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.