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11th annual PuSh Festival begins in January with superb theatre and dance you won't want to miss

The 11th annual PuSh International Performing Arts Festival returns in January, with some amazing works, many of them topical, as well as some superb cutting edge dance.

11th annual PuSh Festival

The 11th annual PuSh International Performing Arts Festival, January 20 – February 8, enters its second decade with its first show from the African continent, some shows about science and social issues, as well as some superb cutting edge dance/theatre.

The phenomenal Louise Lecavalier, who was just awarded the Governor General's award for lifetime achievement, kicks off the festival with So Blue. Like the amazing Denise Clarke who was recently at the Firehall, here's a 50-ish dancer who can move like few 20 year olds can. David Bowie was so impressed that he partnered with her on some of his late 80s / early 90s music videos.

Dancing about science and philosophy? Dark Matter by Kate McIntosh is presented by PuSh Festival and SFU Woodward’s. McIntosh takes the weightiest issues—time, space and existence—and turns them into wild, anarchic play. A triumph of words, physical performance and imagination. 

Lisbeth Gruwez is dancing about the power of language in It’s going to get worse and worse and worse, my friend, presented by PuSh Festival and The Dance Centre. In a bravura display of skill, an ecstasy of movement, Gruwez brings gesture to the words of preacher Jimmy Swaggart. 

Faustin Linyekula learns something new when he goes home in Le CargoA dancer, and genuine storyteller, in this first solo performance of his long career, he uses these skills to bring us closer to a distant reality in his Congo homeland.

George Acheson was a rebel with a cause. He lived the ’60s counterculture, embraced the ’70s Punk movement, and somehow scraped through the years of reaction that followed. Now he’s telling his story in 7 Important Things by STO Union, presented by PuSh Festival, Neworld Theatre and SFU Woodward’s, a story about the things worth fighting for.

The Road Forward is a multimedia blues/rock musical inspired by BC’s groundbreaking Native Voice newspaper, by red diva projects with Visceral Visions, and presented by PuSh Festival, The Cultch and Touchstone Theatre at the York. Rollicking singing, music and historical images come together in a powerful evening which is a tribute to the Aboriginal women murdered or vanished on the Highway of Tears and Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.  

eatingthegame is in Club PuSh at Performance Works. By Hong Kong Exile, and presented by PuSh Festival and Theatre Conspiracy, Conor Wylie gives a theatrical keynote exploration about advancements in foreign property investment, cultural exchange, and policy-making changing the face of international trade. Preceded by Lang(Lang)guage, an interactive installation and recital investigating mass-scale Chinese piano ownership and worship. 

Some PuSh shows get their inspiration from cinema.

Ground-breaking theatre artist Lotte van den Berg is out to alter our basic notions of spectatorship. Cinema Imaginaire is a movie in which you get to be the maker and the viewer. It happens in small groups, at an outdoor location. You will be given a series of assignments—say, focusing on a given object, or watching a certain person walk down the street. A reintroduction to the pleasures of the senses. 

Mariano Pensotti is a PuSh Festival favourite, bringing us a fourth project, Cineastas, presented by PuSh Festival with SFU Woodward’s. The lives of four Argentinian filmmakers, and the four movies they create, are the premise of this inventive work about art as a part of life, as the creation of life. A comedic farce celebrating the human spirit. 

Families can witness climate change problems with Tim Watts in The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik, while Alanna Mitchell (Globe and Mail) takes the journalist’s approach, based on her book Sea Sick.


Earlybird pass prices in effect until December 11, and single ticket earlybird prices until December 18. More info on all 31 PuSh shows at

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