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

 

Luke Bryan asks What Makes You Country

What Makes You Country Tour – BC Place Stadium – October 13, 2018

This weekend, Luke Bryan‘s What Makes You Country Tour made a stop at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver.  The country superstar packed the tour with 4 other support acts, making it like a six hour country festival.  The dinner hour audience was warmed up by Carly Pearce, then Jon Pardi took the stage. In between sets, DJ Rock kept audiences energized and dancing.

Sam Hunt

Once Sam Hunt took the stage, the audience was filling the seats and the energy was filling BC Place to the roof.  The Georgia-born singer-songwriter was welcomed to the stage with a roar, in all-black outfit and ballcap, his swagger gave a hip-hop/pop vibe. Hunt led a singalong as he played his hits “Downtown’s Dead”, “Take Your Time”, “Body Like A Backroad”, “House Party”, and a mid-set Honky Tonk tribute to those country star he grew up listening to; Brooks & Dunn, The Dixie Chicks, Tim McGraw, Garth Brooks.  His easy country/rock style has crossover appeal and he worked the audience to make sure everyone was on the Sam Hunt bandwagon.

Luke Bryan

The stadium was packed and roaring as headliner Luke Bryan took the stage with “Country Girl (Shake is for me)” which definitely prompted a lot of Vancouver girls, and guys, to shake it for him.  The affable platinum-selling country superstar worked the whole stage reaching as many of the audience he could.  While it was noticeable that something was troubling Luke, and he mentioned suffering from local allergies, his vocals didn’t seem troubled at all. His charm and energy shone throughout the set, high-energy tracks balanced with sweet acoustic ballads. After a rousing cover of Alabama’s “Mountain Music”, Bryan slowed it down with the audience favourite “Drink A Beer”. “Play It Again” and appropriate for Vancouver “Rain Is A Good Thing” closed out the main set.

Audience Fave: Drink A Beer

Even for those of us who didn’t attend the whole 6 hours of performances,  Sam Hunt and Luke Bryan alone definitely left the audience satisfied.  The What Make You Country Tour has just two more dates, wrapping up nearly a year’s worth of shows, in Rochester and Detroit.

 

Music on Main brings Modulus Festival 2018

Music on Main invites you to immerse yourself in the 2018 Modulus Festival from November 2 – 6, 2018.

Acclaimed music and sounds will fill The Roundhouse, The Post at 750 and CBC Studio 700 over the five day festival. A collaborative festival, Modulus brings together other Arts organizations from near and far to mount the series of great events. DOXA, Coastal Jazz, Western Front Music, Standing Wave, NOW Society, Driftwood Percussion, Montreal’s Suoni Per Il Popolo, France’s Ensemble Variances and Britain’s Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival all contribute to Modulus.

Evening and afternoon performances bring concerts, talks, films and even a kitchen party to the stages.  Covering jazz, percussion, classical,  chamber music and more, featured events include a night of music and video with acclaimed pianist Eve Egoyan including Nicole Lizée’s “glitch” inspired piece David Lynch Etudes, a world premiere by Nicole Lizée performed by flutist Claire Marchand and harpist Albertina Chan, composer and vocalist Laura Bowler.

Modulus Festival begins Friday, November 2 at 8pm running to Tuesday, November 6, 2018 at The Roundhouse, The Post at 750 and CBC Studio 700. Events are free and/or ticketed, visit musiconmain.ca for more details and to purchase tickets.

Vancouver Foodster Sushi Roll Challenge – Results

The Vancouver Foodster Sushi Roll Challenge has wrapped up, and the results are in! From September 18th to October 7th, public and media judges including Deanna Woo, Shelley Hayashi and myself were out and about trying the participating restaurants’ Sushi Roll Challenge entries.

Four diverse entries from around Vancouver tickled our taste buds. As with all Vancouver Foodster food challenges, chefs were invited to be as innovative and adventurous as they desired in order to highlight their skills and establishment, this challenge was on-trend with rolls including aburi, poke, no-carbs to offer something for everyone.
It was a difficult, and tasty, task to judge the entries, I’m sure the public had just as much fun trying to decide their faves, as well.

The result are in:

Judge’s Choice: 

First Place: Uma Sushi
Entry: Dark Magic Roll

 

 

 

 

 

 

Second Place: Riz Sushi Bar & Catering
Entry: Sans Riz (rice-less roll)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Third Place (tie): Daddy’s Kitchen
Entry: Poke California Roll

 

 

 

 

 

 

Third Place (tie): Kitstaya Sushi
Entry: Aburi Prawn Salmon Roll

 

 

 

 

People’s Choice:

First Place: Daddy’s Kitchen
Entry: Poke California Roll

Second Place: Uma Sushi
Entry: Dark Magic Roll

Third Place: Riz Sushi Bar & Catering
Entry: Sans Riz (rice-less roll)

Looking for more flavour challenges? Check out Vancouver Foodster’s Best Pasta Challenge, on until October 28th, or explore the neighbourhood on Tasting Plates Gastown edition on October 24th.

 

Vancouver International Writer’s Festival opens the cover October 15th

The Vancouver International Writers Festival (VIWF) opens in one week, celebrating the written word for the 31st year. The VIWF mission is to bring readers and writers together to reimagine our lives and our world, through story and vibrant dialogue. After three decades the Writers Festival is proving the written word is still relevant and holding its own in this digital world of 280 character Tweets and instant communication.

The Vancouver Writers Fest encourages readers of all ages to explore the power of storytelling, and books, through our dozens of events with local and international writers. While the Writers Festival holds events all year around, the marquis program runs from October 15th to 21st, 2018. Centred all over Granville Island, the Festival has events for all walks of life and all ages, and all budgets. Non-Fiction, Fiction, Poetry, Children, Youth literature and more all take the leap from the page to the stage. More than 100 authors take part in dozens of events each day of the week, including Free Saturday October 20th, making sure everyone in the community can engage the writers. 

This year look for events with writers from near and far including; Buffy Sainte-Marie, Shane Koyczan, Jodi Picoult, Elizabeth Hay, Ondjaki, Aminatta Forna and more

Past writers in attendance have included; Martin Amis, Margaret Atwood, Timothy Findley, John Irving, Robbie Robertson, Ann-Marie MacDonald, Rohinton Mistry, Alice Munro, Ian Rankin, J.K. Rowling, Salman Rushdie, Frank McCourt. 

Every year readers are introduces to new writers and genres to bring home or to their book clubs, families and friends. What new discoveries will you find? Tickets are available online at writersfest.bc.ca

Beyond the festival special events continue through the fall, including Ian Rankin in conversation with Jerry Wasserman on October 27th, and Yotam Ottolenghi in conversation with Meeru Dhalwala

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

VIFF 2018 is underway!

The Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) is now on, lighting up screens around the city until October 12, 2018.

The 37th edition of VIFF brings hundreds of films from around the globe, and around the corner to Vancouver cinemas.  Award-winning Hollywood star-power rubs shoulders with independent local BC features, while foreign language films join the first feature told in the Haida language.

The Festival kicked off last night, September 27th with award-winning Canadian director Kim Nguyen’s The Hummingbird Project starring Jesse Eisenberg, Alexander Skarsgård, and Selma Hayek.   On October 12th, VIFF closes with Jason Reitman’s The Front Runner, starring Hugh Jackman, a biography chronicling the rise and fall of 1988 Presidential candidate Gary Hart.  In the weeks between opening and closing films; talkbacks, panels, special events, features, awards and much more fill out the Festival’s days and nights.

Some of the special presentations and features are:

The Old Man & the Gun – September 29 at The Centre
What may be Robert Redford’s final film, The Old Man & the Fun is based on the true story of Forrest Tucker (Redford), charting his escape from San Quentin at the age of 70 to an unprecedented string of heists that confounded authorities and enchanted the public. Also stars Sissy Spacek and Casey Affleck

Creator Talk: Michael Schur – September 30 at The Rio Theatre
A fascinating session with Michael Schur, one of comedy’s best TV writers (The Good Place, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Office).

Tribute Award: Jean Marc Vallée – October 2 at Vancouver Playhouse
Celebrate the accomplishments of Canadian filmmaker Jean-Marc Vallée (Big Little Lies, C.R.A.Z.Y.) with a screening of the premiere episode of the Vallée directed, Sharp Objects, starring Amy Adam.  An ‘in conversation with’ the Emmy winning director follows the screening.

BC Spotlight: SG?aawaay ?’uuna (Eng: Edge of the Knife) – October 3, 6:15pm  at Vancouver Playhouse
Filmed on Haida Gwaii, the first feature film spoken only in Haida dialects, and set in the 19th Century, Edge of the Knife tells a classic Haida story of the traumatized and stranded man transformed to Gaagiixiid, the wildman.

Sustainable Production Forum Keynote Speaker: Adrian Grenier – October 5 at Vancity Theatre
Dedicated to greening the film industry the two day Sustainable Production Forum gets underway with a keynote on the conference’s theme “Transforming Culture” from actor Adrian Grenier.

Bethune: The Making of a Hero – October 5, 6:00 pm  at Vancity Theatre
A special screening of the first Canadian/Chinese co-production, Phillip Borsos’s Bethune: The Making of a Hero stars Donald Sutherland in the title role of the Canadian Doctor renowned in China for bringing modern medicine to rural communities.

Boy Erased – October 6, 9:15pm at Vancouver Playhouse
Based on the memoir by Garrard Conley, Boy Erased is written and directed by Joel Edgerton, who also stars alongside Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe, and Edgerton, and follows the son of Baptist parents who is forced to take part in a gay conversion therapy program.

Vancouver International Film Festival runs September 27 – October 12, 2018 at various screens in downtown Vancouver.
Single Tickets and Ticket Packs are on sale online or in-person at the Vancity Theatre Box Office from $13 to $22. VIFF membership (from $2) is required to view any screening.