Ferocious Beauty: Genome

Event Date: 
27 September 2007 - 29 September 2007

Co-sponsored by the Ontario Centres of Excellence, with the support of BIOTECanada and Merck Frosst  

The Canadian premiere of Ferocious Beauty: Genome at Harbourfront Centre's Premiere Dance Theatre, which OGI initiated and sponsored, catalysed a multi-faceted week of public events. This multi-media dance performance by the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange (LLDE) of Tacoma Park, Maryland, explores the history, science, and ethical implications of genomics and includes filmed interview clips with leading genomics researchers.  

Liz Lerman Dance Exchange
Image courtesy of the Liz Lerman
Dance Exchange

Previews and reviews of the performance in the Globe and Mail, National Post, and Medical Post were excellent, and the matinee and evening performances attracted  more than 700 people. Those who attended Thursday and Friday evenings were also able to discuss the performance immediately afterwards with Lerman and her company of dancers as well as with leading genomics scientists Dr. Robert Rottapel (Ontario Cancer Institute) and OGI-funded researcher Dr. Stephen Scherer (SickKids).

In partnership with a number of local organizations, OGI also reached out more broadly for a series of community events during the week, which included:

  • Making Science Human: Movement Workshops for Scientific Understanding. LLDE and OGI hosted two movement workshops for almost 50 people - one for outpatients and another for staff members - at the Baycrest seniors' facility in north Toronto. The staff workshop was highly interdisciplinary, including clinicians, researchers, physiotherapists and occupational therapists, nurses, ethicists, and administrators. Read a summary in Baycrest Matters (p. 6) by clicking here.
  • A Meeting of Minds: Art, Science and Popular Culture. More than 130 people attended this public forum, which OGI and MaRS co-hosted. The event, which took place at MaRS as part of National Biotechnology Week, brought together artists who work in television and on the stage as dramatists, choreographers, and dancers to speak about communicating science through art. Click here for more details or here to read one attendee's blog on
  • Harbourfront Centre's School Visits: Behind the Curtain. OGI took part for the first time in this innovative program, which brought almost 100 Ontario high school students to join scientists and artists in workshops exploring genomics through art before seeing a special interactive matinee performance of Ferocious Beauty: Genome.
  • Toronto Arts Council and Red Pepper Spectacle Arts. OGI sponsored an invited lecture by Liz Lerman for the Toronto arts community.