Luminato 2014's Lineup Unveiled
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Luminato 2014’s Lineup Unveiled

This year, it's mostly about sex.


Warm weather may still feel like a distant mirage, but Luminato’s program announcement can mean only one thing: dreary showers be damned—festival season is nigh.

This morning, Luminato Festival performers, execs, and press spilled into a room at the MaRS building for the 2014 lineup’s official unveiling. It began with a boisterous display of drumming and hip-shaking.

Sex will be the theme this year, announced artistic director Jorn Weisbrodt, along with “its many siblings: love, birth, death, and passion.”

“Don’t worry—you can bring your children,” he adds.

Isabella Rossellini’s live performance of Green Porno will explore, well, animal sex. As Weisbrodt says, “Even the kinkiest humans are tame by comparison”—the actress’s performance might turn out to be the most awe-inspiring of the passion-fuelled 10-day fest.

Others approach the theme in subtler ways. To celebrate WorldPride 2014, various male performers—including Josh Groban, David Byrne, and Boy George—will sing classic love duets for Rufus Wainwright’s If I Loved You: Gentlemen Prefer Broadway—an Evening of Love Duets.

In Darren O’Donnell’s All the Sex I Ever Had, older women and men will share their experiences of infatuations, affairs, loss, and, yes, sex, challenging the idea that such things are the province only of the young.

The festival will also see the much-anticipated Toronto premiere of Pina Bausch’s Kontakthof, a piece that dramatizes the “attraction and repulsion of male and female interaction.”

There will also be a number of performances largely unrelated to the festival’s theme.

Tapioca-frosted tress will create winter in summer for Terence Koh’s tomorrow’s snow at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection. Choreographer Lemi Ponifasio’s Stones in Her Mouth will be performed by Maori women who, before this, were not professional dancers. And audiences will be treated to the world premiere of Kid Koala’s Nufonia Must Fall Live, a multimedia adaptation of DJ Kid Koala’s first graphic novel.

Some festival favourites will also be returning, like Jason Collett’s Basement Revue after party, for example, and the always much-anticipated Times Talks. The literary picnic will be happening again, and this year, select authors will lead patrons on walking tours of Toronto neighbourhoods that have inspired their work. The Music Mob, which got rained on last year, will be held again, but this time at the ACC.

The festival hub will be transformed into beachy cardboard paradise and host artists including Ziggy Marley, the Roots, and Aline Morales. Off to the side of it this year will be a “lounge stage,” which will keep the party going in between performances.

Jian Ghomeshi will interview festival performers live June 5, the day before artistic chaos and crowds take over Pecaut Square.

The festival, now in its eighth year, will run from June 6 to 15.