Polynation is Pollination: Theatre and Arts from the Margins

This entry is part of 31 in the series 20030406_Issue



Polynation is Pollination: Theatre and Arts from the Margins

Toronto is one of the most diverse cities in the world. Yet, this diversity in arts, theatre and dance is not adequately represented in the Canadian mainstream.

Manaveli Performing Arts Group (MPAG), Canada’s premier Tamil theatre group, is to hold a theatre and dance festival on April 6, 2003 at the York Woods Library theatre in collaboration with Montreal’s Teesri Duniya Theatre . Manaveli hopes this festival will facilitate artistic dialogue among marginalized communities. This festival is sponsored by Imagintech (Computer Training & IT Consulting) and Living Furniture (Fine Home Furniture).

The Manaveli Performing Arts Group aims to carry out artistic performances to stimulate interest in drama and theatre among the Tamil community and to share our culture, traditions and heritage with other communities via the performing arts. Since its inception in 1996, Manaveli has staged thirty six plays through their annual drama and theatre festivals called ARANGADAL, which have been hailed by the Tamil literary world as path breaking. Manaveli has also introduced well-known English and other language playwrights, such as Eugene Ionesco, Anton Checkov, Samuel Beckett, Jean Genet and Vaclav Havel, to the Tamil audience.

Founded in 1981, Teesri Duniya Theatre brings together artists from every culture, colour, language and heritage. The company produces mainstage productions, community based projects, a new play development series, and a quarterly magazine – alt.theatre: cultural diversity and the stage. Teesri Duniya is dedicated to a multicultural/multiracial vision of Canada, characterized by ethno-sensitivity, cultural progression, and multi/interculturalism.

Unlike Manaveli’s previous ten ARANGADAL festivals, POLYNATION will be aimed at various ethno-racial groups in Toronto. The idea of POLYNATION is to bring together various theatre and dance groups for a meaningful pollination of arts, ideas and representations.

POLYNATION will bring the following productions on stage:

The first performance is Lone Tree , a Manaveli Production, in which the classical Tamil dance Bharathanatyam takes a new meaning and mode. A solitary three hundred year old Cedar tree symbolizes the spirit of nature. The grand tree bears silent witness to a cruel humanity’s gregarious consumption of earthy resources. The dance is based on a poem by Cheran, a distinguished face in Tamil literary circles. ‘Lone Tree’ is directed and performed by Malini Pararajasingham, a well known classical dancer.

The second play is The Perpetual Cycle , a Manaveli Production, which takes a hard look at the evolution of the human race. The play has been scripted by renowned Tamil poet Premil and directed by R. Sivaratnam, who directed the Europe-based theatre group, Kaalam.

The third one is Pollination , a multiple role-playing workshop presentation. An ensemble group, who worked in a workshop with director, actor, playwright and theatre practitioner, Chuck Mike will present multiple role-playing pieces. Chuck Mike, who instructed in the Performing Arts at the University of Ife (in Nigeria), was also a practical disciple of famed writer Wole Soyinka for over two decades.

The fourth performance is Rites of Passage , episode two of Untold Stories, an ongoing cultural outreach project by Teesri Duniya Theatre which involves community members–particularly those from under represented and marginalized groups–working with professional and emerging artists to collect, dramatize and present short, theatrical episodes based on untold or little-known stories.


York Woods Library Theatre

1785 Finch Ave. West (Finch & Keele)


April 06, 2003 at 4:00 p.m.

Tickets cost $ 10:00

For further details, or for interview requests, please contact:

Vijai Karthigesu

Manaveli Performing Arts Group

Tel: 416.985.0252

E-mail: vijai@manaveli.org


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