With 20 dynamic and groundbreaking contemporary works of theatre, dance, music, multimedia and circus, PuSh International Performing Arts Festival returns to a full in-person program this winter.
Running Jan. 19 through Feb. 5 at various venues across the Lower Mainland, the programming demonstrates how powerful the arts can be in bringing communities together to effect change.
“I was inspired by what can be achieved within community, as our partners were fundamental in connecting festival artists to new and returning audiences,” says director of programming Gabrielle Martin.
Featuring original works from 12 countries, the festival lineup is dedicated to creative risk-taking and dynamic interdisciplinary collaboration. The 2023 PuSh Festival includes six world premieres, a strong Canadian presence and various works from Europe, Asia and South America.
Jaha Koo returns to PuSh with Lolling and Rolling a look at the loss of cultural agency
through linguistic colonization. The internationally acclaimed creators of Fight Night and World Without Us return to Vancouver with a provocative new work, Are we not drawn onward to new erA. Tiziano Cruz’s Soliloquio weaves letters to his mother in a story of forgotten peoples. In Okinum, or “dam” in Anishinaabemowin, Émilie Monnet reclaims language and breaks down internal barriers. New Dance Horizons’ THIS & the last cariboo explores cultural commodification and erasure. And Itai Erdal reveals his culpability in personal and political conflict in Soldiers of Tomorrow.
“These are works we need to face challenging truths with empathy, embodiment and communion,” says Martin of the year’s curated programming.
The always anticipated Club PuSh — the festival’s platform for outside-of-the-box work and intimate cabaret experiences — also returns this year from Feb. 2 to 4 at Performance Works. Three nights of Club PuSh will be curated by Vancouver collaborators: the frank theatre company, Talking Stick and the Black Arts Centre.
PuSh also continues to offer youth programming, in partnership with Solid State Community Industries, for participants aged 16 to 24. This is PuSh’s way to engage, support and uplift a new generation of arts enthusiasts by providing greater access to the performing arts via discounted tickets, and Youth Assembly, a free, educational one-day youth conference. Registration for the Youth Assembly is open until Jan. 23.
On this year’s festival, Martin adds, “We are prioritizing innovative works that have a sense of necessity; that wake us up or offer new dreams for the disenchanted. Delivering a festival takes a community, and PuSh continues to centre collaboration.”
See the full roster of performances, and get tickets and festival passes, on the PuSh Festival website.
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