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News / February 17, 2016

Steve Martin, National Ballet to Celebrate Lawren Harris

Famed comedian Steve Martin will speak about the Group of Seven in Toronto, and the National Ballet will launch a new art-inspired commission.
A dancer in choreographer Robert Binet’s <em>Lake Maligne</em>. Binet will also choreograph a new work about the Group of Seven's Lawren Harris for the National Ballet and the Art Gallery of Ontario. Photo: Tony Nandi. A dancer in choreographer Robert Binet’s Lake Maligne. Binet will also choreograph a new work about the Group of Seven's Lawren Harris for the National Ballet and the Art Gallery of Ontario. Photo: Tony Nandi.

Steve Martin and the National Ballet of Canada are just two of the unexpected elements coming together to celebrate Group of Seven member Lawren Harris this summer in Toronto.

Just before the Art Gallery of Ontario opens the exhibition “The Idea of North: The Paintings of Lawren Harris”—co-curated by Martin—the famed comedian, musician, actor and art collector will speak at the gallery with Andrew Hunter, the AGO’s curator of Canadian art.

The lecture by Steve Martin will take place on June 22 at Roy Thomson Hall, with the exhibition “The Idea of North” opening on Canada Day, July 1.

The “Idea of North” exhibition is currently showing at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, which partnered on the show with the AGO.

Lawren Harris’s legacy will also be celebrated in “The Dreamers Ever Leave You,” a unique new dance piece co-commissioned by the National Ballet of Canada and the AGO.

According to a press release, the ballet will be inspired by the “dynamic forms and emotional themes of Harris’ paintings, evoking isolation, transcendence and mysticism.” It will be performed in the gallery accompanied by live music, with the audience being free to move through the space alongside the dancers.

Dates for the ballet run from August 31 to September 10.

The Harris-themed ballet will be choreographed by Robert Binet, who in 2013 choreographed an innovative work for the National Ballet based on an original score by pop musician Owen Pallett.

This article was corrected on February 18, 2016. The original copy erroneously indicated that Steve Martin’s talk will take place at the AGO. In fact, it will take place at Roy Thomson Hall.