Five favourites from PuSh Festival January 17-February 4

Have you been PuShed? Launched in 2003, PuSh International Performing Arts Festival January 17-February 4 is a Vancouver signature event that’s been described as a beacon of avante-garde light in the dead of winter. Over three weeks, PuSh Festival presents an adventurous program of theatre, dance, multimedia shows and music.

PuSh is renowned for nudging Vancouver audiences toward a heightened appreciation of contemporary performing arts. Expect an over-the-top opening gala, saucy musicals, interactive salons and even dinner theatre in partnership with Dine Out Vancouver.

I’ve chosen five PuSh Festival favourites below to help you narrow down your viewing options.

Five Favourites From PuSh Festival 2012

1) Opening Gala

The fact that the PuSh Festival’s opening gala January 17 (the biggest party of the festival) is going down at the Waldorf says it all. PuSh calls the gala “a veritable buffet of creativity.” Hosted by CTV News anchor Keri Adams, this mega-party features cabaret, live music, historic Waldorf tours, surprise guests, flamenco lessons and more. (Tickets $10)

2) Musical: Do You Want What I Have Got? A Craigslist Cantata

Do You Want What I Have Got? sets your personal ads to music. The result? Raucous laughter. Poke fun at the internet-era at this crowd-pleaser by Vancouverites Bill Richardson & Veda Hille. You’ll never surf/post on Craigslist again without humming one of their ditties. (Tickets from $25)

3) Dance: Dances for a Small Stage 25 & Noche Flamenca

The silver anniversary of Dances for a Small Stage (pictured above) celebrates innovative Canadian choreography talent by allowing dancers to create individual works around a central theme. This year’s theme is Grimm’s Fairy Tales. (Tickets $20)

Meanwhile, Spain’s most treasured flamenco group Noche Flamenca and their star Soledad Barrio will grace the PuSh stage with swiveling snake hips and staccato song. Read more about Noche in Dana’s in-depth post. (Tickets from $47)

4) Food: Act 1: Eat 1

Performing arts collaborate with gastronomic arts in Act 1: Eat 1, a collaboration between Dine Out Vancouver and PuSh Festival. With live PuSh performances at venues including Irish Heather, Salt and Dockside Restaurant, this is a great opportunity to make the most of two of the city’s hottest annual events in one sitting. Find details on shows and ticket prices here.

5) Club PuSh

This genre-busting, cutting-edge series takes theatre/music/dance off the stage and inserts it into interactive salons set in Granville Island’s Performance Works. You’ll also want to check out the Late Night events. Read more about the Club PuSh schedule here. (Tickets from $10).

PuSh Festival, Vancouver’s celebration of avante garde, multidisciplinary performance art, runs January 17 -February 4 at over 15 venues throughout Vancouver. Find out more about PuSh Festival Passes here.

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