NEXT’s Winter 2023 Dance Season Preview

Finish up 2023 with a true cornucopia of dance offerings

Bears on roller skates, medieval enactments and jazzy bops finish up 2023 and spring forth into 2024 with a true cornucopia of dance offerings!

Assembly Hall

What: Medieval history, dance and theatre in one
Where: Bluma Appel Theatre, Toronto Centre for the Arts, 27 Front St. E.
When: Fri., Dec. 6 Sat., Dec. 9
Why you should go: Kidd Pivot’s new production promises to be a unique fusion of drama and theatre. Follow a group of bedraggled medieval re-enactors struggling to put on their much-vaunted but aged event, Quest Fest’ Much to their surprise, ancient forces from the past begin to emerge and the mock-medieval tournament begins to take on new meaning. Is the Board of Directors up to the task? This highly energetic performance will be one for the (dark) ages!

December Dances 2023

What: Breaking-edge modern dance
Where: Winchester Street Theatre (additional digital viewing option), 80 Winchester St.
When: Fri., Dec. 6 – Sat., Dec. 9
Why you should go: The Dance Art Institute showcases its best and brightest at its annual December Dances event. Students in their 3rd and 4th years present ensemble numbers that you can enjoy from either the historied Winchester Theatre or your very own sofa. The inclusive digital broadcast may be viewed at any time and as many times as you’d like between Sat., Dec. 9 at 8 pm and Sun., Dec. 10 at 11 pm. With the school’s past rooted strongly in the Graham technique, expect to see modern dance oscillating between contraction and release, and pushing innovation to new extremes.

Wonders of Winterland: Dance + Circus at the Garden

What: Aerial dances amongst the flowers
Where: Toronto Botanical Garden, 777 Lawrence Ave. E.
When: Fri., Dec. 8 – Sun., Dec. 10
Why you should go: The Toronto Botanical Garden has put together an enchanting evening of dance, circus and … botany! As the snow and sleet collect outside, sit amidst the greenery of midsummer and immerse yourself in a fascinating world featuring aerial silks, trapeze, acrobatics and other mind-boggling feats. This event is family-friendly and has both afternoon and evening shows to allow everyone to attend, no matter your bedtime.

The Nutcracker

What: A ballet mainstay to celebrate the holidays
Where: Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen St. W.
When: Fri., Dec. 8 – Sat., Dec. 30
Why you should go: A beloved holiday tradition, The Nutcracker tells the story of Marie and Misha, a young brother and sister, whose nutcracker soldier comes to life on Christmas Eve and transports them on a magical journey to the land of sweets. A perfect performance for a date, family time or a night on the town, the National Ballet of Canada’s performance is full of sumptuous costumes, a thundering orchestra and the dance company out in full force. Keep your eyes peeled for the roller-skating bear, some pesky rats and celebrity cameos on select nights!

Salute to Vienna New Year’s Concert

What: A celebration of romantic Vienna
Where: Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St.
When: Mon., Jan. 1
Why you should go: Inspired by Vienna’s famed Neujahrskonzert, this show celebrates the new year in a classy and exuberant fashion. Pull out your New Year’s sparkly best and hum along to classical music warhorses whilst traditional European dancers perform backed by a full symphonic orchestra! Sometimes the best way to take a step forward into new beginnings is by taking a step backwards (or perhaps a sashay?) into a nostalgic trip full of polkas, waltzes and quadrilles.

Bear

What: A solo piece filled with emotion
Where: The Citadel: Ross Centre for Dance, 304 Parliament St.
When: Wed., Jan. 17 – Sat., Jan. 20
Why you should go: Allison Cummings, a Toronto native whose modern dance works have been performed across the globe, brings her newest piece to the stage as both the choreographer and performer. Bear is Cummings’s exploration of the interactions between the inner turmoil of the individual and the outer chaos of the world at large. Running at just under an hour, this performance promises to bring forth strong emotions and allow you enough time to get a hot coffee on the way home to discuss.

The Look of Love

What: Jazzy retro throwback
Where: Meridian Hall, 1 Front St. E.
When: Fri., Jan. 19
Why you should go: Beat the winter blues with some jazzy tunes coming from the Mark Morris Dance Group’s tribute to Burt Bacharach, the jazzy, hit pop songwriter to the stars from the ’50s til the modern day. This piece, which features original Bacharach-inspired music at the behest of the famous writer himself, is a buoyant show that weaves a story told by a cast of dancers, one vocalist and a full jazz band. Whether you’ve heard of Bacharach before or you’re just looking for an uplifting evening, The Look of Love promises to deliver!

The National Ballet of Ukraine

What: Best of Ballet Ukraine
Where: CAA Ed Mirvish Theatre, 244 Victoria St.
When: Wed., Jan. 24 – Sat., 27
Why you should go: The National Ballet of Ukraine is making its Canadian tour this winter! Sit back and enjoy selections from some of its best ballets, interspersed with traditional Ukrainian dance and music. This tour is part of a fundraising campaign from the Olena Zelenska Foundation, which is spearheaded by Ukraine’s first lady herself and aims to restore Ukraine’s capital city to its pre-war splendour. Tickets support the artists, whilst any while sponsorships and donations directly fund non-profit organizations operating in Ukraine.

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