WeeFestival Conference       

New Works

Baby Berio

By Xin Wang

Performed by Xin Wang and Marie Josée Chartier

A WeeFestival Seed Project For children 3 – 18 months and their parents

Give me a few words for a woman
to sing a truth allowing us
to build a house without worrying before night comes Sequenza III Berio

In this dynamic new interpretation of Luciano Berio’s 1965 work, Xin Wang and Marie Josée Chartier  reframes and re-contextualizes the composer’s work ​as a body sound duet. Baby Berio draws the youngest and their caregivers into a dance of sound and movement while engaging them in an intimate and playful exchange. A stimulating and inarticulately profound experience for babies & toddlers 3 months – 18 months offered by two acclaimed artists.

The voice carries always an excess of connotations, whatever it is doing. From the grossest of noises to the most delicate of singing, the voice always means something, always refers beyond itself and creates a huge range of associations. In Sequenza III I tried to assimilate many aspects of everyday vocal life, including trivial ones, without losing intermediate levels or indeed normal singing.

In Sequenza III the emphasis is given to the sound symbolism of vocal and sometimes visual gestures, with their accompanying “shadows of meaning”, and the associations and conflicts suggested by them. For this reason Sequenza III can also be considered as a dramatic essay whose story, so to speak, is the relationship between the soloist and her own voice. 

– ​Luciano Berio​, Composer


Artist Statement:
As a performer who has performed this piece multiple times, I find the exploration of the relationship between the voice and the woman is one that is challenging within one performer to make clear for the audience and the performer herself. So, to gain further understanding of this piece and to identify the other for the sake of seeing clearly a relationship intended by the composer, I have decided to make a duet, introducing a tangible instead of an abstract partner to enable the discovery of the spirit of this piece, a relationship.

This piece of music is considered monumental for its detailed and inventive scoring and its brave and honest demand of the human voice, but it has never truly been developed as a story of an unraveling relationship. I believe our plan to realize it’s forgotten dramatic arch will bring to this work new depth for its contemporary music admirers. I also believe our realization of the Sequenza III will be ground breaking for children’s theatre as it entrusts our modern complexity to the utmost open minds.

– Xin Wang, Creator/Performer

About Xin Wang
Xin Wang was born in Yunnan, a Southwestern province of China. She arrived alone in Canada at the age of 18 to study singing. Her path took her from Winnipeg to Toronto where she settled and built her home of two steadfast parents, three beautifully loud children and a charismatic husband with many saxophones.
Xin is most interested in the mechanism of the singing body and most stimulated by the learning of intricate music. This has led her to the world of contemporary repertoire.Solving complex musical puzzles has always given Xin solace amidst life. It pushes her towards her threshold while builds her up from within, a similar experience as motherhood.

About Marie-Josée Chartier
A multi-faceted artist, Marie-Josée Chartier moves easily between the worlds of dance, music, opera and multi-media in the roles of choreographer, performer, director, vocalist or teacher. Her choreographic repertoire is greatly influenced by contemporary visual art, music and literature in terms of concept, composition and dynamic structure. From there, personal themes weave themselves to create works that try to decipher, expose or deconstruct the vulnerability of human beings. 

In 2003, Marie-Josée Chartier founded Chartier Danse in order to support her creative activities in partnerships on a large scale. She believes in bringing contemporary artists of diverse disciplines from the beginning of the creation to allow the development of layered, meticulous and integrated work and foster a level of communication that is central in accomplishing a strong artistic vision.

The development of Baby Berio is supported by Theatre Direct and the WeeFestival.

With gratitude to The Canada Opera Company for their support of the WeeFestival test presentations at the Four Seasons Centre.


Tweet! Tweet!
Femmes du Feu, Toronto, ON

May 11th – May 13th, 2018

Aerial Arts/Dance/CircusA WeeFestival Seed ProjectTwo little birds asleep in their nests high in a magical tree awake and discover each other and a wondrous world around them. Together they hop, flit, swoop and fly to the sounds of music and nature.  An aerial arts and circus creation for young children performed in an intimate forest-like setting. Tweet, Tweet is a feast for the eyes and ears.A Femme du Feu creation.Commissioned by WeeFestival 

Flying Hearts
Theatre Direct, Toronto, ON

May 18th – May 20th, 2018

Join four friends as they set off on an imagination adventure through the sights, sounds, and textures of earth, water, air, and light!  This multi-sensory and interactive dance/theatre creation performed to live music promises a rich and stimulating arts experience for young audiences.Flying Hearts combines dance, theatre and music in a sensory-rich and stimulating performance conceived as an inclusive and fully Relaxed Performance experience for all children but especially stimulating for children with Developmental Disabilities and/or Autism Spectrum Disorder.Flying Hearts is performed within a stage environment evoking a sailing ship of dreams that transforms a school gym into an intimate theatre. The dancers accompanied by a musician playing a range of percussive and melodic instruments journey through the world of light, water, air, and earth expressed through sophisticated, yet accessible choreography inspired by play. Between each chapter of the story, the audience are treated to a sensory experience that compliments the action on stage. For example, gentle wafting of fans for air, light misting of water, and gentle bubbles.The audience is seated close to the action with rich lighting that gently transforms the atmosphere, compliments the environment of the stage setting. In this way we can include the children in the action and world of the performance. Before and after the performance, the children can interact with a sensory installation that is inspired by the elements of the show and that supports their preparation for the show and transition from their previous environment or activity.Flying Hearts receives its international premiere at the WeeFestival of Theatre and Culture for Early years.Created by Michelle Silagy and Lynda Hill
Direction and Dramaturgy by Lynda Hill
Choreography by Michelle Silagy
Original Music Composed and Performed by Cathy Nosaty
Set Design by Jung Hye Kim
Costume Design by Jennifer Dallas
Lighting Design by Jennifer Lennon

Featuring dance artists Jessica Runge and Tylee Jones
with Emma Zabloski