Tribute to Legendary Anime Director Highlights 2013 Waterloo Festival Opening Night Gala

Circus, dance, burlesque and other variety acts bring retiring animator's works to life

KITCHENER-WATERLOO, ON – The Waterloo Festival for Animated Cinema will be opening the 13th edition of the Festival with NERDGASM: MIYAZAKI MADNESS, a spectacular, imaginative tribute to legendary director Miyazaki Hayao on Thursday November 14, 2013.

Making its international debut, the tribute show to Miyazaki Hayao (Spirited Away, Ponyo, Howl's Moving Castle, The Secret World of Arrietty, My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Laputa, Porco Rosso, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind) is a wonder of aerial, fire, burlesque, dance, song and rope feats. Viewers and critics have hailed the performances as “a hell of a show”, “terrific” and “amazing… loved all the acts”. Eight acts, and a brilliant host with surprising set of talents of his own, round out this spectacle, each one dedicated to one of Miyazaki's well-loved films - each one paying tribute to the master in a very different way.

"Miyazaki Hayao is a giant in the field of animation, and his storytelling has delighted audiences and influenced animators and filmmakers around the world in unimaginable ways," says Joseph C. Chen, the curator of the Waterloo Festival. "We wanted to pay tribute to this retiring master with a live performance utterly outside of illustration and animation - to show how universally his messages have been received beyond his industry. MIYAZAKI MADNESS is an amazing show, and audiences are going to be thrilled."

Several performances are expected to highlight the evening. One of the most impressive is a triple cube performance by Miranda Tempest, Faeya Tal and JD Sparks. Using a large metal cube frame as their apparatus, these three circus aerialists perform one gravity defying stunt after another as the fearful blob henchmen from Howl's Moving Castle. Faeya Tal went one step further to bring the Miyazaki experience by utilizing her graphic design background to creative largescale panels resembling Howl's infamous castle that they attached to their cube, and systematically removed throughout their performance.

Coming at the world of Miyazaki from quirky, tongue-in-cheek manner is the burlesque dancer Charlie Quinn. Her tantalizing performance not only recognizes the celebration of feminine beauty and challenges conventions set by peer pressure and the entertainment industry, but also demonstrate the rigors involved with being a strong dancer and stage performer.

Strong stage talent and physical skills are hallmarks of the is the song/movement duo of Michael Deski and Miroki Tong, who also serves as a co-producer for the show. Working together for the second time, their multidisciplinary creation of original music sung by Tong and movement by Demski is a combined powerhouse onstage. “I wanted to truly capture the essence of Laputa in my creation,” Tong says of her dramatic opera-inspired song that captures elements of the infamous music from Miyazaki's Castle in the Sky. “There is an untold history of Laputa that is hinted at the beginning of the movie. I wanted to tell that story, and transition it to the present time in which the film was set.”

MIYAZAKI MADNESS will be featured at the Chrysalids Theatre Thursday November 14, 2013 as part of the opening night gala for the 2013 Waterloo Festival. The opening night gala ticket includes entry to the opening night film, as well as the performances. Prices start as low as $20. VIP ticket purchasers will also be invited backstage to join the performers after the performance for an exclusive after-party.

Tickets for the 2013 Waterloo Festival for Animated Cinema Opening Night Gala and full festival passes are available for purchase at, or by calling Brown Paper Tickets 24/7 at +1 (800) 838-3006.

About the Festival
The Waterloo Festival for Animated Cinema (WFAC) is an international film festival for animated feature films, founded to promote appreciation for animation as a narrative medium for mature cinematic storytelling, and to review and celebrate animated feature films in the venue they were meant to be seen in: a theatre. The Festival is community-based, non-profit, and run by volunteers for the love of the art of animation.

bookmark/share with:

Press Release homepage / archives