Century Song

Centaur Theatre Company (Montreal, QC)
Centaur 1
February 12 - 16, 2020

Produced with Moveable Beast and Richard Jordan Productions UK


★★★★ “Cerebral, fascinating... ravishing” - The Sunday Times

★★★★ "Neema Bickersteth is a wholly compelling performer... the kind of theatre that doubles as art through the interconnectedness of its many different and equally arresting elements...” - The List

★★★★ “She is a dancer of effortless physicality and weightless grace, and her operatic soprano voice is a rich, otherworldly instrument...” - The Scotsman

★★★★ “Century Song is a love letter to a hundred years of female endeavour. … the incredible Bickersteth is magnetically flawless…." - The Wee Review

★★★★★ "An extraordinary hybrid of live music, dance & animation” - fringebiscuit

★★★★ "a beautiful piece of work” - Broadway Baby

The Story

Century Song is a live performance hybrid created by powerful Dora-Award winning soprano Neema Bickersteth, and Dora-award winning collaborators Ross Manson (direction) and Kate Alton (choreography).

Inspired in part by Virginia Woolf’s Orlando and Alice Walker’s In Search of Our Mother’s Gardens, Bickersteth seamlessly melds song and movement to inhabit a century of women whose identities are contained within her own.

Photography by: John Lauener and Dahlia Katz

This exquisitely unique show features music by some of the past 100 years’ most adventurous composers, as well as a projection design by Germany’s fettFilm – extraordinary visuals that bring alive major art movements of the 20th century. Both whimsical and riveting, Century Song is a wordless chronicle of the age, built from art.


1915: Sergei Rachmaninoff (Russia)

1935: Olivier Messiaen (France)

1950: John Cage (USA)

1978: Georges Aperghis (Greece)

2015: Reza Jacobs (Canada)

The Team

Soprano, Co-Creator | Neema Bickersteth

Choreographer, Co-Creator | Kate Alton

Director, Co-Creator | Ross Manson

Composition and Improvisational Themes | Reza Jacobs

Piano, Structured Improvisations, Music Co-Direction | Gregory Oh

Percussion, Computers, Structured Improvisations, Music Co-Direction | Debashis Sinha

Touring Percussionist | Benjamin Grossman

Costume Designer | Charlotte Dean

Set Designer | Camellia Koo

Lighting Designer | Rebecca Picherack

Projection Designers | Torge Møller & Momme Hinrichs (fettFilm, Germany)

Associate Video Designers | Cameron Davis, Kaitlin Hickey, Jeremy Mimnagh

UK Producer: Richard Jordan Productions

Assistant Director | Mariel Marshall /Michela Sisti

Stage Manager: Emilie Aubin, Kai Chen Yueh

Click here to read complete team bios



July 2014: First in-progress public showing of Century Song (before it had that title) at the Theatre Centre in Toronto. Three-day run. 

April 2015: Production workshop and premiere of first major draft of the newly-titled Century Song. Presented by Ontario Scene and the National Arts Centre. In association with Crooked Figure Dances, Moveable Beast and Opera 5.

January 2016: A re-worked Century Song returns to Toronto as part of the Progress Festival at the Theatre Centre

January - February 2016: Century Songs tours to Calgary as part of the High Performance Rodeo and to Vancouver as part of The Push Festival with The Cultch.

May 2016: Century Song tours throughout the United Kingdom and Belgium: The Lowry, Manchester; mac Birmingham; Artsdepot, London and de Bijloke, Ghent.

November 2016: Century Song again adjusted for a run at OFF-CINARS in Montreal. 2 performances.

April 2017: Nightwood presents Century Song's return to Toronto at the new Crow’s theatre.

July 2018: The Ubumuntu Arts Festival presents Century Song at the Kigali Genocide Memorial amphitheatre, Rwanda, for one night only.

August 2018: Century Song performs at Zoo Southside's Main Space for the 2018 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, presented by Volcano and Richard Jordan Productions, in association with CanadaHub.

Awards & Nominations

2016 Dora Award Nominee (Musical Theatre Division) for

Outstanding Production: Century Song

Outstanding Performance – Female: Neema Bickersteth, Century Song

Outstanding Direction: Ross Manson, Century Song

Outstanding Choreography: Kate Alton, Century Song

Shortlisted for a 2018 Total Theatre Award at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in the Physical/Visual category.


2018 TOURING Partners

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