Francine Labelle/flINK
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RED BRICK_Press Release (PDF Download)

Chartier Danse and Arraymusic, in association with Harbourfront Centre


Red Brick

A dance and music event celebrating the work of Canadian composer Michael J. Baker

Fleck Dance Theatre/Harbourfront Centre as part of Next Steps series

Three performances Only: September 17, 18 and 19, 2010

For Immediate Release – Toronto, ON: August 23, 2010: To celebrate the artistic legacy of Michael J. Baker (1949-2000), Chartier Danse and Arraymusic, in association with Harbourfront Centre proudly present Red Brick. The unique programme of dance and music – which kicks off the dance season at Harbourfront with three performances at the Fleck Dance Theatre – highlights some of Baker’s most outstanding music works. Red Brick brings together a roster of luminary artists, all of whom were Baker’s friends and close collaborators, including Peggy Baker, Serge Bennathan, Marie-Josée Chartier, Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie, James Kudelka, Heidi Strauss and Jeremy Mimnagh. Toronto’s Arraymusic Ensemble (joined by soprano Carla Huhtanen), led by virtuoso percussionist Rick Sacks provide all the live music.

“This event is more than a tribute; it is a celebration of dance, music, love and friendship”, explains dancer/choreographer/producer Marie-Josée Chartier. “The programme reflects Michael’s talent and endearing personality, but also offers a fresh perspective with a blend of instrumental performances, revivals and new choreographies.”

Born in Edmonton, Alberta, in 1949, Michael J. Baker was one of Canada’s most active composers of music for dance, having collaborated with many of the nation’s major dancers and choreographers. He also enjoyed his activities as a musician performing in the works of other composers as well as with Toronto’s Glass Orchestra. Michael J. Baker was very active as a conductor, both in the contemporary music and film communities. He became Artistic Director of Arraymusic in 1993. His tenure there was marked by his dedication to promoting the diverse voices of both young and established composers, in Canada and abroad. Michael J. Baker died in Toronto of leukemia on September 16, 2000, but his musical legacy lives on.

Red Brick

Six dancers from the acclaimed Toronto based Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie perform C. V. (to the music of Columbus), choreographed by James Kudelka. Choreographer Peggy Baker of Peggy Baker Dance Projects created Encoded Revision, to be performed by dancer Brodie Stevenson with pianist John Kameel Farah. Percussionist Rick Sacks delivers The Waldo, a stunning work for solo marimba that Baker wrote especially for him. “It was a privilege having Michael as a friend and as a collaborator” comments Sacks, who was recently appointed artistic director of Toronto’s Arraymusic. “I am proud to continue his legacy by playing his music and by being his one of his successors at Arraymusic.”

Big Pictures, a multi-disciplinary full-evening work premiered in May 1992, is widely considered one of Baker’s major works – (hence the inspiration for this exceptional production). Marie-Josée Chartier has selected several excerpts from Big Pictures, starting with Red Brick. But this time, Chartier revives Red Brick with a brand new choreography. Other excerpts from Big Pictures include Train and Twins both performed by the excellent musicians from Arraymusic; One Day, in another brand new choreography by Serge Bennathan featuring Dancemakers alumni dancers Julia Aplin, Marie-Josée Chartier, Dan Wild and Carolyn Woods; and Girl in Mourning, a dance film by Heidi Strauss and Jeremy Mimnagh. Soprano Carla Huhtanen joins the musicians of Arraymusic for this special event.

Red Brick

The Fleck Dance Theatre, Harbourfront Centre, Toronto

207 Queens Quay West, Toronto

Friday & Saturday September 17, 18th, 2010 at 8 p.m.; Sunday, September 19th at 4 p.m.

Tickets are $35 regular; $25 senior/student/CADA

Call 416-973-4000 or visit:

For more details about the music and the artists visit:



Francine Labelle/flINK

416 654-4406