Featuring CORPUS' Divine Interventions
Live at the Kisanii Hub
From May 25 to May 28, 2022
David Crombie Park | The Esplanade and Princess Street
There comes a time in every story when it feels like hope is lost. Everything is going wrong, all options have been exhausted, and the only thing left to do is pray for Divine Interventions.
Developed in confinement, this outdoor processional performance is a playful response to the challenges of 2020 and beyond. Five goddesses descend from the heavens and tour the streets of the Esplanade on a giant quint bicycle, having received word that the world is in dire need of their help. Through a suite of new songs by Dora-winning composer Anika Johnson, and with ornamented costumes designed by German artist Carolin Lindner, the goddesses offer blessings, prayers, guidance, and the occasional rebuke. Choreographer Bonnie Kim and Matt O’Connor create a movement language that evokes divine wisdom and timeless ritual, while CORPUS’ co-founder and artistic director David Danzon injects the performance with the company’s trademark humour.
Featuring a diverse cast of powerhouse female performers, Divine Interventions is a sincere offering for these chaotic times. Audiences may encounter the piece unexpectedly as the goddesses pass by on their giant bicycle or witness a transformative ritual when the women disembark to sing and bless an urban street corner or a public park. Regardless, it is the intention of the work to offer a sense of magic, beauty, and the reignited hope that perhaps we are indeed being cared for by something divine.
Divine Interventions is nominated for the Dora Awards 2022 by Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts in the categories of "Outstanding New Musical" (Anika Johnson), "Outstanding Original Choreography" (Matthes O'Connor and Bonnie Kim), and "Outstanding Musical Direction" (Anika Johnson).
Video and Edit by Dawar Naim
Photos by Jae Yang & Isorine Marc
Created by: David Danzon, Anika Johnson, Matthew O’Connor
Choreographers: Bonnie Kim, Matthew O’Connor
Composer and Musical Director: Anika Johnson
Costume Design: Carolin Lindner
Photo: Jae Yang
Performers: Barbara Fulton, TrudyLee Gayle, Barbara Johnston,
Tracy Michailidis, Michelle Yu, and special guest Raya Danzon
Organized by Jamii Team: Isorine Marc, Iris Unlu, Afnan Yakot,
Yusra Yacout, Nadifa Daud Mohamed, Maysam Abu Khreibeh
Host: Monica Garrido
Live Performer: Kazdoura Music
Live Performer: Jerusa Leào, May Akanuma
Live Performer: Tara Moneka, Sabine Ndalamba, Jessica Deutsch
Face Painter: Linda Epp
Event Photographer: Jae Yang
Event Videographer: Dawar Naim
Stage Manager: Julia Beaulieu
Kazdoura is a Toronto-based band that serves up Arabic fusion with a modern twist. Equal parts nostalgia and reinvention, their style is a cross-cultural blend of Eastern and Western music that blends old-world Arabic classics with jazz, funk, electro-pop, and disco. This project was founded in the summer of 2020, quickly finding success online, where their videos have collected more than 3 million views on Tik Tok. Singer Leen is a newcomer from Syria whose passion for classical Arabic music led her to collaborate with jazz musician Johnny who has a Lebanese background in order introduce this fusion music to a Canadian audience. In October 2021, Kazdoura released their debut single "Wain", song of their Ep, set to be released June 2022. Kazdoura has been performing extensively in Toronto and Montreal and festivals such as the Toronto Palestine Film Festival and the Taste of the Middle East.
May Akanuma started playing saxophone when she was 12 years old and played throughout high school. After, she studied jazz at Shobi music college in Tokyo and continued to teach ensemble lessons and musical direction in Japan after graduation. Since moving to Toronto in 2016, she has played more than 400 gigs and performed on more than 30 recordings. Her current jazz trio “Redmarsh” performs at private parties, festivals and various music venues in the GTA and she also continues to perform with world artists from many different cultures, from Brazilian to Nigerian. In 2021, she released the first single for her personal project “Maysaxophone”.
Tara Moneka is a singer from Iraq sings in different types of music and different languages , (Arabic,English, Indian, Latino, Moroccan , African, Turkish, and more). She has a female band consisted of professional multicultural players. She is also an advocate for women's rights. Tara is from Iraq Baghdad, she became well known singer in early age 12 years old after she participated in The Voice Kids and she did many festivals in Iraq . She studied music for 7 years , she has collaborated with different institutions , organizations and collectives including : Aga Khan Museum, the Koerner Hall , Fabcollab (Women in a song) , Umanotaculture , Moskittobar, Mixto, Moneka Arabic Jazz, Lula Launch, The Opera House of Toronto, SOFAR Music, Drom Taberna, The Oud and The Fuzz, Lemon Bucket, Kune). Tara's goal is to share different music types with people and to be multilingual that represents the diversity of the world.
Linda is a face painter for approximately 10 years. Her story with face painting began with her two children went out for Halloween one year when they were quite young. She went and bought some terrible (non FDA approved) paint at the dollar store and thought she could magically transform them. She later figured out that it didn’t quite work out that way, but she fell in love with the art of face painting. She has since honed her skills with workshops and many hours of practice. Linda has worked with many organizations such as the St. Lawrence BIA, Jamii, long term care facilities, local festivals and private birthday parties. She states that she loves what she does and there is nothing better than putting a huge smile on a child’s face!
Jerusa Leão is a Brazilian singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist based in Toronto, Canada. Over the course of a decade Jerusa has cultivated several impressive musical projects that span different continents. These musical projects showcase Brazilian music and culture. One such project is the half-Canadian, half-Brazilian band Maria and The Band (www.mariaband.com). Jerusa holds the position of the artistic director, singer, songwriter and percussionist of the band. Her world ethnic music style and collection of electronic music has been enjoyed in cultural events and festivals throughout Brazil, Canada, France and USA.
Co-founded in 1997 by Sylvie Bouchard and artistic director David Danzon, CORPUS is known for its precise and surrealist humour that combines movement with theatrical imagery. CORPUS’ unique and engaging performances are presented in both traditional and unusual locations for large and diverse audiences. www.corpus.ca