The PuSH International Performing Arts Festival in Vancouver, Canada, has revealed its lineup for the next annual event, set to run from January 18 to February 4, 2024. The diverse programming, hailing from 15 countries including Mexico, Australia, France, Haiti, and Brazil, promises an eclectic mix of multidisciplinary performances. This festival delves into themes of social change, touching on migration, displacement, labor, and injustice.
The unveiling of the festival lineup took place during a lively launch event at Granville Island Brewing on November 20. Director of Programming Gabrielle Martin emphasized that the collection of shows was inspired by the idea of caring in curation, rooted in the Latin word “curatus,” meaning “to take care of.” She also highlighted her personal sense of urgency as a driving force behind this year’s selections.
The festival showcases a wide array of innovative and thought-provoking performances. Among them is the world premiere of NOMADA, a Canadian-Mexican production by solo artist Diana Lopez Soto, which explores her Indigenous Mexican heritage and our connections to land and history. This will take place from February 1 to 3 at the Annex. Additionally, Pli by France’s Les Nouvelles Subsistances offers a philosophical circus-dance exploration within a visually stunning paper-based setting, presented at the Vancouver Playhouse on February 2 and 3, also available online.
The program extends to a vibrant dance series. Works like Returns by Nellie Gossen, a world premiere presented in collaboration with the Dance Centre, challenge the norms of dance, labor, and clothing fabrication, running from January 18 to February 3 at the Scotiabank Dance Centre. Ramanenjana, a multimedia docufiction performance by the Tangaj Collective from Romania, Madagascar, and Germany, explores the story of a mass dance event in Madagascar and runs from January 19 to 21.
The festival also includes boundary-pushing theater productions. For instance, LORENZO by U.K. artist Ben Target intertwines live carpentry into a personal story of caregiving, showcasing at the Annex from January 18 to 20. Meanwhile, The Shadow Whose Prey the Hunter Becomes by Australia’s Back to Back Theatre examines human rights, sexual politics, and AI dominance, running at the York from February 1 to 3.
There’s a diverse range of performances awaiting audiences, including L’Amour telle une cathédrale ensevelie, a Haitian opera-theatre piece presented at SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts by Théâtre la Seizième and SFU Woodward’s Cultural Programs on February 3 and 4. Also featured is The Runner—Human Cargo, a story of a split-second decision and its consequences, showing at SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts from January 24 to 26.
The festival doesn’t just showcase performances but offers a space for industry engagement and support. It includes an industry series spanning artist talks, pitch sessions, and free consultations with visiting dramaturgs. The festival aims to nourish local artists’ practice and foster connections within the theater community.
Additionally, Talking Stick Festival and the Frank Theatre will host CLUB PUSH takeovers, alongside special youth programming. The festival presents an opportunity for presenters, producers, and artists from around the world to witness the diverse and engaging works showcased at PuSh.
To learn more about the lineup and the professional program visit the festival website.
Main image: Pli. Photo by Lucie Brosset
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