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Since its birth in 2003, PuSh International Performing Arts Festival has made a name as Vancouver’s signature event for innovative performances in theatre, dance and music. This year, in celebration of its milestone 15th annual edition, the festival has big plans to spark conversation and push boundaries. Over the course of three event-packed weeks across various venues, PuSh festival will show 26 works from 24 companies and 13 countries. The festival anticipates a visionary season that “encompasses important and timely themes from diversity, accessibility, and gratitude.”So what does the festival have in store for us this year? Photo by David Cooper.
When: Jan 21–22, 28–29Where: Scotiabank Dance CentreThis contemporary dance performance by Vancouver-based Company 605 features 5 dancers working in constant negotiation within a loop of motion. Through the dance progression, tensions rise as each body must work against increasingly demanding obligations to space, sound and light. A testament to the vulnerability and risk that working together entails, Company 605 creates a work that hides nothing from its audience while portraying a raw beauty based on human movement. Photo by Jeremy Mimnagh
When: Jan 30–Feb 2Where: Performance WorksSet in contemporary Canada, this concert-meets-conversation is the meeting space of two people: Inuk artist Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory and queer theatre-maker Evalyn Parry each representing the North and South of Canada. Through the mediums of music and video projection, these storytellers share their history and culture, speaking to the larger climate Canadians have inherited.
Photo by Gregory Lorenzutti
When: Jan 18–19Where: Vancouver PlayhouseBoundaries become blurred in this visceral dance performance by Australian choreographers Lucy Guerin and Gideon Obarzanek. Indonesian musical duo Senyawa scores the piece with operatic heavy-metal mixed with Indonesian folk idioms. As the music progresses, eight dancers lose themselves further into the sounds until they are completely lost to their primal emotions with an energy that transmits to audiences. Photo by Bryony Jackson.
When: Jan 24–26Where: Roundhouse (Performance Centre)The entirety of a history bound by greed and hatred is encompassed in one-woman’s voice in this performance about the Transatlantic Slave Triangle. As the UK’s Selina Thompson follows the route from Britain to Ghana to Jamaica, she speaks with the weight of all who came before her. Ancestry, grief, colonialism, memory and the diaspora experience are explored through this powerful performance.PuSh festival takes place from January 17 to February 3. Purchase passes and tickets at pushfestival.ca