Top 3 picks for artsy things to do this weekend

Pina Bausch dance company electrifies NAC stage. Rediscovering an enigmatic Ottawa filmmaker and magical art made with the help of beeswax.

Pina Bausch troupe electrifies and an influential Ottawa filmmaker is rediscovered

Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch performs an exclusive Canadian engagement at the NAC. (Dee Conway/Lebrecht Music & Arts)

Exhilarating contemporary dance, dreamy canvases and Ottawa's mysterious filmmaking maverick are on the list for things to do this weekend.

Pina Bausch

It's a company that inspires excitement and rabid fans where ever it goes —Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch. It's one of the world's foremost contemporary dance troupes and it has landed in Ottawa for an exclusive Canadian visit to the National Arts Centre.

First off it's the nostalgic and dreamlike Café Müller followed by the centrepiece of the evening — an electrifying, muscular interpretation of Igor Stravinsky's tumultuous The Rite of Spring featuring 34 dancers engaged in a primordial ritual on a stage covered with red earth.

Pina Bausch dance company performs Rite of Spring at NAC. 0:35

"It connects to something deeply archaic and human, almost primal," said the company's artistic director Adolphe Binder. "It has a pulse that draws you in."

Binder says although Bausch died seven years ago, her vision of emotional, inventive and visually stunning dance performances executed with rigorous athleticism and technique continue to live on in the DNA of the company.

"You know Pina Bausch never gave any interpretations of her works," added Binder. "You need to experience them."

  • WHERE: Southam Hall, National Arts Centre, 1 Elgin St.
  • WHEN: Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.
  • COST: Tickets range from $53 to $99.50 each and can be purchased here.

​Lucid Dreaming 
Ottawa artist Christina Lovisa at her studio in the lower level of Orange Gallery. (Sandra Abma/CBC)

Ottawa artist Christina Lovisa's toolbox contains paintbrushes, glue, wax and a blow torch.  She is an encaustic painter which means she painstakingly layers melted beeswax to create her colourful mixed media works of collage and acrylic paint. 

"The most traditional form of encaustic painting is over 2,000 years old when the Greeks invented it to paint their boats," said Lovisa from her studio in the basement of Orange Gallery.

"They mixed beeswax and tree sap to stabilize it and then painted their boats in bright colours," she said. 
Christina Lovisa is a multimedia artist employing collage, acrylic paint and beeswax in her creations. (Sandra Abma/CBC News)

Lucid Dreaming, her new show at the Orange Gallery shows off her bigger canvases, the result of a time-consuming process combined with a sense of humour.

  • WHERE:  Orange Gallery, 290 City Centre Ave.
  • WHEN:  Until Oct. 15.
  • COST:  Free.

Man of Mystery
Ottawa filmmaker Frank Cole documented his solo trip across the Sahara Desert. (Winnipeg Film Group)

The Canadian Film Institute is celebrating the works of local filmmakers beginning this weekend with Ottawa's Mysterious Maverick: The Cinema of Frank Cole

Enigmatic and influential, Cole was an award-winning film and documentary maker who was murdered under murky circumstances in Mali in 2000.

The intrepid filmmaker took his camera along when he became the first North American to make a solo trip (with camel) across the Sahara. The result was A Life (1986), a groundbreaking film depicting the ordeals of the actual and metaphorical journey. 

Fourteen years later, on a return trip to the area, Cole met his demise but the footage he shot was recovered and reassembled into the film Life Without Death (2000).

Tom McSorley, co-author of Frank Cole: Life Without Death, will give a pre-screening talk about the filmmaker.

  • WHEN:  Saturday, Sept. 30, beginning at 6:30 p.m. with screenings of short documentaries by Cole, followed at 8:30 p.m., by Life Without Death.
  • WHERE:  Richcraft Hall Theatre, 9376 University Dr. at Carleton University.
  • COST:  Free.

About the Author

Sandra Abma


Sandra Abma is a veteran CBC arts journalist. If you have an event or idea you want to share, please do at