THE PUSH INTERNATIONAL PERFORMING Arts Festival will present performances from as far away as Zimbabwe, Belgium, South Korea, Argentina and Bulgaria from January 19 to February 5, 2023. The organization has released the lineup tonight for a 19th Anniversary Complete Live. edition, which will take place in places of the city.
PuSh Passes and single tickets will be on sale from noon on November 23 at pushfestival.ca. Digital options for some shows are also offered.
With 20 original productions, this is PuSh’s biggest release since before the pandemic. The organization is under the new shared leadership of programming director Gabrielle Martin; director of operations Keltie Forsyth; and the Director of Indigenous Initiatives, Dr. Margo Kane.
Highlights include two circus works: the North American premiere of Finland’s ODD (February 4 and 5 at the Vancouver Playhouse, as well as online), a sci-fi-tinged tale that follows an acrobatic man through the phases of existence; and Lontano + Instant, boldly reinventing the legendary number of the Cyr wheel. (This latest France/Argentina/Italy production which will take place from January 26-28 at the Scotiabank Dance Centre, with performances online and presented with Inner Fish.)
Belgian mavericks from the Ontroerend Goed theater return to the festival with Aren’t we being dragged into a new era in co-presentation with UBC Theater & Film Department at the Frederic Wood Theater February 1-4; in a Canadian premiere, the play plays with the idea of the palindrome, featuring actions twice and making a clever metaphor for the climate crisis.
Several local theater companies see exciting world premieres at the festival. Among them, from February 3 to 5, The Elbow Theater unveils The soldiers of tomorrow at the Roundhouse Performance Center; this is theater artist Itai Erdal’s story about a Syrian-born musician and former IDF soldier. From February 1 to 4, Jonathan Young of the Electric Company Theater cleverly reimagines the central themes of communication in Goethe Faust in the new An undeveloped sound; SFU Woodward Cultural Programs is co-producing the show.
Other world premieres include Delinquent Theatre’s The Seventh Fire, an Anishnaabe “Audio Ceremony” with Lisa Cooke Ravensbergen, taking place multiple times throughout the festival at the immersive Lobe Studio. Rakesh Sukesh’s dance work is also the main feature of his debut in a co-presentation with the Cultch. Because I like diversity (this micro-attitude, we all have it), a solo performance using dance, music and text to embody inner turmoil and interrogate the political use of technology, in particular racial profiling. Elsewhere in Dance, Canada’s New Dance Horizons presents the world premiere of THIS and the last caribou. At the Annex on January 25 and 26, a trio of works explore our place in relation to history and nature: a solitary figure adrift on a carpet of ice; waves and a candy-colored clown; a caribou dancer and his shadow.
Dance, in fact, is remarkably plentiful at this year’s festival, thanks in part to the previously announced co-presentation of Center de danse de France, never twenty one by Smaïl Kanouté / Company Let’s live! (January 19 to 21). From January 20-22, PuSh presents Moya Michael’s highly creative, multimedia and interactive look at human politics and history, Colored Swan 3: Harriet’s Remix by (in a South Africa/Belgium production) in the appendix. And the Canadian Alan Lake Factorie brings his fable The cries of jellyfish at the Vancouver Playhouse on January 27 and 28.