A forest of upside-down human bodies grows out of the concrete, set against Toronto’s high-rise horizon. In WOODS, performers’ bodies struggle to maintain their verticality, calling attention to the struggle faced by nature itself: How long can the body resist? How long can our forests survive?

Saturday May 27 (performances at 1:30pm and 3:30pm)

Sunday May 28 (performances at 1:30pm and 3:30pm)

Brazilian Artist Clarice Lima’s WOODS is an artistic call for environmental awareness in our urban anthropocene built from concrete, glass, and steel. Against the high-rise horizon of downtown Toronto, encounter an array of upside-down human bodies growing out of the concrete, reminiscent of ancient and forgotten forests. 

As the participants bodies’ struggle to maintain their headstands upon the concrete, it calls attention to the struggle that nature itself faces: For how long can the body resist? For how long can the earth’s forests persist against the barrage of human development? What happens when their time – as well as our own – runs out? Visiting Toronto and North America for the first time, this powerful performance prompts us to consider the struggle of nature amidst human development and deforestation, and the impacts on our cities and planet. 

Imagined and choreographed by Lima, alongside fellow female artists Catarina Saraiva, Nina Fajdiga, and Aline Bonamin from across the globe, WOODS takes on a new life in each city it is performed in, relying on the strength of local participants to carry on the message of the piece. As part of our Opening Weekend programming, we invite you to encounter this unforgettable performance to consider the rippling impact of development on our ecologies and the urgent need to collectively come together to preserve this land for future generations. 

What to expect:
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • All gender and accessible washrooms available from 10am – 8:30pm on performance days.
  • Seating accommodations available as needed
  • Performance to last 20-40 min each.
  • Performances take place outdoors and may be cancelled in the event of inclement weather.
Interview with the artist:



Jennifer Whyte, Gail Super, Winston Lau, Brianna (Bri) Clarke, Jordana Greenblatt, Erick Santos, Lindsay Hovermale (Free Flow Visual Artistry), Steven Seider, Eva Szabo, Mary Patsiatzis, Emily Hughes, Kirsten Edwards, Isabel Vidri, Jenn Binnington, CC Darling, Taranee Ponjani, Julija Krisciunas, Elspeth Cudmore, Madeleine Keesmaat-Walsh, Ranganathan Rajan, Vanita Butrsingkorn, Eric Liu, Natalia D’Abramo, Jessie Garon, Christy Sparrow, Sonia Jog, Jonathan Wilson, Caileigh Suline, Deborah Nolan, Marina Robinson, Jianna Neurfeld, Joey Reef, Sophia Hassenstein, Christy Heath, John Resendes, Kéïta Fournier-Pelletier, Allison Carry

project team

  • WOODS is choreographed and directed by Clarice Lima, with Catarina Saraiva as dramaturgist and Nina Fajdiga and Aline Bonamin as movement assistants and performers. 
  • Skirts are made by Onono / Ad Ferrera, Wilson Ranieri, Sirley Ferreira and Maria Elizabete Vasconcelos.


Presented by The Bentway

Woods is a Big Pulse Dance Alliance co-production, co-produced by New Baltic Dance (Lithuania), International Dance Festival TANEC PRAHA (The Czech Republic), Sismògraf Dance Festival (Catalonia – Spain) and Julidans (The Netherlands), co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union. Production and Management by Linha de Fuga Associação Cultural (Portugal) and FUTURA (Brazil).

Special Thanks 

  • Department of Canadian Heritage
  • Fort York National Historic Site