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Weekend Planner: August 9-10, 2014

In this Weekend Planner: a dance beat down, naked girls reading, and learning how to repair your stuff.

Fo’ Real is one of the 10 hip-hop dance groups vying for the top spot this weekend during The Beat Down. Image courtesy of The Beat Down.

  • Offbeat: Isn’t about time you stopped calling your dad to come over and fix things around the house? Repair Cafe is here to help! Operating on the “teach a man to fish” concept, knowledgeable volunteers will be on hand to mend your broken electronics, jewellery, clothes, books, and furniture, all while teaching you the basic skills to do it for yourself next time. Toronto Reference Library (789 Yonge Street), Saturday at 10 a.m., FREE. Details
  • Dance: No, we’re not setting you up for the pummelling of a lifetime—though we can’t promise your mind won’t get blown. The Beat Down, a group hip-hop dance competition, is back for a sixth year of showcasing the world’s best performers. Airtight, Boss, C2 Genesys, Faction Crew, Fo’ Real, Tense Image, The Clique, The Interns, Twisted Ankles Dance Crew, and YYZ Company are the final 10 groups and will compete for prizes and prestige this weekend. The Queen Elizabeth Theatre (190 Princes’ Boulevard), Saturday at 6 p.m., $25-$40. Details
  • Performing Arts: Nerds rejoice! Sexy ladies and sci-fi are finally crossing paths, and not in that weird fan fiction way. Naked Girls Reading is back, and this time, they’re delving into deep space and new worlds. St. Stella, Bianca Boom Boom, Taliya Cohen, Red Herring, Lisbon Maginot, and Svetlana Konswallow will get your heart pumping at warp speed as they each read sciencey passages of their choice, while totally in the nude. This is the stuff dreams are made of! ROUND Venue (152a Augusta Avenue), Sunday at 8 p.m., $20. Details
  • Film: If you’ve always wanted to see martial arts infused with musical theatre, A) we appreciate your, uh, inquisitive nature, and B) you’re in luck this weekend! Video Vengeance is back with its ninth VHS screening, and this time it’s 1985′s The Last Dragon, created by Berry Gordy—the founder of Motown Records. Find out what happens when a young martial arts student heads to New York City and gets mixed up with a singer, a crazed music promoter, and an evil entity called Sho’nuff. Yup, you’re in for a treat with this one. Show up early to get a seat, and maybe even win some nifty raffle prizes! KITCH (229 Geary Avenue), Sunday at 8 p.m., FREE. Details

Ongoing…

  • Art: If The Forbidden City: Inside the Court of China’s Emperors has a mascot, it’s Emperor Yongzheng. The image of the 18th-century Chinese ruler dominates the promotional material of the exhibition, which is one of the centrepieces of the Royal Ontario Museum’s centennial year. His portrait certainly has visual appeal, but Yongzheng is also a figure associated with surprising elements of life within the former imperial palace. Royal Ontario Museum (100 Queens Park), all day, $27 adults. Details
  • Film: You’d be hard-pressed to think of a filmmaker more frequently linked to his national cinema in the popular imagination than Satyajit Ray, whose work in the 1950s brought an independent streak to the production of Indian cinema as famously as Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless countered the establishment of French costume dramas around the same time. Yet prior to the 1990s, you might have found it equally difficult to name a major international figurehead who was as underrepresented at repertory screenings, so dire was the state of the films’ prints.

    Twenty years after the Academy Film Archive restored the Bengali director’s deteriorating and otherwise endangered negatives and made proper retrospectives possible, TIFF Cinematheque offers “The Sun and the Moon: The Films of Satyajit Ray,” a far-ranging program that gives Toronto audiences the opportunity to see the fruit of that labour as well as the work of arguably India’s most influential filmmaker. TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King Street West), all day, . Details

  • Art: Before and After the Horizon: Anishinaabe Artists of the Great Lakes is a collaborative effort of the AGO and the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, in New York City, where the exhibition recently wrapped up after a one-year run. The displays are organized by themes relating to Anishinaabe concepts of place and spirituality, and how they interact with the outside world. One of the most intriguing themes is “cottager colonialism,” which suggests that the colonization of indigenous land continues by way of vacationing tourists. Political statements are scattered throughout the exhibition, from Nadia Myre’s bead-covered pages of the Indian Act to the use of historical indigenous status documents in Robert Houle’s “Premises” series. Floral beaded bags and leggings, meanwhile, provide inspiration for the contemporary paintings of Christi Belcourt, an Ontario Arts Council Aboriginal Arts Award recipient. Art Gallery of Ontario (317 Dundas Street West), all day, $19.50 (included with general adult admission). Details
  • Art Festivals: The annual small press art fair Zine Dream this year includes—besides just the August 10 all-day fair at the Tranzac—weekend window installations, a panel discussion at the Xpace Centre, and a festival closing-night party at the Garrison featuring DJs U.S. Girls and Ding Dong. For the full schedule of Zine Dream programming, visit its website. Details
  • Festivals Film: The Parkdale Beauty Pageant Society presents the 16th annual Parkdale Film and Video Showcase, featuring screenings and installations along Queen Street West. Over two dozen filmmakers are scheduled to show work at the nightly screenings at the Rhino and at Albert Crosland Parkette. In addition, there are all-day installations throughout the neighborhood. All events are PWYC; for the full schdule, visit the PBPS website. , all day, PWYC. Details
  • Film: Every part of our city will be drenched in WorldPride this summer, including the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Bent Lens: Pride on Screen comprises nearly two months of screenings, exhibits, and speaking engagements that reflect the broadness of our LGBT community. Check out films under the stars in David Pecaut Square, take in a conversation with Laverne Cox of Orange is the New Black, and much more. TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King Street West), all day and all day, . Details
  • Performing Arts: If you were to tell a sandwich artist to give you “the works,” you’d end up with a delicious concoction overflowing with a wide range of tastes and textures. The SummerWorks Performance Festival can be described in the same manner. Over the course of 10 days, multiple venues across the city will be flooded with plays, musical performances, and other artistic productions. As a primarily juried showcase, SummerWorks brings the best and most creatively courageous pieces to the stages. Multiple venues, all day and all day, $10-$20 per ticket. Details
  • Photography: Our fascination with fame and celebrity isn’t new—and this is illustrated in Izzy Gallery’s newest exhibit, Terry O’Neil: The Man Who Shot the Sixties. A photographer from the U.K., O’Neill snapped iconic shots of everyone from The Beatles and Rolling Stones to Brigitte Bardot and Faye Dunaway. The opening party features an appearance by O’Neill himself, and his “photographs from the frontline of fame” will remain on display until the end of August. Izzy Gallery (106 Yorkville Avenue), Saturday at 11 a.m., FREE. Details
  • Theatre: If the thought of battling crowds at the Aquarium has you feeling a little crabby, may we suggest an underwater voyage of a different kind? Bring the kids (or your adult friends, whatever) to the Lower Ossington Theatre’s production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr. The classic story of a whimsical mermaid, a land-living prince, and her desire to be part of his world has been specially adapted for younger audiences, and will only be onstage this August. Al Green Theatre (750 Spadina Avenue), Saturday at 11 a.m.,2:30 p.m.,7 p.m. and Sunday at 11 a.m.,2:30 p.m., $29.99- $59.99. Details
  • Offbeat: This is one of those fun activities where a little bit of education gets snuck in, without your really noticing. The St. Lawrence Market Scavenger Hunt pits teams against each other in a competition to find clues throughout one of Toronto’s oldest neighbourhoods. Since the theme is “Then and Now,” the 19 riddles and codes will focus on more than 200 years of local history and art. Berczy Park (35 Wellington Street East), Saturday at 12 p.m., $25. Details
  • Dance: Celebrating 20 years of midsummer outdoor evening dance experiences, Dusk Dances returns to Withrow Park for its 20th anniversary season, featuring six pieces performed nightly for seven nights (there are also special 2 p.m. matinees on Thursday, August 7, and Sunday, August 10.) More than a dozen dancers will perform original pieces set in the park’s sunny glades, shaded areas, and splash pools. If you love what you see, there will be another run in the fall at Fort York—but there’s no guarantee the weather will be as warm, of course. Withrow Park (Bain and Logan Avenues), Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.,7 p.m., PWYC. Details
  • Music: There’s bound to be a lot of barbecuing, beaching, and boozing around the city this summer, so we’d like to suggest something a little more refined to keep things balanced. The Music in the Garden series features weekly performances by a variety of unique musical groups, amid the luscious greenery of the Toronto Music Garden. The Akwesasne Women Singers start things off on July 3 with a showcase of English and Mohawk songs, followed by Music from the Garden of India (July 24), an all-female fiddling supergroup (July 31), the Nagata Shachu taiko drumming ensemble (August 21), the Veretski Pass Trio (September 4), and many more. Toronto Music Garden (479 Queens Quay West), Sunday at 4 p.m., FREE. Details
  • Music: It’s going to be hard adhering to the “day of rest” idea this summer, with Sunday Serenades taking over Mel Lastman Square every weekend. Your toes will tap, your fingers will snap, and before you know it you’ll be dancing up a storm to some of the most talented big bands in the GTA. Check out Sophisticated Swing (July 13), the Mississauga Swing Band (July 20), the Toronto All-Star Big Band (July 27), the Bob Cary Orchestra (August 3), the Metro Big Band (August 10), and the Swing-Shift Big Band (August 17). Mel Lastman Square (5100 Yonge Street), Sunday at 7 p.m., FREE. Details

Happening soon:

Urban Planner is Torontoist‘s guide to what’s on in Toronto, published every weekday morning, and in a weekend edition Friday afternoons. If you have an event you’d like considered, email us with all the details (including images, if you’ve got any), ideally at least a week in advance.

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