Kingston Arts News

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Two events pay tribute to legendary Norman McLaren


Norman (A Tribute to Norman McLaren):  a groundbreaking multi-media tribute to the Andy Warhol of Canadian animation

One of Canada's pioneers of the film industry, this groundbreaking dance / theatre piece recounts the life and work of Norman McLaren. This critically acclaimed piece was the highlight of the Magnetic North Theatre Festival in May and 4D art will make a stop on its Canadian tour to present Norman (A Tribute to Norman McLaren) on Wednesday, October 27 at 7:30pm.

More than a mere retrospective, Norman gives audiences the opportunity to share 4D art's Peter Trosztmer's passion for the dance and movement that runs through the imaginary worlds of McLaren's films. Trosztmer goes to the offices of the National Film Board of Canada, where McLaren worked for most of his life, in order to get a better understanding of the motivation that drove this creative genius. He literally enters the films to dance, exchange, and interact with them. Trosztmer 's discoveries help us learn about the main themes of McLaren's life and work.

The incredible technology used in Norman is one created by 4D art. One of the signatures of their performances, their innovative use of virtual projection blends theatre, dance, film, music and spoken word together seamlessly.

Trotszmer screens interviews made with people who knew McLaren and his work; these holographs materialize out of thin air and appear onstage to guide Peter in his exploration, sharing their knowledge and feelings about the filmmaker. McLaren once said that if he hadn't been a filmmaker, he would have been a choreographer; this show uses movement (of light, of images, of the body) as a way to access his creative world. From Blinkity Blank (Palme d'Or in 1955) to Pas de deux (1968), from Begone Dull Care (1949) to Neighbours (Academy Award in 1952), this production will delight experts and neophytes alike.

 "…[W]hat creators Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon have achieved here is nothing short of a new level of (virtual) reality — using one art form (dance) to enhance and edify another (filmmaking.)" – Waterloo Record

In conjunction with this performance, the Grand Theatre is hosting Long Live McLaren, a co-presentation with Queen's University and Reelout Arts Project Inc. Blaine Allan, Associate Professor in the Film and Media department at Queen's University, will share the life and work of this cinematic genius with "An Introduction to Norman McLaren" on Wednesday, October 13, 7pm at the Baby Grand. Allan has taught and written extensively on Canadian film and television and will be discussing the cinematic genius of McLaren.

The evening continues with the Reelout Arts Project Inc. presentation of Long Live McLaren: Contemporary Canadian Queer Animation, a short film collection dedicated to the legacy of animation pioneer Norman McLaren. Featuring GLBTQ-identified artists, including emerging independents  andindustry-established filmmakers, Long Live McLaren further proves why Canada maintains a long history of innovation within the animation world. Using a wide range of techniques, the artists draw on the whimsy, humour, intelligence, and heart of McLaren's beloved works to produce fresh and exciting films for a contemporary world.  This event is free.


For tickets and information about subscriptions contact the Grand Theatre Box Office, Monday through Saturday, noon-6pm at (613) 530-2050 or . Visit the Grand Theatre online at .


For further information please contact Julie Fossitt, Marketing Administrator for the Grand Theatre, at (613) 546-4291 ext. 1143 or .

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