2012 Banff Summer Arts Festival showcases ten great weekends of culture in the mountains

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Banff, Alberta, June 11, 2012 -- Alberta-born choreographer Aszure Barton has taken her talent far and wide over the past few years, creating work for the New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, the National Ballet of Canada, and the Baryshnikov Arts Center, work the Santa Barbara Independent recently called “full of sinful pleasures, ludicrous and haunting.” Now she’s back in Alberta with her company, Aszure + Artists. She’s spent three months at The Banff Centre building her latest dance piece from the ground up. This summer, Aszure + Artists will perform Awáa: Project XII on June 30 in the Shaw Amphitheatre outdoor performance space as part of the 2012 Banff Summer Arts Festival, the Rockies’ biggest cultural celebration.   

From June 21 to August 25, audiences in Banff can plan their Rockies weekends around a packed schedule of indoor and outdoor cultural performances and exhibitions, from contemporary dance to indie rock to Aboriginal arts to mainstage opera, film, new media, literary readings, and art installation. Come to Banff for the weekend, stay the week, and see the best in original art on the stage and in the galleries, most of it created at The Banff Centre.  

The Festival kicks off the weekend of June 21, heading into Banff for a big outdoor concert featuring Canadian music stars Sam Roberts Band and Dan Mangan. Held outdoors on June 23 on the natural slope of Banff’s Parks Admin Grounds, it’s our annual Performance in the Park.    

The weekend of July 4, we’ll welcome acclaimed Canadian non-fiction writer Ian Brown for a month-long series of literary journalism readings, along with a concert by roots rock allstars Blue Rodeo in the Shaw Amphitheatre, and a one-night-only performance by the Contemporary Legend Theater of Taiwan, with a Peking Opera-style retelling of King Lear. Mid-July, Aboriginal singer-songwriters are in Banff from across Canada for a concert July 12 and 13 with Cree vocalist Wayne Lavallee and the all-girl band Pacific Curls, from New Zealand.  

Late July brings five days of classical and contemporary ballet (July 18 to 21), this year with work by choreographers including Aszure Barton, Christopher Wheeldon, and George Balanchine, and a July 21 meet and greet with former New York City Ballet principal dancer Merrill Ashley. Blues guitarist Matt Andersen wraps up the weekend with a powerful performance on our outdoor stage. The final week in July, catch the first of our two mainstage orchestra concerts July 28, and South African singer songwriter Johnny Clegg in the Shaw Amphitheatre July 29. Novelist, poet, and nonfiction writer Nicholson Baker is on the schedule for July 14.    

In the Walter Phillips Gallery, Brian Jungen and Duane Linklater open their new show Modest Livelihood on August 2, a video work that follows both artists as they hunt for moose. The show is presented in collaboration with the contemporary art fair dOCUMENTA (13), which will have an offsite presence in Banff this summer. And on August 9, classic country singer songwriter Emmylou Harris, winner of 12 Grammy Awards, is on our outdoor stage, and interventionist creative company Coleman Lemieux brings a new work in dance and film to the outdoor environment of Banff National Park on August 12. On August 15 through 19, we'll present a new staging of Mozart's Don Giovanni, a co-production with Vancouver Opera.     

Created out of the year-round artistic enterprise that is The Banff Centre, the Banff Summer Arts Festival is designed to appeal to all ages and all cultural interests, with large-scale mainstage shows, intimate club gigs, lots of literary and visual arts content, and plenty of opportunities to enjoy the gorgeous surroundings of the Canadian Rockies.

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About The Banff Centre: The Banff Centre’s mission is inspiring creativity. Thousands of artists, leaders and researchers from across Canada and around the world participate in programs here every year. Through its multi-disciplinary programming, The Banff Centre provides them with the support they need to create, to develop solutions, and to make the impossible possible.