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June 20, 2005
Celebrate Toronto Street Festival presents 'Les Girafes, Urban Operetta'
The 7th annual Celebrate Toronto Street Festival presents the Toronto debut of
'Les Girafes, Urban Operetta' from Compagnie Off for two performances only -
Friday, July 8 and Saturday, July 9 beginning at 9 p.m. A spectacle to delight
the senses and stir the soul, 'Les Girafes, Urban Operetta' is FREE and not to
be missed.

Yonge Street will never be the same after a herd of nine eight-metre-high red
giraffes manipulated, articulated and disarticulated by 18 invisible operators
blind and on stilts slide along at a low trot, swinging their long flexible
necks and standing out nonchalantly against the facades of the world's longest
street. This 60-minute production begins at Yonge-Dundas Square, traveling down
Yonge Street to Shuter Street, inviting the crowds to follow them before
returning to the Square for the finale.

'Les Girafes, Urban Operetta' is an ambulatory spectacle set to original music
with elements of circus arts, theatre, dance and opera. Herds of red giraffes
leisurely stretch their legs while balancing their supple necks. Tall and
slender, the giraffes' silhouettes glide through the streets, casually poking
their noses in storefronts and building windows. The city becomes the stage for
a crimson ballet, led by these enormous, upwardly mobile necks. Their heads can
flirt with passers-by on upper floors as well as on the ground. The herd is
accompanied by ring master Raoul Emmanuel perched on a moving float and his
wife lyric soprano Anne Rodier who praises the giraffes from high up on an
immense circus stool. A mobile swing allows our two heroes to move around in
the air while a gang of 15 circus ring boys manages the whole procession.

'Les Girafes, Urban Operetta' features original music written by Benoit Louette
and Francois Joinville. The music samples primitive and electro-acoustic sounds
varied with traditional folk music, European waltzes, African, techno and
circus and even samples from Michael Nyman's 'Drowning by Numbers.'

Compagnie Off will work with Toronto's SwizzleStick Theatre Inc., who provide
free-form roving/busking and specially choreographed performance pieces, to
fully realize this event.

Compagnie Off was founded in Berlin in 1986 by artistic director, stage
designer and creator Philippe Freslon and is currently based in France.
Compagnie Off draws inspiration from the world of the circus and the opera and
has performed its creative street theatre all over the world often in
untraditional venues. Their last major production, 'Carmen -- A Street Opera'
appeared at the 2002 Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal where they will also
perform 'Les Girafes, Urban Operetta' following the Toronto debut.

'Les Girafes, Urban Operetta' is presented as part of the 7th annual Celebrate
Toronto Street Festival. For more information on the Celebrate Toronto Street
Festival, the entertainment line-up including a full schedule or information on
Summerlicious presented by American Express visit
or call Access Toronto at 416-338-0338.

Toronto Special Events develops and promotes dynamic, innovative and accessible
special events and festivals that celebrate the richness and diversity of our
great city, while enriching the quality of life for residents and attracting
world-wide tourist audiences.

Media contact:

Grant Ramsay
Toronto Special Events



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