5 Picks for PuSh Festival 2019

Every winter the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival brings together the world of Arts and Performance. This year’s 15th Annual PuSh Festival runs January 17th – February 3rd, 2019 and tickets are selling fast.  Don’t wait, check out the line-up and book your shows now.

The 15th Anniversary festival kicks off January 17th at The Beaumont Studios with a performance by D’BI, the free Opening Night Party, features djs, dancing and pop-up performances by Vancouver’s Kimmortal & Immigrant Lessons.

“We launched in 2003 as a three-show series that drew 2,500 people to 21 performances at three Vancouver venues,” says Roxanne Duncan, PuSh Festival’s Interim Executive Director. “The inaugural festival opened a short two years later in 2005. Now as we prepare to celebrate our 15th anniversary, PuSh has welcomed more than 300,000 people to 366 productions from 30 countries.”

The opening performance Attractor by DanceNorth Australia,  January 18th & 19th at Vancouver Playhouse
The show begins with two musicians and eight dancers onstage. Indonesian duo Senyawa plays music spiced with ritual and folk idioms from their native country while choreographers Lucy Guerin and Gideon Obarzanek work with Dancenorth Australia and the band to create a wild experience: as the music builds in power, the dancers increase their abandon and pre-selected members of the audience join in.

Some other highlighted picks for PuSh Festival 2019 include:

Marginal Consort by Marginal Consort (Japan) : January 20 at Performance Works
Four musicians, play a multitude of instruments, create ambient, heavily manipulated music, far apart and fully independent of each other.

PALMYRA by Bertrand Lesca and Nasi Voutsas (France/UK) : January 22–24 at Performance Works
Named after a Syrian city that has changed hands several times during the current fighting, this show slowly builds to the level of violence, creating and sustaining moral ambiguity along the way.

salt. by Selina Thompson photo: Bryony Jackson

salt. by Selina Thompson (UK) : January 24–26 at Roundhouse Community Centre
In this performance Selina Thompson recounts her journey along one stretch of the Transatlantic Slave Triangle route by cargo ship.

Bicycle Thieves by Joelysa Pankanea (Canada) : January 26 & 27 at Performance Works
A special commission for Push Festival, composer and musical director Joelysa Pankanea guides a group of six musicians and four actors as they provide live musical and voice accompaniment to director Vittorio De Sica’s landmark 1948 neorealist film Bicycle Thieves.

These are but a few of the international performances scheduled for the 2019 PuSh International Performing Arts Festival. Visit pushfestival.ca to find the full festival schedule and book your tickets and Push Passes now.

 

Picks of the Week – November 21, 2018

The Holiday Season is in full swing, as we are just a couple weeks away from Hanukkah and a month away from Christmas, there’s plenty of festive fun in this week’s picks.

Ariel: Children’s Theatre of Richmond Association presents Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr a children’s production of Disney’s musical adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s tale, November 24-25 at Massey Theatre

EnemyThe Enemy at The Firehall Arts Centre is a topical, contemporary interpretation of Henrik Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People, running until December 1, 2018

Late-night: Vancouver Art Gallery’s late-night art party returns with FUSE: Object Lessons on Friday, November 23, 8pm – midnight.

Dancers: Dancers of Damelahamid an Indigenous dance company from the Northwest Coast of BC, with a rich history of masked dance performs Thursday at Noon, part of the Discover Dance! series at Scotiabank Dance Centre

Dancer Dennis Alamanos in Chotto Desh.
Photo: Richard Haughton

Dance:  DanceHouse, with SFU Woodward’s Cultural Programs and Théâtre la Seizième, are co-presenting the Vancouver premiere of Akram Khan Company’s award-winning solo, Chotto Desh at SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts until November 24th

Jazz: Tyrant Studio’s Friday Jazz finds Jimi James Trip making their way to the Tyrant Studio Lounge upstairs from The Penthouse

Merry Kiss-mas
VTSL

Improv: Vancouver Theatresports presents Merry Kiss-mas – an improvised holiday comedy, parodying all the inane clichés and funny, awkward moments you’d expect to see in a holiday TV special or film at Improv Centre until Christmas Eve

Ice: Join Moana, Belle, Elsa and other Disney favourites as Disney On Ice takes to the Pacific Coliseum until November 25

ASL: Red Gate Revue stage welcomes a world premiere of Albireo: A New Musical, a unique new production by Annahis Basmadjian, featuring ASL (American Sign Language), the story of brothers Wriker and Chambers, half human, half siren, their mythological hypnotic powers only activate when singing together in harmony.

Art: It’s your last chance to visit Kimoto Gallery to view Water, by Vancouver artists David Wilson a series of paintings looking at the natural watery surroundings and rain-soaked city streets of his hometown, closing November 24.

Pi Theatre’s Hir
Photo: Emily Cooper

Gender: Pi Theatre presents the Canadian premiere of American playwright Taylor Mac’s Hir, exploring the dynamics of a family dealing with PTSD, gender politics & more, from November 22–December 8, 2018, at Vancouver Civic Theatre’s Annex.

Drama: Seven Tyrants Theatre presents John Patrick Stanley’s Pulitzer Prize winning drama Doubt : A Parable from November 23 – December 14

Laughs: Saturday nights Tyrant Studio’s Comic Strip brings stand-up comedy to the Studio Lounge Stage with Simon King, Darcy Boon Collins, Ari Matti, and Colin Sharp

Vancouver Christmas Market
Photo: Lindsay Elliott

Market:  The Vancouver Christmas Market celebrates its 9th year as it returns to Jack Poole Plaza, until December 24, 2018

Couture: The Vancouver Art Gallery presents Guo Pei: Couture Beyond is the first Canadian exhibition devoted to the work of Guo Pei, China’s preeminent couturière until January 20, 2019

Shopping: From the West End, to Dunbar, and Delta, Visit one of the many Christmas Craft Markets happening around Metro Vancouver this weekend

BBall: The Vancouver Showcase featuring 4 men’s and 8 women’s U.S. Division I college basketball teams compete until Nov. 24 at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

Festival: Aurora Winter Festival, Canada’s Largest Winter Festival, brings a a skating rink, a tube park, light displays, Christmas Market, amusement rides, food gardens, and many more activities to Concord Pacific Place November 23 – December 30

Candy: Saturday, Yaletown transforms to Candytown, Vancouver’s free Christmas festival filling Hamilton, Mainland and Davie Streets with Holiday fun.

 

PuSh Festival Debuts Its 15th Anniversary Program

This week, the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival launched its 2019 Festival Program, at a party at John Fluevog Shoes in Gastown. The 2019 Push Festival, January 17 to February 3 will mark the milestone 15th annual festival, bringing international performing arts to venues around Vancouver. Featuring 26 works from 24 companies from 13 countries — including six world premieres — this showcase of visionary collaboration and cutting-edge arts brings a welcome highlight to the winter culture season.

Lucy McCormick’s Triple Threat
Feb 2 –
Club Push at XY
Photo: The Other Richard

 “We launched in 2003 as a three-show series that drew 2,500 people to 21 performances at three Vancouver venues,” says Roxanne Duncan, PuSh Festival’s Interim Executive Director. “The inaugural festival opened a short two years later in 2005. Now as we prepare to celebrate our 15th anniversary, PuSh has welcomed more than 300,000 people to 366 productions from 30 countries.”

 Joyce Rosario, Interim Artistic Director of the PuSh Festival, adds: “Our programming ignites important, meaningful discussions about the world around us and is a reminder that we are a part of something bigger. The 15th anniversary holds personal significance to me. Not only does it mark the final iteration guided by the vision of Norman Armour, PuSh’s co-founder and former Artistic and Executive Director, but it’s also the sixth shaped by our collaboration together as a curatorial team. This year’s festival is the result of many such partnerships, amongst the intrepid team at PuSh and with our presentation partners — some of whom have been with us since the very beginning. In 2019, we bring audiences face-to-face with a broad range of thought-provoking works that subvert the dominant narrative by changing whose perspectives are centred.”

Kids by Liu Kuan-Hsiang
Jan 24-26 at Dance Centre
Photo: Etang Chen

The six world premiere performances will be presented by contemporary dance organization Company 605; boundary-breaking dance company MACHiNENOiSY; composer and musical director Joelysa Pankanea; Dora Award-winning dub poet and actor D’BI; the performers of Kimmortal & Immigrant Lessons; and Guatemalan performance artist Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa.

In addition to the world premieres, another 11 performances will be Canadian premieres, including a suite of three sound-based works from Japan by ASUNA, Marginal Consort, and Tetsuya Umeda; Dancenorth Australia featuring music from Indonesian band Senyawa; and a piece from Taiwanese choreographer Liu Kuan-Hsiang.

X Marks the Movement – Opening Night at The Beaumont Studios
Photo: Kimmortal & Immigrant Lessons

New for the 2019 season, Club PuSh, the home of the festival’s most edgy and experimental work,  will be located in multiple spaces across the city and home to Opening and Closing Night parties.

The PuSh Film Series at Vancity Theatre, presents movies perfectly paired to the program,  and PuSh Assembly will stimulate dialogue through free talks for the public and industry networking events.

To celebrate its 15th year, PuSh Festival is offering audiences a limited time offer of $15 tickets for 15 days. The 15x15x15 offer applies to the full festival program: 26 critically acclaimed works from different artistic disciplines. The 15X15X15 promotion is on now and November 30th so get your tickets at pushfestival.ca before they’re all gone.

DanceHouse opens with Borderline

Borderline: Kompanie Wang Ramirez
photo: Frank Szafinski

DanceHouse is launching their 2018/19 season with the Canadian premiere of France’s Company Wang Ramirez work, Borderline, playing October 26 and 27, 2018 at 8pm at the Vancouver Playhouse. 

Performed to layered rhythms and spoken word by percussionist, composer LACRYMOBOY (Jean-Philippe Barrios), along with choreographic duo Sébastien Ramirez and Honji Wang combining hip hop and contemporary dance with the movement of martial arts in exploration of democracy, immigration, manipulation, and the place of individuals in society.

“Coinciding with escalating nationalist rhetoric and contentious debates on immigration worldwide, Borderline’s open-ended examination of diasporic identity is more relevant than ever,” says Jim Smith, Artistic and Executive Director of DanceHouse. “As Canada is largely a country of immigrants, local audiences will resonate with the work’s illumination of the beauty and the challenges inherent in embodying more than one culture — honouring multiple traditions and languages, while forging a new blended identity of one’s own. Company Wang Ramirez has created a theatrical experience that will linger long after the curtain falls, and stimulate essential discourse about the future of democracy.”

Dancehouse Borderline
photo: Agethe Poupeney

Choreographed in 2013, Borderline consists of several thoughts, ideas, and moments that question the meaning of democracy. Wang and Ramirez are joined on stage by fellow dancers Louis Becker, Johanna Faye, and Saïdo Lehlouh, along with aerial rigger Alister Mazzotti. The five dancers, attached to cables perform a series of 11 intimate vignettes, with the rigger acting in concert with and against the dancers.

DanceHouse presents Company Wang Ramirez: Borderline, October 26 & 27, 2018 at 8pm, at the Vancouver Playhouse, 600 Hamilton Street. A pre-show talk with Borderline artists takes place at 7:15 each evening.

For tickets and further information about Borderline, visit dancehouse.ca

 

Joe: A Solo Show coming to Dance Centre

photo: Michael Slobodian

For three nights only, audiences will be treated to three solo dance pieces, by three diverse choreographers, in Joe: A Solo Show at the Scotiabank Dance Centre. Presented October 18-20, by Joe Ink, and Vancouver dance luminary Joe Laughlin; Joe: A Solo Show includes the work of Vancouver dance artist Amber Funk Barton, Montreal-based choreographer Gioconda Barbuto, and internationally-renowned South African choreographer Vincent Mantsoe. The culmination of a profound process of personal, physical, and artistic discovery, the solos are skillfully woven together with voiceover by the artists to create a richly nuanced tapestry that encapsulates Laughlin through the eyes of each of his esteemed colleagues.

Hailed as “a chameleon” by The Globe and Mail, Laughlin’s athletic background and versatility has informed more than 60 highly inventive creations for Joe Ink and such esteemed organizations as the National Arts Centre, the Banff Centre, the Canada Dance Festival, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and the Johannesburg-based Moving into Dance Mophatong, to name a few. His excellence in choreography – influenced by classical to contemporary and hip hop to gymnastics – has been recognized with the Clifford E. Lee Award for Choreography, the Jacqueline Lemieux Prize, and the Isadora Award, among others.

“I feel privileged to be presenting a 60 minute solo show at this stage in my career. Exploring new aspects of my physical capabilities while navigating an aging body is a welcome challenge,” explains Laughlin. “I love each of these dancers/choreographers, both as artists and as friends. There is a certain alchemy that happens during the creative process, an intermingling of spirits, and experiencing that magic with each of them has enriched me as a performer and as a choreographer.”
The three pieces in Joe: A Solo Show are:

Silas
Choreographer: Amber Funk Barton
Inspired by John Steinbeck’s East of Eden.
Set to music by Arcade Fire performed by Vitamin String Quartet.

Long Story Short
Choreographer: Gioconda Barbuto
Inspired by Laughlin’s own recollections of personal photographs.
Set to electro-acoustic music by Vancouver composer Owen Belton

GIYA
Choreographer: Vincent Mantsoe
Giya means dance in EseZulu, the piece blends traditional Zulu dances
Set to Astor Piazolla’s tango, Oblivion

Joe: A Solo Show takes place October 18-20, 2018 at Scotiabank Dance Centre, 677 Davie Street.
Tickets, $38, are on sale at Tickets Tonight

Diwali in BC spreads the light until November 17

Diwali is the Hindu festival of lights, celebrated every autumn in the northern hemisphere. Diwali in BC, founded in 2017 by Rohit Chokhani, has a goal to spread Diwali celebrations throughout the province over the coming years.

The theme for the 2018 celebrations, running now until November 17, is ‘New Horizons’ and features programming in Vancouver, Coquitlam, Vernon, Maple Ridge, and Nanaimo.

“In our second bold and ambitious year, we respond artistically to racial tensions and gender abuse that continues to threaten the safety of the world in which we live, with the theme of New Horizons,” says Chokhani.

A Vancouver Guldasta

“In A Vancouver Guldasta, we have fresh conversations around trauma and healing through the lens of a Punjabi-Sikh family living with a Vietnamese refugee in Vancouver. In The Believers Are But Brothers we take a deeper look at toxic masculinity, and with Shyama we explore different colours of love, the price of desire, forgiveness, and morality through one of India’s most celebrated playwrights – Rabindranath Tagore. Chokhani adds, “We are also excited to expand our Diwali programming to three new cities while we continue to grow and evolve in the existing cities.”

Here is a look at the 2018 Diwali in B.C. programming:

A Vancouver Guldasta : October 2-21 at Vancity Culture Lab | Presented with The Cultch

Diwali in B.C., Vernon : October 9-13 various events and performances at locations around Vernon, including the Vernon & District Performing Arts Centre

Shyama : October 27 at the York Theatre
Co-presented with Vancouver Tagore Society and in community partnership with Mandala Arts & Culture Society, with support from BC Arts Council.

The Believers Are But Brothers
photo: Jack Offord

The Believers Are But Brothers : October 30-November 10 at Vancity Culture Lab | Presented with The Cultch

Diwali in B.C., Maple Ridge : November 10 at The ACT Arts Centre
This inaugural event is presented with The ACT Arts Centre.

Diwali in B.C., Coquitlam : November 11 at Evergreen Cultural Centre
Diwali at Evergreen is in its second year and is presented by the Evergreen Cultural Centre.

For details about these events and more are available at diwalibc.com

Never Still opens the Firehall Arts Centre season.

Never Still:
Vanessa Goodman
photo: Ben Didier

Next week, The Firehall Arts Centre kicks off its 2018/2019 season with the world premiere of Never Still.  Running from from September 26 to 29, 2018, Never Still, is the newest work from Vancouver’s Vanessa Goodman (Action at a Distance Dance Society), created in collaboration with dancers Shion Skye Carter, Stéphanie Cyr, Bynh Ho, Alexa Mardon, Lexi Vajda, and Sound/Projection Designer Loscil (Scott Morgan), Lighting Designer James Proudfoot, Costumer Lloyd. 

Never Still is inspired by the inherent conflicts and dichotomies of water, it is graceful and challenging, like humanity itself.  Never Still explores social, environmental, and biological themes, in a highly physical piece that dives into the distinctions and overlap between three different systems of circulation: global water cycles, communication technology, and fluids within the body.

Never Still:
Shion Skye Carter
photo: Ben Didier

“We are living in an increasingly polarized culture,” says Donna Spencer, the Firehall Arts Centre’s Artistic Producer. “And it is our role as artistic creators to encourage audiences to consider, through what they are seeing on stage, how inextricably linked we all are in finding our way through these challenging times.”

She adds, “This season, our programming is about choices – the ones we make, the ones we think we should make but don’t, and the influences around us that colour that decision-making. Live performance allows us to experience a unique and powerful collective sharing of emotions and information that resonates through our day to day lives long after we have left the theatre, and indeed may influence the choices we make in the future.”

Never Still runs Wednesday September 26 to Saturday September 29, 2018 at The Firehall Arts Centre, 280 East Cordova Street