PuSh International Performing Arts Festival unveils programming for 2020 event

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      Major premieres by local companies and work from nine countries are in the mix for the just-announced PuSh International Performing Arts Festival programming slated for January 21 to February 9, 2020.

      Happening in venues around town, the interdisciplinary fest includes Vancouver-created premieres like Electric Theatre Company's production of Carmen Aguirre's magic-realistic creation Anywhere But Here; City Opera Vancouver's 1934-Germany-set BERLIN: The Last Cabaret; Wen Wei Dance and the Turning Point Ensemble's calligraphy-inspired Flying white -飞白; contemporary artists Mike Bourscheid and Justine Chambers's six-dancer game Idealverein; and Musqueam playwright Quelemia Sparrow's epic Skyborn: A Land Reclamation Odyssey, with the Savage Society.


      Other big national and international names span Free Admission, in which U.K.-based provocateur Ursula Martinez builds a real brick wall on stage; FRONTERA, another monumental-scale, hyperenergized dancework by Holy Body Tattoo alumna Dana Gingras’s Animals of Distinction; Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story, a concert-drama created by Halifax's acclaimed 2b Theatre Company, and presented with Touchstone Theatre and UBC Theatre and Film; choreographer and performer Dana Michel interweaves vocal contortions and movement into her deeply personal Cutlass Spring at the Scotiabank Dance Centre; Veda Hille and Theatre Replacement present the musical memoir Little Volcano; and 6th Man Collective and The Theatre Centre bring the basketball-theatre mashup Monday Nights. The Vancouver International Children's Festival will copresent Macromatter's High Water, a playful piece in which a performer builds entire worlds inside a fish tank.

      Micromatter's High Water is at the Nest from February 1 to 5.
      sh Tanasiychuk


      Coming from farther afield, Australia's Back to Back Theatre presents The Democratic Set, in which members of the community help make 15-second video portraits; Lebanon-U.K. artist Tania El Khoury brings her poetic ode to the violence of Syria, called Garden Speaks, here; and South Korean-Belgian artist Jaha Koo folds 20 years of South Korean history into one narrative in Cuckoo.

      This year Club PuSh features Myles de Bastion, DJ Deaf Wish, CymaSpace, Crystal Precious, House of La Douche, and Pearle Harbour. The free opening weekend party includes performances by De Bastion, DJ Deaf Wish, and CymaSpace following the premiere screening of The Democratic Set at the Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre.

      New for 2020 is the PuSh Scholars-in-Residence program, which invites festival artists as well as Indigenous and disabled artists and curators to ask foundational questions about how performance can intervene in the age of crisis. The inaugural scholars-in-residence are Dylan Robinson and Keren Zaiontz.

      There is much more. See dates, venues, tickets, passes, and all other info HERE.

      Monday Nights is at the Anvil Centre from February 6 to 9.
      Taku Kumabe