Luminato 2014’s “sexy” program unveiled in Toronto
On Tuesday, April 8, socialites and industry specialists alike gathered to witness Luminato Festival Artistic Director Jorn Weisbrodt’s unveiling of the full 2014 Festival program.
Luminato Festival performers, executives, and press spilled into a room at the MaRS Discovery District in Toronto. It began with a boisterous display of drumming and hip-shaking, as the ceremonies opened with an entertaining Samba dance line on stage. The eight annual event is set to take place between June 6-15, 2014.
Also present were many other executives and board members from the Luminato committee, such as: Janice Price, CEO, Noah Richler, Curator, Literature & Ideas, David Ben, Magiciana Producer, Tré Armstrong, Choreographer, as well as special guests Jason Collette, Host of the Basement Revue, Singer Amanda Martinez, and Hal Willner, Producer of “Sleeping in the Devil’s Bed: The Music of Daniel Lanois.”
The thematic motif for the eight annual Luminato Festival will be “Sex,” as announced by Weisbrodt, he didn’t stop there though, as he mentioned it would stand alongside with “its many siblings: love, birth, death, and passion.”
Obviously at this moment everyone was wondering what kind of family event this could possibly be, but he reassured the crowd that it would remain PG-13, but may still require adult supervision.
Although not everyone cares to admit it, or chooses to acknowledge the fact, sex has always been an passionate partner of the artist. Not to sound Freudian, but sex is often equated with pleasure and pain, and well, so is art. Also, many forms of art include honest portrayal of the human form at its rawest, something that bears no age restrictions.
Not all art exposes the truths of solely human sexual interactions. Isabella Rossellini’s live performance of Green Porno will explore something only Animal Planet has dared to before, mating mammals. As Weisbrodt said on the topic – “Even the kinkiest humans are tame by comparison.” If the fundemental factor of art is to shock and titillate, then Rossellini’s act could very well take the cake for stand out feature of the festival.
Another interesting part of the festival will be Darren O’Donnell’s All the Sex I Ever Had, in which elder women and men will share their experiences of sex and everything that goes along with it, good or bad, ranging from affairs to lost loves. The focal point of O’Donnell’s brilliant writing is to expunge the idea of sex only applying to the young. Everyone knows everything gets better with age.
There’s so much going on though, that it would be impossible to tell you everything, but luckily you can find a full schedule and the entire program now that the Luminato Festival website is now up and running. The site went up shortly after the program unveiling. The venues range from the iconic Massey Hall to the Eaton Centre, and include The Artscape Young Place, Roy Thompson Hall, Air Canada Centre, McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Winter Garden Theatre, Bluma Appel Theatre, the Art Gallery of Ontario. The TIFF Bell Box, various TTC Stations, and the list just goes on and on. I’m sure you get the idea, this year’s Luminato Festival is going to be the largest yet.
That’s why this press conference was so exciting, but finally the suspense was satiated on this beautifully sunny Spring Tuesday morning. Many fun and interesting new events and features were revealed during the conference.
For all you patio libations lovers out there, The Hub being turned into the largest licensed outdoor patio during the Luminato Festival with unique patio furniture and cardboard beach themed props. Not to mention it will play host to special guest artists including Ziggy Marley, the Roots, and Aline Morales. The party won’t stop, as off to the side there will be a feature “Lounge Stage” for in betweener performances.Although not every single performance or event is going to be directly following suit of the theme at hand, Weisbrodt encourages festival goers to let their hair down a little bit, not be so uptight. “Go with the flow, be a little naughty,” Weisbrodt said loosely.
Toronto is known for its reservations when it comes to open sexuality in the city, most recently seen in the debate over allowing gratuitous nudity to transpire during the annual Pride Parade. Well of course this festival wouldn’t be complete without its own rebuttal to this debated topic.
To celebrate WorldPride 2014, many prolific male performers, including Boy George, Josh Groban, and David Byrne, will sing classic love duets for Rufus Wainwright’s If I Loved You: Gentlemen Prefer Broadway – an Evening of Love Duets.
Story by Devin Size, Photos by Tee Onek