Vancouver’s signature, mid-winter cultural event is back. Taking place each January in theatres and venues across the city, PuSh International Performing Arts Festival is presenting its 18th annual edition from Jan. 20 to Feb. 6, 2022, at various venues across the Lower Mainland with select programming online. PuSh delivers groundbreaking, contemporary works of theatre, dance, music and multimedia by acclaimed local, national and international artists.
Featuring 12 works from three countries, including one world premiere and two Canadian premieres — the festival lineup is dedicated to creative risk-taking and dynamic interdisciplinary collaboration. With this year’s emphasis on artists from across Canada, PuSh will also present works from the United States and the U.K., as well as long-standing and new partners including the Dance Centre, Full Circle: First Nations Performance, Indian Summer Festival, the Talking Stick Festival, Touchstone Theatre, the Firehall Arts Centre, SFU Woodward’s Cultural Programs, Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, and others.
Shows include the world premiere Do You Mind If I Sit Here? from acclaimed Canadian company Theatre Replacement — a multimedia extravaganza that dares us to imagine the future in terms of our most important hopes, fears and beliefs. The festival also includes two Canadian premieres from our international companies: Capitalism Works for Me! True/False by Steve Lambert, a pointed, provocative installation project from the U.S.; and Born to Manifest by Joseph Toonga of Just Us Dance Theatre in the U.K., a kinetic expression of pride and defiance, channelling the lived experiences of young Black British men in this dynamic dance performance.
The two other genre-bending dance performances come from Quebec, La Goddam Voie Lactée by MAYDAY and Se prendre by LION LION. Music combines with theatre in I Swallowed a Moon Made of Iron, by Njo Kong Kie; with multimedia in Ruby Singh’s Vox.Infold and with theatrical memoir in Vivek Shraya’s How to Fail as a Popstar. Amazing Canadian theatre shows include the multimedia-enhanced VIOLETTE by Joe Jack et John and Aalaapi by Collectif Aalaapi from Montreal, as well as impactful and humane political discourse in Our Fathers, Sons, Lovers and Little Brothers by Makambe K. Simamba and Crow's Theatre William Shakespeare’s As You Like It: A Radical Retelling by Cliff Cardinal, which round out the 2022 program.
This year the always anticipated program Club PuSh, the festival’s platform for outside-of-the-box work and interactive experiences, features three nights curated by Vancouver collaborators frank theatre company, the Talking Stick Festival and Immigrant Lessons at Performance Works, from Feb. 2 to 4 at 9 p.m. If you’re looking to keep the PuSh vibes going into the night, this is the place to be. It’s also the venue for fantastic performances in a relaxed, casual atmosphere: drag artists, DJs, musicians and street dancers are all throwing down here. PuSh is thrilled to offer a convivial, comfortable and COVID-safe place for audiences to gather, and we hope to see you at this year’s events!
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