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Niagara makes its world debut at PANAMANIA

Tuesday, 21 July 2015 11:08

It’s based on a poem that pays homage to one of Canada’s most beautiful wonders. Niagara – A Pan-American Story makes its world premiere this Thursday, July 23rd at Daniels Spectrum.

While the production highlights Canada’s relationship with another Pan-American country – Cuba – the show’s director, Order of Canada recipient and former Prima Ballerina with the National Ballet of Canada, Veronica Tennant, says the star of the show is Niagara Falls.

The play, starring Rene Millan and Paula Rivera, with voicework by Brent Carver, is based on Jose Maria Heredia’s work, Niagara.

Heredia wrote the poem after seeing Niagara Falls for the first time. He was exiled from Cuba in 1824, for, as Tennant says, speaking out against slavery and the brutality of Spanish colonialists. He made his way to New York, and from there, decided to visit Niagara Falls. He was so inspired by its beauty that he wrote the poem, which quickly elevated his status from exile to literary icon:

Nearly 200 years after its creation, Niagara is still being taught in Cuban schools. And, Tennant says, many athletes who are in Toronto for the Pan-Am Games will visit Niagara Falls as a result.

Niagara – A Pan-American Story runs July 23rd to 26th at Daniels Spectrum, 585 Dundas Street East near Parliament. You can get tickets here. To read the entire poem, click here.

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