The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic, a theatre production about the contemporary artist created by acclaimed director Robert Wilson, will have its North American premiere at Toronto’s Luminato festival this June.
It was one of dozens of arts events announced Tuesday as the annual Toronto festival of theatre, dance, music, visual art and literature revealed its full program.
Abramovic, a Yugoslavian-born artist with a talent for grabbing headlines with installations such as The Artist is Present at New York’s Museum of Modern Art in which she gazed into the eyes of hundreds of art patrons, will take to the 'stage during the production. She plays both herself and her own mother.
Wilson, renowned for his experimental theatre and opera pieces including Einstein on the Beach, debuted The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic in Manchester last year.
New installation by Abramovic
In addition to her participation in a staging of her own life story, Abramovic plans to create a new interactive installation at OCAD University with Dutch architect Siebe Tettero.
Institute–Prototype will invite in four new participants every half hour — each of them wearing headphones that give them instructions. The performance they give over a period of hours will be streamed online and collected for distribution via social media.
Also making its premiere at Luminato is a new work by Canadian puppeteer Ronnie Burkett called The Daisy Theatre.
Inspired by illegal underground puppet shows of Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia, the event will feature a series of short playlets involving improv, variety acts and music. Ten Canadian playwrights have been recruited to create the works, among them Burkett, Daniel MacIvor, Brad Fraser, Joan MacLeod, Anusree Roy and David Yee.
Among the events confirmed for Luminato:
- Joni: A Portrait in Song, a Massey Hall evening devoted to the music of Joni Mitchell.
- The Canadian premiere of New York-based Mark Morris Dance Group’s L’Allegro, Il Penseroso ed Il Moderato.
- Atom Egoyan directing an opera about a famous Chinese beauty, titled Feng Yi Ting.
- Free open-air concerts featuring artists such as Serena Ryder, Patrick Watson, Danny Michel and the Carolina Chocolate Drop.
- Free talks by artists.
Luminato is scheduled for June 14-23 in Toronto.