Performance by acclaimed New York artist Maria Hassabi in the Don Valley, July 7 and 8, 2017

TORONTO, ONTARIO (July 4, 2017) – On July 7 and 8, 2017 Toronto’s Don Valley becomes the stage for a new live installation work by award-winning New York artist and choreographer Maria Hassabi. The free performance, entitled STAGING, features Hassabi and six dancers moving as living sculptures along the Lower Don River. This new work is a sneak peek of Evergreen’s Don River Valley Park Art Program, launching in September with a series of site-specific art installations and performances by local, Canadian and international artists along the Don River.

WHO: Renowned New York-based artist and choreographer Maria Hassabi and six dancers. The award-winning artist is best known for her choreography that explores the ever evolving relationship between the body, the still image, and the sculptural object. Her performances and installations have been presented internationally in theatres, museums, galleries and public spaces.

WHAT: STAGING unfolds over several hours in various locations along the base of the Lower Don River, as visitors come and go or stumble upon an unexpected performance. The work, comprising individual solos, is composed of absurd poses held for extended duration and endlessly moving into the next pose. The choreography manifests as an intricate, three-dimensional live sculpture with some of the performers appearing at times as one body. As audience members and passers-by step come upon the performance, STAGING creates the potential for any action in the public space to be seen as choreography.

STAGING is co-produced by Evergreen/Don River Valley Park (Toronto, Canada), Aarhus 2017 (Aarhus, Denmark), Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, US), and documenta 14 (Kassel, Germany). In STAGING's “undressed” iteration for the Don River Valley Park, out-of-doors and away from its institutional and architectural setting, the work invites the context of public space to influence the sculptural form and become its new stage. 

WHEN: The two free performances take place rain or shine on Friday, July 7 between 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and on Saturday, July 8, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Attendees are free to come and go at any time during the performance.

WHERE: The performances take place at the Don Landing in the Don River Valley Park near Corktown Common. (Link to map for details.) 

ABOUT THE DON RIVER VALLEY ART PROGRAM: This year Evergreen in partnership with the City of Toronto prepares to unveil the Don River Valley Park Art Program, a series of site-specific temporary art installations and performances by local, Canadian and international artists along the Don River. The Don River Valley Park, a 200-hectare greenspace spanning Pottery Road to Corktown Common, aims to build connections to and from neighbourhoods, engage Torontonians and visitors in cultural activities and enhance the environment of one of the world’s largest ravine systems. For more information visit: