Picks of the Week – May 22, 2019

With Victoria Day behind us, we move into the summer entertainment season and plenty of picks of the week…

Festival: The Arts Umbrella Theatre & Music Department’s 2019 Expressions Theatre Festival, continues to bring entertainment to the stage until May 25 at Waterfront Theatre

MOA : Shadows Strings & Other Things

Puppets:Museum of Anthropologie’s Shadows, Strings and Other Things features a broad array of puppets, old and new, from 15 countries across Asia, Europe, and the Americas until October 14, 2019

Water: Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art in downtown Vancouver presents the new exhibit, qa? y?xw – water honours us: Womxn and Waterways until October 2, 2019

Fairytale: Presentation House Theatre brings the comedic spin on ‘The Princess and the Pea” Once Upon A Mattress to the stage until May 26

Improv: Vancouver Theatresports gives audiences the ending of their choosing at Throne and Games – The Last Laugh featuring some familiar characters, but no dragon breath, along with a myriad of unexpected plot twists as suggested by the audience, until June 15th.

Musical: Adapted from Roald Dahl’s novel about the precocious, pint-sized, imaginative student, Matilda the Musical is running at Arts Club Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage until July 14th.

Good Noise Vancouver Gospel Choir Photo: Alex Law Photography

Noise: Good Noise Vancouver Gospel Choir presents the final concert of their season, The Return of Soul Gospel, May 25th at Christ Church Cathedral.

Country: Award-winning, country superstar Carrie Underwood brings The Cry Pretty Tour to Rogers Arena Saturday night.

Spoken Word: Canadian poet Shane Koyczan takes the stage at The Vogue Theatre Friday May 24

Seven Tyrants : At Steady Rain

Rain: Seven Tyrants closes their first season at Tyrant Studios with the remount from last season’s award-winning “A Steady Rain” from May 23rd – 31st.

Dance: The Dance Centre presents the Global Dance Connections series Davida Monk’s Ashes for Beauty, three varied and beautiful contemporary dance works May 23 – 25

Whitecaps Pride Match

Pride: Whitecaps FC host Dallas FC at BC Place for their annual Pride match on Saturday afternoon.

Punk: Manhattan punk act Gogol Bordello brings their punk & dub sounds to the Commodore Ballroom on Friday night.

Rap: Chinese hip-hop / trap group, Higher Brothers, bring beats and rhymes to the Commodore stage on Saturday night

Hot Brown Honey Keeps The Hive Buzzing

Australian based Hot Brown Honey returned to The Cultch York Theatre building on the buzz from last year’s visit.

Hot Brown Honey photo: Chrissie Hall

The Honeys; Kim ‘Busty Beatz – The Queen Bee’ Bowers, Lisa Fa’alafi ‘The Game Changer’ , Ofa Fotu ‘The Myth Slayer’, Hope Haami ‘Hope One The Beatboxer’, Elena Wangurra ‘The Truth Sayer’, Crystal Stacey ‘The Peace Maker’ throwdown a one of a kind performance.

Hot Brown Honey is hard to define to one genre, The Honeys bring a hip-hop concert, burlesque, circus, theatre, comedy and politics to The Hive. Once the audience enters the theatre, it’s clear that something special is about to happen. With hip hop music playing the six performers are amongst the audience, dancing and interacting, as they take their seats. The Honeys instantly bond with the audience, easing them into what’s about to happen.

Hot Brown Honey – Childcare

Throughout the show they break the fourth wall to involve the audience, whether including them in dance or, like me, holding on to one of their ‘babies’ for the show, because a “revolution doesn’t happen without childcare”. Politics, indigenous peoples’ and women’s rights are amongst the themes but presented in such a way that doesn’t slap you in the face but gets the point across with much laughter, excitement, emotions and empowerment. Opening night, was dedicated to Christchurch, NZ which had just suffered a terror act on mosque that same day.

As Hot Brown Honey defies description so it’s best to be seen in person. You have until March 30th to catch The Honey’s in action at York Theatre, 639 Commercial Drive. Visit thecultch.com for details and tickets.

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

 

Scotiabank Dance Centre Open House 2018

At the corner of Davie & Granville Street, behind the facade of the unassuming former bank building lies a thriving hub of Vancouver’s dance scene, the Scotiabank Dance Centre.

Kababayang Pilipino
photo: Leah Villalobos

Since 1986 The Dance Centre has been as a resource centre for professional dance companies and the public, providing a range of activities to the dance community. Presenting programs and events for artists and general public to build the profile of the dance scene in Metro Vancouver, British Columbia and beyond.

The annual Scotiabank Dance Centre Open House, taking place September 15, 2018 is an opportunity to sample a host of exciting dance styles, from ballet and contemporary to flamenco and swing, in a day of open classes, studio showings and events.

Vanessa Goodman
photo: David Cooper

“Our annual Open House is an opportunity to celebrate a wonderful building, which has become a home for dance of all kinds, and also to experience the excitement and diversity of Vancouver’s dance scene,” said Mirna Zagar, Executive Director of The Dance Centre, the organization which spearheaded the development of the building.

Participating companies and artists include Raven Spirit Dance, Kababayang Pilipino, Karen Flamenco, Shot of Scotch, Polymer Dance, Vanessa Goodman/Action at a Distance, Anderson Performance Clinic, Project Soul and many more.

Linda Arkelian Balley
photo: Erik Zennstrom

The Scotiabank Dance Centre Open House from 11am – 5pm, for a full schedule of events taking place throughout the day visit   thedancecentre.ca/open_house .
Pre-registration is not required.
Classes are suitable for all levels, including beginner, except where specified

Hot Brown Honey heats up The Cultch

Until January 27th, Hot Brown Honey is taking over The Cultch York Theatre.  You know you’re in for something special when the ushers are handing out earplug upon entering the Theatre, and indeed Hot Brown Honey, part of The Cultch’s Femme January, is something special.

The buzz is palpable as the audience took their seats in The Hive and welcomed the six Honeys; Kim ‘Busty Beatz – The Queen Bee’ Bowers, Lisa Fa’alafi ‘The Game Changer’ , Ofa Fotu ‘The Myth Slayer’, Hope Haami ‘Hope One The Beatboxer’, Elena Wangurra ‘The Truth Sayer’, Crystal Stacey ‘The Peace Maker’, to the York Theatre stage.  Hot Brown Honey, a hit at Edinburgh Fringe,  grew out of an original Australian burlesque show, Hot Brown Honey Burlesque, created by Kim Bowers, Candice Bowers and Lisa Fa’Alafi.  This show is a red hot, sassy, bold journey to shine a light on stereotypes and the patriarchy.  The six Honeys #makenoise about tough topics that are very much torn from today’s headlines, with a unique style of comedy, music and dance.  Rather than beating the audience over the head with their message they bring the beats to the floor with their brilliant hip hop style.  Rap, beatboxing, powerful vocals and prose, nothing is out of reach for the talented sextet as they entertain and empower with their mission to fight the power.

Hot Brown Honey is really a show that needs to be seen, heard and listened to to really appreciate the talented Honeys and their timely message.

Fighting the power never tasted so sweet.

Hot Brown Honey runs at The Cultch York Theatre, 639 Commercial Drive, until January 27, 2018.  For more show information and tickets visit thecultch.com or call The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363.

Picks of the Week – June 21, 2017

Finally, Summer is upon us, with the long days that gives us more time for more picks of the week

Comedy: It’s Thursday Night Live when SNL comedian Michael Che takes the stage at The Vogue Theatre

Seeds: Australian act Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds bring down under to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on Thursday night

Tents:  Bard on the Beach is underway at Vanier Park, Much Ado About Nothing is playing now and The Winter’s Tale comes to the tents starting Thursday night.

Rhythm: West Coast Hip Hoppers Jurassic 5 bring their unique brand of hip hop to the Commodore Ballroom on Friday and Saturday nights.

Words: The Museum of Anthropology’s exhibition Traces of Words: Art and Caligraphy of Asia examines forms of the written word around Asia, on until October.

Roar: The BC Lions 2017 regular season home schedule kicks off with Edmonton Eskimos at BC Place on Saturday night.

Stage: The Arts Club Theatre Company has a pair of shows on now; Million Dollar Quartet at The Stanley Stage, extended until July 16th, Hand To God at The Goldcorp Stage, until June 25th and Bittergirl The Musical running until July 29th at Granville Island Stage

Ring: The WWE Live Summerslam Heatwave Tour comes to Rogers Arena on Saturday night

Artifacts: The Museum of Vancouver has a quirky, exhibition running throughout the summer, Unbelievable demonstrating the stories behind some unique artifacts

DOXA Free Screening : Hip Hop-eration

Tomorrow evening, DOXA Film Festival presents it’s first free outdoor screening.  With the cooperation of the Downtown Vancouver BIA, Robson Square will become an outdoor theatre for a screening of Bryn Evan’s Hip Hop-operation at 9pm.

The film follows the story of a group of New Zealand seniors who set out to compete in the Las Vegas World Hip Hop Championships. Watch the antics of the charming group of aspiring dancers, ranging in age from 64-95.

Before the screening, a Vancouver Street Dance Festival, which gets under way next week, will put on a dance battle at 8pm for a whole evening of hip hop-ertainment.

DOXA’s Screening of Hip Hop-eration takes place July 21, 2015 at the North End of Robson Square in downtown Vancouver.