Picks of the Week – April 25, 2018

Our final week of April goes out with a bang, bright weather and plenty of entertainment in the picks of the week, what more could we ask for?

Photos: The 5th Annual Capture Photography Festival continues to bring all things photographic and lens-based to galleries and public spaces around the city throughout the month.

Suspense: Stephen King’s thriller Misery brings a fright  to the Arts Club Granville Island Stage until May 5th, and the sibling rivalry of Me and You is at the Goldcorp Stage until May 6th.

Rock: Glaswegian indie rockers, The Fratellis, kick off their North American tour in support of their latest “In Our Own Sweet Time” at the Commodore Ballroom on Thursday night

Circa

Circus: Saturday night, the Chan Centre becomes the big top as Australia’s Circa contemporary circus is joined onstage by France’s Debussy String Quartet

Rap: American rap phenom Post Malone brings his beats to Rogers Arena on Friday night

Comedy: Looking for some killer laughs and murderous improv? Check out Murder on the Improv Express – A Killer Comedy at Vancouver TheatreSports League in repertoire with the VTSL’s other hilarious games and shows

Double:The Cultch has a pair of shows running April 17 – 29; The Explanation at the Culture Lab and World Without Us at the Historic Theatre.

James & Jamesy – In The Dark

Clowning: Comedic duo, James and Jamesy bring their one-of-a-kind performance to Red Gate Review Stage for a one night only performance of James & Jamesy In The Dark on Friday night

Tale: Aaron, the James in James & Jamesy, performs his solo show Thunderfoot, an autobiographical fairy tale to Red Gate Review Stage on Granville Island, from April 26 – 28.

Kicks: Can Whitecaps FC recover from their winless streak? See if they gain 3 points when they host Real Salt Lake at BC Place on Friday evening

Opera: From April 28 – May 6, Vancouver Opera Festival “Russian White Nights” celebrates Russian themed composers and operas.

Haida:  Museum of Vancouver is presenting, Haida Now. A collaboration with The Haida Gwaii Museum bring 450 works together in a one of a kind collection of Haida arts and culture, until June 15.

Colour: It may not feel like spring but a visit to the Abbotsford Tulip Festivalwill brighten up your mood with 10 acres covered in millions of blooms until May 3rd.

Culture: Musqueam, Squamish, Lil’wat, Heiltsuk, Nisga’a, Haida are collaborating for the first time so you can learn more about the cultures of these First Nations and the importance of their cultural centres at the Museum of Anthropology at UBC’s exhibition Culture at the Centre, until October 8th

Pop: Friday night at River Rock Show Theatre, Abra Cadabra pays tribute to the greatest hits of Abba.

Bard On The Beach supports Young Shakespeareans

With just six weeks until the 2018 Bard on the Beach season opens, registration is open for the return of its annual Young Shakespeareans Summer Theatre Camps and Teen Workshops.  Camp and workshop sessions begin July 3, running through to August 31, 2018, allowing youth from ages 8 to 18 to receive coaching by professional actors from Bard on the Beach, and perform some of Shakespeare’s most beloved works under the famed white tents in Vanier Park.

Shakespeare’s words are read and analyzed in English classrooms around the world, but we often forget a simple fact: These plays were never meant to be studied.” says Mary Hartman, Director of Education. “With Young Shakespeareans we actively and imaginatively introduce growing minds to these plays, giving young people the tools to make these timeless tales their own through performance. It is endlessly inspiring to see the perspective that new generations bring to these stories, and that more than 400 years later, Shakespeare continues to shed light on our lives.”

This season Young Shakespeareans will grow and expand to include The Young Shakespeareans Summer Camps and Workshops consists of 16 distinct sessions, most of which are half-day sessions running for two weeks. This season also introduces, for the first time, full-day options that take participants beyond the world of performance and into production.  The workshops centre around one of Shakespeare’s most beloved plays (among 2018 options are HamletRomeo and JulietJulius Caesar, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and more).  Over the course of the workshop, professional actors from Bard’s company will help participants bring Shakespeare’s words to life through coaching in voice, movement and dialogue, and with activities designed to boost confidence and foster collaborative relationships. Each session culminates with the opportunity for the young thespians to share their work on Bard on the Beach’s Vanier Park stages.

More than simply developing artistic talent and an appreciation of Shakespeare’s work, the summer camps are dedicated to inspiring and nurturing confidence, creativity, and positive social relationships amongst its youth participants. In more than two decades, the program has contributed to the development of thousands of aspiring thespians, including Bard alumni such as Christine Quintana, Rachel Cairns, and Kayla Deorksen.


For registration and full details about Bard on the Beach Young Shakespeareans Summer Theatre Camps and Teen Workshops and its other community initiatives visit:
bardonthebeach.org/education/community/young-shakespeareans.

The Cultch reveals its 45th Anniversary Season

The Cultch has recently announced its 45th anniversary season, with Executive Director Heather Redfern programming a 2018-19 season full of local premieres, international hits, and returning favourites.

“The Cultch is a place that people come to for community: to have their minds stimulated, to be challenged, to laugh, to discover,” says Redfern. “The Cultch is for everyone.” The season will also include several 45th anniversary initiatives including a series of work to mark the 100 year anniversary of the armistice of WWI called the Ceasefire Series, and an expanded Femme Series.

 This 45th season, which is Redfern’s 10th year of programming, continues The Cultch’s commitment to highlight local companies and artists, while presenting cutting-edge national and international work. The 2018-19 season includes ten BC productions —including four world premieres. It also features innovative works by Canadian companies, as well as international works, from New Zealand, The United Kingdom and Iran.

 The Cultch also continues it’s partnership with local festivals like Diwali in BC, in October, and PuSh International Performing Arts Festival, in January 2019.  

Fan favourites also make a return to the Cultch’s three stages; Children of God, Corey Payette’s hit musical about residential schools, returns after it successful national tour, and Australian patriarch-smashing hit Hot Brown Honey will once again decolonize and moisturize the York Theatre. Ronnie Burkett returns with his exclusive adults-only holiday hit Little Dickens.  Also joining the festive season is the holiday tradition, Theatre Replacement’s East Van Panto, is back for a sixth year with Wizard of Oz.

If all this isn’t enough The Cultch’s will also see the renewal of the Femme Series for 2018-19 with shows that celebrate the feminine experience.  During November 2018 The Cultch will present the Ceasefire Series, three shows to mark the 100 year anniversary of the armistice of WWI.

For full lineup details, tickets and subscriptions for The Cultch’s 2018-19 45th anniversary season at its three venues; Historic Theatre, York Theatre, and Vancity Culture Lab, visit thecultch.com

Run away & enjoy the Circa

Circa Opus
Photo: Justin Nicholas, Atmosphere Photography

The circus is coming to town, Australia’s Circa, a bold contemporary circus company,  is visiting the Chan Shun Concert Hall, April 28th.

The Brisbane-based company, formed in 2004, has performed all around the world, and bring’s its show, Opus, to Vancouver.  Circa brings 14 acrobats to the Chan stage, and occasionally suspended above the stage, to perform gravity-defying feats and skills, alongside four musicians playing a live accompaniment. 

In 2018 The Circus as a form of performance is celebrating its 250th anniversary. Circa’s Opus is the latest evolution of the art form, bringing the history of The Circus, with the century plus tradition of France’s esteemed Debussy String Quartet stirring music of Dmitri Shostakovich

“Circa’s Opus is a breathtaking and extremely moving work,” says Joyce Hinton, Co-Managing Director of the Chan Centre. “It is also an entirely new—and wonderfully unusual—way to experience a live performance of the Shostakovich quartets, which are beautifully played by the Debussy Quartet.”

Circa forgoes conventional elements such as clowns, juggling, and elaborate sets. Instead, performers use the strength of their own bodies to redefine classic “Big Top” showmanship, executing exquisitely choreographed acts and heart-stopping physical feats with grace and precision.

Circa’s Opus brings thrills to the Chan Centre Saturday April 28, 2018, at 8pm. A post-show talk-back (free for ticket holders) with members of Circa and the Debussy String Quartet takes place immediately after the performance.
Tickets are on sale now or in person at the Chan Centre

2018 DOXA line-up keeps it real

In an age of “fake news” the 2018 DOXA Documentary Film Festival celebrates those filmmakers who take the time to research and document real life and get to the bottom of the story without a script or teleprompter.  The DOXA 2018 program screens radical and transformative ideas through music, art, and the power of people working together to create and share solutions. 

The 93 films in the festival this year, including 9 world premiers and 13 Canadian premiers, cover activism, politics, disability rights, women’s rights, family life, music and so much more to keep you stimulated and intrigued.

The Rankin File

With municipal elections just around the corner, DOXA opens the Festival with the world premiere of Teresa Alfeld’s The Rankin File: Legacy of a Radical. Vancouver lawyer, city councilor, housing activist, and legendary firebrand Harry Rankin left a long shadow in the city, but some of his most passionate battles are still being fought. Another rebel closes out the Festival, with Kusama – Infinity, a celebration of fearless spirit and passionate determination. Yayoi Kasuma battled her way to the top of the art world. But her struggle took a highly personal toll. 

Kusama – Infinity

Double Spotlight features Press Play and Quietude respectively explore the revolutionary power of music, and the subtle strength of silence and close observation. Guest Curated Programs grapple with some of the most challenging issues from the rise of the rightwing (Embedded with Extremists curated by Geoff Dembicki) to environmental crises facing Tibetan China (From Our Eyes curated by Yi Cui). 2018 DOXA also welcomes the fourth edition of French French, featuring a special program dedicated to the work of legendary cineaste Alain Cavalier. 

Cornerstone programs Justice Forum and Rated Y for Youth are back for 2018, with a remarkable collection of work that tackles the most intractable issues of the day (climate change, censorship, Indigenous language revitalization, reproductive rights and technologies) with intelligence, thought, and a fierce dedication to the art of documentary cinema. With an expanded Industry Day, artist talks, panel discussions, and parties, there is something for everyone in the 2018 DOXA Festival – lovers, fighters, and organizers.  

DOXA Documentary Film Festival runs May 3 –13, 2018. Tickets are available online at doxafestival.ca.

Picks of the Week – April 18, 2018

While we’re waiting for spring to reboot and kick out winter, there’s plenty of entertainment in these April picks of the week.

Tasting: Let’s start the list on a tasty note, Vancouver Foodster’s Tasting Plates visits the East Village tonight to sample what the neighbourhood has to offer.

John Ng as Det Tommy Lam & Toby Hughes as Sean Heany in Nine Dragons
Photo by Tim Nguyen

Mystery: The world premier of Nine Dragons, a 1920’s murder mystery set in Hong Kong opens at Gateway Theatre on Thursday, running until April 21st.

Photos: The 5th Annual Capture Photography Festival continues to bring all things photographic and lens-based to galleries and public spaces around the city throughout the month.

Cohen: The Firehall Arts Centre continues to celebrate its 35th Anniversary with its award winning Chelsea Hotel: The Songs of Leonard Cohen on stage until April 21st

War & Peace : The Tallis Scholars

Honour:  Saturday at the Chan Centre, Early Music Vancouver commemorates the centenary of the end of WWI with War & Peace : The Tallis Scholars with a suite of music to honour those who lost their lives in the war.

Suspense: Stephen King’s thriller Misery brings a fright  to the Arts Club Granville Island Stage until May 5th, while the Tony-Award winning family drama, The Humans is onstage at the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage until April 22nd and the sibling rivalry of Me and You is at the Goldcorp Stage until May 6th.

Live: Come on down! to the Hard Rock Vancouver for Price Is Right Live on stage at the Molson Canadian Theatre this Friday, Saturday and Sunday

Comedy: Looking for some killer laughs and murderous improv? Check out Murder on the Improv Express – A Killer Comedy at Vancouver TheatreSports League in repertoire with the VTSL’s other hilarious games and shows

Double:The Cultch has a pair of shows running April 17 – 29; The Explanation at the Culture Lab and World Without Us at the Historic Theatre

Haida:  Museum of Vancouver is presenting, Haida Now. A collaboration with The Haida Gwaii Museum bring 450 works together in a one of a kind collection of Haida arts and culture, until June 15.

Culture: Musqueam, Squamish, Lil’wat, Heiltsuk, Nisga’a, Haida are collaborating for the first time so you can learn more about the cultures of these First Nations and the importance of their cultural centres at the Museum of Anthropology at UBC’s exhibition Culture at the Centre, until October 8th

Colour: It may not feel like spring but a visit to the Abbotsford Tulip Festival will brighten up your mood with 10 acres covered in millions of blooms until May 3rd.

DanceHouse Wraps 10th Season with Dorrance Dance

This weekend, DanceHouse brought their 10th anniversary season to a close with a stellar performance from New York City based Dorrance Dance. The acclaimed tap troupe presented Triple Bill,  a retrospective trio of very different dance pieces that demonstrated the range of this talented company and its Artistic Director and founder Michelle Dorrance.

Jungle Blues – Dorrance Dance

Triple Bill opened with a swinging piece, Jungle Blues, reminiscent of the golden age of Jazz, using the Jelly Roll Morton song of the same name as its inspiration.  Coincidentally, from 1919 to 1921, Jelly Roll Morton had a residency at Pat’s Pub just a short distance away from the Playhouse. The rapid fire movement of the short piece introduced the 10 member company and set the stage for a rousing evening of dance.

Three to One – Dorrance Dance

Three to One, a Bessie (NYC Dance & Performance) Award winning work featuring Michelle Dorrance, Bryon Tittle, and Matthew West, was a very different piece. Modern and moody, incorporating electronic music; Nannou by Aphex Twin and Thom Yorke’s A Rat’s Nest. With just Ms Dorrance wearing tap shoes, while the other dancers were barefoot, Three to One gave a difference interpretation of what tap dance could bring to the stage.

Myelination – Dorrance Dance

The final and longest piece, Myelination, added live musicians Prawn til Dante, Donovan Dorrance and Gregory Richardson, with vocalist Aaron Marcellus, to the stage.  With the musicians on stage the beats of the dancers’ feet and the smooth music seamlessly crossed over into one sound.  Choreographed by Michelle Dorrance with improvisation by the company, Myelination incorporates more than just tap, bringing hip hop, modern dance and of course electric energy to the work.

Throughout the performances, just as the dancers improvised, the audience spontaneously erupted into applause and hoots of excitement to the thrilling works.

As Triple Bill closed out the DanceHouse season, they also introduced the 2018-2019 season which will include works from companies around the globe; Company Wang Ramirez (France), Akram Khan Company (UK), Jacob Boehme & Ilbijerri Theatre Company (Australia), Kidd Pivot (Vancouver), Compagnie Marie Chouinard (Montreal) and Momix (US).  Subscriptions are on sale now for the DanceHouse 2018-2019 season.