rush seats will be released an hour before the performance. Ticket price includes a pre-show talk.
Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor St. W., $15 - $43, 7:15 pm

FILM | Spirited Away
As part of their ongoing Best of the Decade program, Cinametheque presents a special late night screening of Hayao Miyazaki's surreal Japanamation masterpiece Spirited Away. Part Alice in Wonderland, part Brothers Grimm fairy tale, the story follows the young Chihiro through a nightmare world as she tries to rescue her parents from demons who have turned them into swine. Few films are by turns as dark and beautiful as this one, with subtexts tackling class inequality, greed, and environmental and spiritual degradation. A real trip, as they say.
Jackman Hall, 317 Dundas St. W., $10.85 non-members, $6 Students, Best of the Decade Passports $97.65, $56.81 for members, 11 pm

THEATRE | White Cabin
Acclaimed St. Petersburg phsyical theatre company Akhe brings its award-winning White Cabin to the Theatre Centre tonight. The show has everything you would expect from an experimental ex-Soviet theatre company; themes about the death of a great nation, philosophical musings on the existence of god, and of course barrels of laughs! White Cabin has toured all over the world and has been lauded everywhere for its shocking visuals, affecting stillness, and macabre humour. The show runs Friday and Saturday, with a pre-show lecture before Saturday's performance.
The Theatre Centre, 1087 Queen St. W., $20, 8 pm Friday and Saturday

PARTY | Fuck the Internet
Come dance to the tunes of the pre-Internet era at Bloor West's favourite retro party. Fuck the Internet offers up all the hits that got clubs pumping in the days before downloading. DJs TeeCush and Art Vandelay (whose alias has got to be one of the best in the biz) have no problems getting things pumping in the tavern's cramped back room, a fact attested to by the sloppy party pics. Expect all the best in new wave, disco, soul and anything else to hit the airwaves between 1975 and 1995.
Clinton's Tavern, 693 Bloor St. W., $5, 10 pm

DANCE | DanceWorks presents the Sneak
Three of Toronto's most prominent independent choreographers team up with emerging artists to present an evening of sneak peeks at minimalist pieces that form the basis for larger works. Rebecca Carney is artistic director for pyrotechnic performance company Circus Orange, and will be staging the dance section from the company's fighter pilot-themed Jump Jet performance which was featured at least year's CNE. Lucy Rupert collaborates with songstress Sarah Slean on a new solo dance, while Caroline Niklas-Gordon presents a dark piece with the help of a live performance by multi-instrumentalist Ronda Rindone. New kid on the block Brian Solomon choreographs and performs in a new interpretation of Stravinksy's the Rite of Spring. Runs til Saturday.
Winchester Street Theatre, 80 Winchester St., $20, $15 student/senior, 8 pm

SPORTS | Critical Mass
With TTC fares on a seemingly endless spiral upwards and weather unseasonably warm of late, there are more cyclists out on the street than is normal for this time of year. But with the city in the grip of a cold snap you're going to want to bundle up if you plan to partake in Critical Mass, the Toronto cycling community's monthly show of force. Riding under the motto "We're not blocking traffic, we are traffic" dozens of riders usually show up to prove to the city's drivers that they don't have a monopoly over Toronto's roads, but given today's high of - 11 ÌŠC, they'll be lucky if they'll have the numbers to out-muscle a moped.
Bloor and Spadina, 6:30 pm

For full listings, head on over to our events calendar.
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For Toronto movie showtimes, view our Movie Listings section.


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