Domitille Martin in Pli, part of the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival, which runs Jan. 18 to Feb. 4. (photo by Lucie Brosset)
PuSh International Performing Arts Festival returns to Vancouver Jan. 18-Feb. 4. The mid-winter event that delivers innovative, contemporary works asks the questions, “Can a live art festival be a ritual for social change? A cultural strategy? A means to rethink history while imagining possible futures?” Participating artists include Jewish community members and a production presented with Chutzpah! Festival.
Vancouver’s Vanessa Goodman (Action at a Distance) is co-creator with Tangaj Collective (Simona Deaconescu, from Romania, and Gaby Saranouffi, from Madagascar) of BLOT, Body Line of Thought: “Our bodies are strong and fragile. BLOT redefines how we see our physical selves and their relationship to the world. In a stark set reminiscent of a science lab, two dancers observe the intricacies of the body and using salt, microbiome and physiology demonstrate how interconnected we truly are.”
BLOT will be presented Jan. 22-23, 7:30 p.m., at Left of Main, with a post-show talkback after the Jan. 22 production.
PuSh, with SFU Woodward’s Cultural Programs & Touchstone Theatre, presents Toronto-based theatre company Human Cargo’s The Runner, Jan. 24-26, 7:30 p.m., at SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts. The play description reads: “When Jacob, an Orthodox Jew, makes a split-second decision of who to help, his world comes crashing down. Urgent, visceral and complex, The Runner invites us into a nuanced exploration of our shared humanity and the value of kindness.”
In Pli, by France’s Les Nouvelles Subsistances (Inbal Ben Haim, Domitille Martin and Alexis Mérat), “paper becomes a playground. This visually stunning, philosophical work considers risk and transformation, as told through a circus artist moving through a set made entirely of paper – like a vast, changing sculpture. The relationship between body and paper offers a new conversation about the relationship between strength and vulnerability.”
Presented with Chutzpah! Festival, the circus/dance Pli runs Feb. 2-3, 7:30 p.m., at Vancouver Playhouse and Feb. 2-4 online.
In all, PuSh features 17 original works from 15 countries, including four world premières and seven Canadian debuts. The works presented offer personal accounts of resistance and acts of vulnerability, and push us to examine our relationship to themes such as migration, displacement, labour, injustice and artificial intelligence.
Events include Club PuSh, a casual atmosphere where people can connect with artists and party with fellow festival-goers; the PuSh Industry Series, which, in partnership with Talking Stick, stimulates dialogue with attendees during the second week of the festival; youth programming for participants aged 16 to 24; and, in partnership with Playwrights Theatre Centre, free artistic consultations with visiting dramaturgs representing diverse artistic points of view and cultural contexts.
Tickets for PuSh range from $16.75 to $39, with a top-tier seating option of $69 for Pli at the Playhouse, and PuSh passes for people who want to see multiple shows. To buy tickets, visit pushfestival.ca or call the festival audience services line at 604-449-6000.
– Courtesy PuSh International Performing Arts Festival