Sunday, June 14, 2009

Luminata Closing Weekend - Saturday

I set out late Saturday morning to do my Luminato Circuit. I had plotted a walking route from my house up to Yorkville Village by way of the Red Ball Project Installation on Queen St. West, then south on Yonge Street to the art installations at the Brookfield Place Galleria and then down to Harbourfront to see Cirque du Soleil. The route was really a big square which I guess was about 10 KM in distance in all. A nice stroll for a nice day such as we had. It was cloudy and threatening for just a few hours and then the sun came out and it was an extremely nice day.

My first stop was at the Red Ball Project. Really, it was the largest imaginable inflatable beach ball protruding from an alley into the street. Kind of amusing, particularly for the children who were trying to push it, quite unsuccessfully. I must say that one would be using the word art pretty loosely by my book for things such as this. However, I will go as far as saying that it is fun. My point is though that not everything which is fun should be considered art.

Then it was on to the Brazilian Guitar Marathon at Yorkville Village. Yorkville is just north of the very posh shopping district, comparable to New York's 5th Avenue or L.A.'s Rodeo Drive. The kind of folk who shop at these shops often head to Yorkville's bars and restaurants afterwards, so it is a good site for sightings of the rich and famous.

There was a great crowd gathered to listen to the music, but I managed to find a spot to sit and listen for an hour or so.

There was also a spray paint street artist who was doing a demo on the street - not on a wall but on a board set up on an easel.

Next, I came back south again on Yonge Street back down to the Financial District. There was some art installations I wanted to view at the Galleria at Brookfield place. One of them, Luminato Light Box was a building which was to house a different exhibit each day.

Today's installation was called Swan Song and it consisted of some grass and a few bull rushes in the corner and a recording of what I presume to be swans calling in song. I wasn't particularly impressed. This "art" wasn't even particularly fun - but I suppose some folks would appreciate the aesthetics of it, but that is just not me.

At the same location there was also another installation commissioned specifically for the space. It is called Long Wave and it was created by David Rokeby. I particulary liked this. It was very pleasing to the eye as you followed the lines of red balls as they arced around in a couple of very large circles along the long spacious galleria.

Lastly, I went down to our Harbourfront area. Harbourfront is just to the south of the Financial district. It is a unique mixed use residential area with a 10 acres of public space set aside for the Arts - entertainment and recreation of all sorts. It is about a 15 minute walk from my house and runs along the length of Lake Ontario at the centre point of Toronto.

Toronto Harbourfront on Wiki.
Toronto Harbourfront Web Site

The main attraction of the weekend is the Cirque Du Soleil Event. It was created specifically for Luminato for the Harbourfront site.

From the Luminata Website:
For our closing weekend, Canada’s international entertainment company Cirque du Soleil® presents a special free event created especially for Luminato. This event is an inquiry into the very essence of human civilization.

Beginning Friday night, two “communities” will form on the Toronto waterfront: one representing the natural world in which we have our instinctual roots and the urban community, the world we have constructed around ourselves. They’ll make their homes at opposite ends of the site, each in an environment antithetical to their respective world-view.

What will happen as the weekend unfolds and the two communities encounter and interact with each other? You’ll have to join in the festivities to find out – but expect to be amazed. Be sure to seize this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience Luminato and Cirque du Soleil as never before!

My first Encounter was with this Creature from the colony on the west side of Harbourfront. There were quite a few different creatures ambling about. This one was the best. I must add, I was somewhat disappointed by the costumes. For the most part they seemed just stuff thrown together - not what I have come to expect from Cirque du Soleil.
At the Au Naturel Pond there were water creatures doing a show. It was hard to see because of the crowds and the fact that the water did not create a good stage. I took these photos by holding my camera above my head.

Next, I wandered over to the Music Garden area of Harbourfront. I will have to do a blog on that area of Harbourfront another time. It is a wonderful spot. In any event, there were some very odd things and "folk" hanging out over there. It had been set up to run sort of audience participation "interactions" or "encounters" throughout the afternoon.

I watched one such event which started as a sort of mime act where one guy was trying to play music and another guy was making it silly by interacting with the first guy and the audience. At some point the guy with the funny hat started playing piano, then a dancer came out and did some pretty funky acrobatic moves on top of the piano.

I snapped a few pics of the set area where the "interactions" were taking place.
There were two areas meant as stages, and they ran shows there about every couple of hours.
The sets were very odd, set up with things you might find in a house in the open area of the music garden.

This area had been set up as a bedroom, I presume. I was not able to catch the act being presented there. Perhaps I will be able to get back there tomorrow and see it.
I arrived as the act being presented in the area set up as the "living room" was underway. I couldn't get close enough to see what it was all about, but was able to snap this photo by holding my camera high.

Later, I found a spot with a bit of an aerial view and was able to watch for a bit. The piece I saw was more or less a clown bit, but of course Cirque du Soleil does not have the usual looking clowns. This was no exception.

I am assuming everything there was a prop for an "encounter". Not sure what they would have done with the following toilet like construction. I guess I have to go back tomorrow and hang around longer to see.

1 comment:

  1. You certainly live in an interesting city! I enjoyed reading your blog and looking at the photographs.


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