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Sunday, October 4, 2015

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Klezmer musician launches collaborative show

Tags: Arts
David Buchbinder [Cylla von Tiedemann photo]

TORONTO — Award-winning musician, composer and producer David Buchbinder is gearing up for his latest performance, Tumbling Into Light.

The show will be a “music-centred, multidisciplinary spectacle,” combining music, dance and a multimedia display. It is one of the performance projects being put together by Diasporic Genius, the non-profit arts organization that Buchbinder founded about a year ago.

Diasporic Genius seeks to strengthen the cultural and creative output of Toronto’s diverse communities through performance, education and community-building. “I think that we have a huge potential because of, what I call, ‘the wisdom of the world’ here,” said Buchbinder about Toronto’s multicultural society.

As a part of Diasporic Genius, Tumbling Into Light will feature four apprentice artists, two musicians and two dancers, who will learn and perform alongside 14 professionals. “It’s exciting for them and it’s exciting for us,” said Buchbinder of working with the apprentice performers.

Buchbinder, who played with the progressive klezmer and Yiddish music band The Flying Bulgars, said the music for Tumbling Into Light was originally developed for the band’s last album and was then modified to create the show. The band, he added, had a “soft ending,” but former band mate and co-writer Dave Wall, a singer, will be performing with Buchbinder in Tumbling Into Light.

The show, first developed about two years ago and since refined, is rooted in the story of the mythic journey from light to darkness and back to light. “We’ve taken scenes from the Jewish story and made them universal,” said Buchbinder.

The dance, choreographed by Andrea Nann, and multimedia elements, he explained, contribute to the music and its storytelling, rather than just accompanying it. “It’s about bringing things together in a new way,” he said. 

Buchbinder added that what he calls “the new hybridity” creates a strong and integrated show for the audience, allowing them to experience the story of the journey in a unique way. “We’re being taken there by the songs and the movement and the visuals, “he said. Buchbinder is excited for audience members who saw Tumbling Into Light in its development stage two years ago to witness its growth into, what he said will be,  “a really powerful” show.  “I’m looking forward to how far we’ve come with the concept,” he said.

Tumbling Into Light is the second performance project to be put on by Diasporic Genius, following Andalusia to Toronto, a show featuring Spanish, Arabic and Afro-Cuban-influenced music that was performed at the Royal Conservatory of Music in late September.

Buchbinder is looking forward to continuing to develop Diasporic Genius in all its aspects, including performance. “We believe we’re at the beginning of something that can have a positive impact on the city.”

Tumbling Into Light will be playing from Dec.1 to 4 at the Enwave Theatre at Harbourfront Centre. For tickets and information visit http://diasporicgenius.com


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