PuSh International Performing Arts Festival (PuSh) revealed the line-up for 2020 in historic Central Studios, the new home of Club PuSh.
The 16th annual edition PuSh runs from January 21 to February 9, 2020 at venues across the Lower Mainland. Featuring 27 works from 24 companies from nine countries — including six world premieres — the festival line-up is dedicated to creative risk-taking and dynamic interdisciplinary collaboration. PuSh 2020 is a reminder of art’s power to bring communities together and effect change.
“As we enter into the next decade of the 21st century, we’re taking a look back at the cultural shifts we’ve seen around the world since the turn of the millennium — from the election of Donald Trump south of our border to Brexit in Europe — and the important impact and meaningful conversation PuSh has ignited,” says Franco Boni, Executive and Artistic Director of PuSh. “In that reflective mode, we are thrilled to see the return of some of the festival’s most critically acclaimed and socially charged artists: innovative choreographer Dana Gingras and her company Animals of Distinction with FRONTERA, Vancouver’s own theatre company The Chop with KISMET, things have changed, and Halifax’s 2b theatre and their presentation of Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story. PuSh embodies an unrivalled spirit of creative agency and challenges established social conventions in a generative way.”
“This year, PuSh looks to subversion in its many forms — from the playful to the political — to remind us of our shared humanity, to encourage us to wonder, and to reignite a sense of curiosity about the world around us,” says Joyce Rosario, Associate Artistic Director. “The 2020 festival program encompasses works that were originally conceived in 2015 and 2016, marked by the rise of populism and nationalism that continues to shape our everyday realities. Audiences will be exposed to experiments in democratic social models, responses to racial and religious discrimination, stories of heroic yet marginalized women, border wars, and more.”
PuSh presents six world premieres, all from local artists and companies: Anywhere But Here by award-winning Electric Company Theatre; BERLIN: The Last Cabaret by period-focused City Opera Vancouver; Flying white –?? by contemporary dance company Wen Wei Dance with the Turning Point Ensemble; High Water by multidisciplinary performance artist Robert Leveroos under his moniker Macromatter; Idealverein by contemporary artists Mike Bourscheid and Justine Chambers; and Skyborn: A Land Reclamation Odyssey by Musqueam playwright Quelemia Sparrow with the Savage Society.
The festival also includes the North American premiere of Free Admission by UK-based provocateur Ursula Martinez, in which she builds a real brick wall on stage. The five Western Canadian premieres will be presented by Gingras’ Animals of Distinction, choreographer and performer Dana Michel, Toronto-based 6th Man Collective with The Theatre Centre, interdisciplinary collective PME-ART, and three-time Dora winner d’bi young anitafrika.
Club PuSh, is the festival’s home for the most edgy and experimental work. Things get started with a free opening weekend party including performances by De Bastion, DJ Deaf Wish, and CymaSpace following the premiere screening of The Democratic Set at the Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre. Centra Studios hosts other Club PuSh events featuring Myles de Bastion, DJ Deaf Wish, CymaSpace, Crystal Precious, House of La Douche, and Pearle Harbour. The always anticipated Closing Night party will also be held at Central Studios.
PuSh Assembly offers free talks for the public and industry networking events, and new for the 2020 season is the PuSh Scholars-in-Residence program, which invites festival artists as well as Indigenous and disabled artists and curators to ask foundational questions about how performance can intervene in the age of crisis. The inaugural scholars-in-residence are Dylan Robinson and Keren Zaiontz.
Pick up a PuSh 2020 guide at any JJ Bean around the city to make your wish list of performances. Single Show Tickets an PuSh Passes are on sale now, and make a perfect gift for the Holidays. Visit pushfestival.ca for full program details and to purchase tickets and passes.