Vancouver International Dance Festival Takes The Stage

Shen Wei Dance Arts Photo: Christopher Duggan

The 2018 Vancouver International Dance Festival (VIDF) is now on stages around Vancouver until March 24, 2018.   The 2018 VIDF features a diverse and dynamic roster of internationally celebrated artists plus local favourites, over the three weeks of performances, workshops, and other dance activities. The Festival presents three Canadian premieres from New York’s acclaimed contemporary company White Wave Dance, Mexico’s Compañía de Danza Experimental de Lola Lince, and Hungary’s Ferenc Fehér; as well, a Western Canadian premiere of New York’s Shen Wei Dance Arts; a West Coast premiere from Montreal’s Lucie Grégoire Danse; and a world premiere from Vancouver’s own Amber Funk Barton/the response..

Harbour Dance ITP
Photo: Ernest Von Rosen

“Dance as a primal human instinct transcends language, cultural norms, and international borders. It has the potential to communicate any aspect of the human experience,” says Barbara Bourget, Co-Producer of VIDF. “In the current international climate of parochialism and division, it is more important than ever to connect with individuals from around the globe in a spirit of inclusion, connection, dialogue, and empathy. This year’s festival hopes to achieve this goal by bringing communities together through the presentation of innovative, thought-provoking, and breathtaking work of world class artists from the United States, Mexico, and Hungary, as well as trailblazing artists from Vancouver and Montreal.”

Vancouver International Dance Festival performances take place around downtown Vancouver at; Vancouver Playhouse, Roundhouse Community Centre, ScotiaBank Dance Centre, Woodwards Atrium and KW Production Studio.   For the full March 1 – 24, 2018 calendar of events and to purchase tickets visit

Picks of the Week – February 28, 2018

The end of February…already!? Let’s see what March has to offer in these picks of the week.

HipHop: Tonight at The Vogue, Ty Dolla $ign brings his hip hop, soul blended sounds to the stage

Coastal First Nations Dance Festival

Dance: The 11th Annual Coastal First Nations Dance Festival at MOA brings together Indigenous Music and Dance from the Pacific to Scandinavia, until March 4th

Rain: 7 Tyrants Theatre’s 10th Anniversary season continues with A Steady Rain at the Penthouse Studio Theatre until March 3rd.

Folk: Canadian folk artist Bahamas brings his sunny sounding moniker to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on Thursday

Comedy: Laughter reigns supreme as JFL Northwest bring the best and funniest of comedy stars to Vancouver from March 1st to 10th

Rock: Touring on behalf of their latest, Grace Street, rockers Big Wreck take to the Commodore Ballroom twice this week on Thursday & Friday

Trucks: The weekend gets raucous at Pacific Coliseum as Monster Jam has 4 shows over Mar 2-4, 2018

Theatre: The Arts Club has the Tony award winning Fun Home at Granville Island Stage running until March 10

Pucks: The Vancouver Canucks take to the ice on Friday as they play host to Nashville at Rogers Arena

Pss Pss photo: Pipo Gialluisi

Clowning: Taking inspiration from classic comedic works from Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin,  Pss Pss by Compagnia Baccalà runs until March 4th at The Cultch York Theatre.

Exhibition: The Vancouver Art Gallery celebrates the opening of Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg with a birthday bash, preview, dinner and party, the day before the opening of the Japanese artist’s first Canadian retrospective.

WhitecapsFCKicks: Whitecaps FC bring soccer back to BC Place to kick off their 2018 season on Sunday with a roster of new and old faces

Dance House & Toronto Dance Theatre Celebrate Anniversaries

Toronto Dance Theatre

This weekend Vancouver’s Dance House welcomes cross-county compatriots Toronto Dance Theatre to the Vancouver Playhouse.  As Dance House celebrates their 10th anniversary, Toronto Dance Theatre celebrates their 50th with House Mix, a retrospective of the works by Artistic Director and Choreographer Christopher House.

Dance House has a goal to connect Vancouver with the world of dance, including the best of what’s right here in our country. 50 years is a feat for any organization, let alone an arts group, to celebrate, Toronto Dance Theatre assembled a collection of pieces from the last 3 decades to showcase the diversity in their company’s performances and artists. Their 90 minute showcase included;

Martingales – first performed November 2014 in Toronto
An energetic piece filled with rapid movements and playful rhythms.

Fjeld (excerpt) – first performed March 1990 in Toronto
A sculptural work inspired by the films of Ingmar Berman & Renaissance art.

Thirteen – first performed November 2017 in Bogota, Columbia
Revisiting an early Christopher House work from 1983, with the movements repurposed with a new score.

Echo Dark – first performed November 2015 in Toronto
A modern, dance set to a dark, heavy beat.

Toronto Dance Theatre

Vena Cava – first performed November 1998 in Toronto
A fast-paces, energizing show set to the music of composer Robert Moran.

Dance House continues to bring world-class dance performances, next up Betroffenheit, a collaboration between Kidd Pivot & Electric Company Theatre, March 14 – 17, 2018 at Vancouver Playhouse. Tickets online at

Picks of the Week – February 21, 2018

Even through the current temperatures don’t feel like it, spring is just one month away, let’s see if the picks of the week can keep us warm in the meantime

Pizza: Tonight, find some of Vancouver’s best pizzas on Vancouver Foodster’s 3rd Pizza Palooza, a roaming exploration of the city’s pizzas and flatbreads.

Extended:  At Fly Over Canada the Lunar New Year double-bill of Flight of the Dragon, along with the regular Fly Over Canada experience, now held over until February 25th.

Ania Soul, Kawa Ada & Mayko Nguyen
Photo: Joseph Michael Photography

Moon: The Canadian Classic play, Salt-Water Moon, comes to the Gateway Theatre from February 15 – 24

RingTravel The Road To Wrestlemania with the WWE as they set up the ring in Rogers Arena on Friday night

R&B: Singer/Songwriter Miguel brings some soul to the PNE Forum on Saturday night

A Steady Rain : Daniel Doerksen & David Newham

Rain: 7 Tyrants Theatre starts their 10th Anniversary season with A Steady Rain at the Penthouse Studio Theatre until March 3rd.

Theatre: The Arts Club has a pair of shows on stage, experience the backstage antics of Jitters on at the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage until February 25 and the Tony award winning Fun Home at Granville Island Stage running until March 10.

performer: Anne Cooper photo: David Cooper

Dance: The Firehall Arts Centre welcomes the movements of From Where We Stand: A Share Evening Of Dance, two individual performances unnecessary and I Can’t Remember The Words For I Can’t Remember

Rock: German rock group at Tokio Hotel takes the Vogue Stage on Saturday night

Clowning: Taking inspiration from classic comedic works from Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin,  Pss Pss by Compagnia Baccalà runs until March 4th at The Cultch York Theatre.

Exhibition: The Vancouver Art Gallery celebrates the opening of Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg with a birthday bash, preview, dinner and party, the day before the opening of the Japanese artist’s first Canadian retrospective.

Toronto Dance Theatre
photo: Guntar Kravis


Mix: DanceHouse presents the Toronto Dance Theatre 50th Anniversary performance House Mix at the Vancouver Playhouse on Friday and Saturday


Some Hope For The Bastards opens PuSh Festival 2018

This week, the 14th Push International Performing Arts Festival opened at Vancouver Playhouse with a performance of Some Hope For The Bastards.

Montreal choreographer, dancer, musician Frédérick Gravel returns to PuSh Festival with another unique dance spectacle.  A music-dance hybrid, Some Hope For The Bastards is the kind of unexpected show you expect from PuSh Festival.  In Frédérick’s witty introduction, we learn that the awkward, yet mesmerizing opening number we’d just watched before the lights dimmed was one of two. A second opening followed his dialogue, and the movement didn’t stop from there, sometimes accompanied by Frédérick along with fellow musicians Phillippe Brault and José Major and some pieces had no music  at all.  The heartbeating bass ran through much of the show, like a ribbon tying the erratic contemporary movements together. Even when the dance was synchronized the choreography felt natural and instinctive, flowing from the dancers as though improvised on the spot.  At 90 minutes (no intermission) the show is long, and a session of repetitive movements and sounds in the later half creating an almost hypnotic lull in the action before bouncing back with the music and tempo change.  Holding our attention through the nearly non-stop dance over the hour and half is a testament to the skill, stamina and talent of the 9 dancers on stage.

Some Hope The The Bastards was a one night only performance at PuSh Festival 2018 but watch for Frédérick Gravel to return again in the future and check the PuSh program for other great shows that bring the cutting edge, unique performances to the stage we have come to expect each winter during the Festival.


2018 PuSh Festival Program Launches

This week, 2018 PuSh Festival debuted its program guide with a party at The Fox Cabaret, home of Club PuSh during the festival.

Since 2003, PuSh International Performing Arts Festival has become one of Vancouver’s premier events, bringing life to our stages and venue through  three dreary weeks each winter.  From January 16 to February 4, 2018, PuSh Festival brings world class performing arts to Vancouver.  Local performers and companies take the stages along with those from 11 other countries around the globe who are scheduled for PuSh 2018, including acts from Taiwan, Italy, United Kingdom, Australia, Belgium, USA, and Canada.  Theatre, dance, multimedia, film, talkbacks, conversations and workshops are all on deck for this year’s festival, in venues all around Vancouver.

Check out this year’s Festival trailer to see what’s in store for the 2018 Festival.

Visit to purchase passes and explore all that PuSh Festival has to offer during the three weeks or pick up a PuSh Festival Guide and start planning your Festival experience now.

Speaking Of Dance Conversations 2017-18

Speaking of Dance Conversations
 is a series of free public dialogues and roundtable conversations about the world of dance. Presented by Dance House with SFU Woodwards Cultural Programs, the series is a study of the place dance holds within culture and society.  Moderated and presented by noted local writers, artists and creative thinkers, Speaking of Dance Conversations is a platform for everyone to share and develop their own observations and interpretations, and engage in conversation.

All of the series’ conversations are free, open to the public, and are scheduled to be held at Djavad Mowafahian World Art Centre, within SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts at 149 West Hastings, Vancouver. 

The first of the Speaking of Dance Conversations is coming up next week on October 24th at 7pm. 

Cultural Policies in a Global World: a Comparison

The evening will be moderated by Janet Smith, Arts Editor at The Georgia Straight,  in conversation with Jarkko Lehmus (Tero Saarinen Company, Circo – Center for New Circus, Finland), Charlie Wu (ACSEA-Asian-Canadian Special Events Association, TAIWANfest Managing Director), and others.

The upcoming events in the series are;

Marshall McLuhan: Global Village
Date: 21 November 2017, 7pm
Moderated by Richard Cavell (Founder of Bachelor of Media Studies at UBC, Author of McLuhan in Space: A Cultural Geography)

Vancouver and Toronto’s Cultural Scenes in the 70s: A Comparison
Date: 20 February 2018, 7pm
Moderated by Pia Lo (Globe Dancer) 

Creative Arts Therapies: Arts and Health Care
Date: 13 March 2018, 7pm
Moderated by Peta Schur (Cofounder of the Expressive Arts Therapy Training Program, Langara)

Tap Dance and Jazz Music: the Evolution of an Art Form
Date: 10 April 2018, 7pm
Moderated by Sas Selfjord (Vancouver Tap Dance Society)

The complete list of speakers and guests will be announced in advance of each Conversations date, check for details at