Having a drink with World Stage artistic director Tina Rasmussen

Follow along as Andrew takes an intriguing person out for a night on the town, visiting some of Toronto’s newest hot spots and offering tips on how you can create your own date night. 

Every year, Tina Rasmussen travels the globe in search of the theatrical crème de la crème.

In 2013, the artistic director of World Stage at Harbourfront Centre whisked her way through Japan, Denmark, Ireland, Scotland, Poland, South Korea, France — and right across Canada — in search for works to showcase at the theatre, dance and performance series.

Knowing Rasmussen would be full of stories and insight about world theatre made me want to take her out.

On date night, we headed to Bayview Village to enjoy a globetrotter’s feast at chef Claudio Aprile’s Origin North. His kitchen offers an around-the-world culinary tour with a modern molecular spin.

Highlights include an Italian mozzarella bar, spicy Spanish fries and Bangkok beef salad.

Dessert would be the northern harvest, where ice cream is made tableside using liquid nitrogen.

“Oh my God,” Rasmussen exclaims as a cloud from the newly formed ice cream billows across our table. The panache of Aprile’s nouveau cuisine has Rasmussen comparing her work to his.

“I imagine building a program that introduces new flavours or ideas,” she says. “Staging a dinner experience is the same as curating a season. Introducing combinations of things that are not meat, potatoes and gravy. I think everyone wants to be adventurous in some small way in their lives; we provide a feast of performances that will make you think and be hungry for more.”

Rasmussen’s dedication to inspiring local audiences with internationally acclaimed works is clearly evident. But  it’s her passion for offering Canadian artists a platform to showcase their work locally — in the hope they’ll go on to perform their creations abroad — that she seems to relish even more.

In the spring of 2012, World Stage presented Paris 1994/Gallery, a dance offering by The Dietrich Group in Toronto, which went on to dazzle audiences at the Da:ns Festival in Singapore that fall.

“My goal is to take a wee goldfish and watch it grow into a colourful koi. The Dietrich Group proved it is possible to create meaningful work at home while also inspiring audiences abroad.”

World Stage runs through May 17 at Harbourfront Centre. Tickets are available at their box office at 235 Queens Quay W. or online at harbourfrontcentre.com/worldstage.

Where to go before, after

  • Pre: Explore the theatrical through famous footwear at Bata Shoe Museum at Bloor and St. George.
  • Post: Enjoy drinks with a stunning view of Lake Ontario at Amsterdam Brewhouse, located near Harbourfront Centre.

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