Bastards dance, Birdman drums, Ghetto Blaster confronts at Vancouver’s 2018 PuSh Festival

An image from Eternal Tides, one performance only at the 2018 PuSh Festival.

Earlier this week, the 2018 PuSh Festival schedule was announced. As always, there’s a plethora of international talent coming to town, presenting shows that range from dance to theatre to movies with live musical accompaniment.

Below are some of our picks for the performing arts festival, which runs Jan 16-Feb. 4 at various venues in downtown Vancouver. (Click on titles to view trailers.) Tickets are on sale now.

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Bastards dance, Birdman drums, Ghetto Blaster confronts at Vancouver’s 2018 PuSh Festival

What is man but a slave to biology? asks exciting new dance piece

Animal Triste cast, including JamesGnam, Brianna Lombardo Marc Boivin, Riley Sims, Courtesy Mathieu Doyonre,

Is man merely a slave to his biology? A new piece, Animal Triste, poses the question through dance.

A new work by Mélanie Demers, Animal Triste premiered earlier this year in at Montreal’s Agora de la danse. Along with Demers’ Mayday Danse, Vancouver’s Plastic Orchid Factoryis bringing the piece to Vancouver, for three nights. The show runs Oct. 19, 20 & 21 at 8 p.m. at Scotiabank Dance Centre (677 Davie St.).

From the looks of the trailers (links below), the show looks like a wild one.

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What is man but a slave to biology? asks exciting new dance piece

Ballet BC opens its new season with themes of ‘awakening and change’

Ballet BC Dancers Gilbert Small and Kirsten Wicklund. Photo by Michael Slobodian.

The North American debut of a piece by internationally acclaimed European choreographer Johan Inger will kick off the 2017/18 season of BC Ballet.

Along with a new work from Ballet BC Resident Choreographer Cayetano Soto, Inger’s B.R.I.S.A. forms Program I, which opens the new season Nov. 2-4 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre (630 Hamilton St.).

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Ballet BC opens its new season with themes of ‘awakening and change’

What to see at this year’s Vancouver International Dance Festival

Japanese dance company Dairakudakan

Japan’s Dairakudakan performs as part of this year’s Vancouver International Dance Festival.

Even if you don’t know a pirouette from a Pirelli, the 2017 Vancouver International Dance Festival has something to boggle the mind, and inflame the senses.

A showcase for local and international choreographers, performers and companies, the VIDF is a hotly-anticipated annual event. This year, from March 1-25, 14 different companies will perform at various venues. Here’s a preview of some of the pieces during the festival’s 17th edition.

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What to see at this year’s Vancouver International Dance Festival

Unforgettable dance performances coming with Dancing On the Edge fest!

Frédérick Gravel and Étienne Lepage THUS SPOKE_Stéphane Najman_avec Anne Thériault

Frédérick Gravel and Étienne Lepage’s THUS SPOKE is among the works presented at this year’s Dancing On the Edge festival.

Frederick Gravel created a buzz in Vancouver in 2014, with his show Usually Beauty Fails at the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival. In July, the Montreal choreographer brings a new piece to town as part of the 28th Annual Dancing on the Edge festival (July 7-16 at various venues).

Gravel’s Thus Spoke…, which premiered in 2013, blends monologues with movement, concert-style lighting and the acid-rock stylings of Jim Hendrix (watch a preview here). Described by the choreographer as “philosophical, with a rock ‘n’ roll vibe,” Thus Spoke… is among the highlights of the festival, which presents both full-scale productions and works-in-progress that push the boundary between performance and contemporary dance. Here are a few more.

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Unforgettable dance performances coming with Dancing On the Edge fest!

Big talent, small stage – see Ballet BC dancers up close and personal!

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Dancers featured in Dances for a Small Stage 32.

A Ballet BC dancer, a former member of the Nederlands Dans Theater and a Vancouver burlesque star are just a few reasons to check out the 32nd Dances for a Small Stage.

The series has long been known for bringing the rarefied world of contemporary dance to a new audience who might not know Balanchine from Ballantine’s.

By pairing a diverse array of dancers with musicians and other collaborators, by having them inhabit a postage-stamp space that is often near the audience, and by performing bite-size chunks of about five-to-seven minutes apiece, Dances for a Small Stage makes accessible art that even non-dance aficionados can enjoy.

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Big talent, small stage – see Ballet BC dancers up close and personal!

What to see at this year’s Dancing on the Edge Festival

Karissa Barry performs in Three-Tone, part of Dusk Dances with the 2015 Dancing on the Edge Festival (July 2-11). Robin Toma photography.

Karissa Barry performs in Three-Tone, part of Dusk Dances with the 2015 Dancing on the Edge Festival (July 2-11). Robin Toma photography.

This year, Canada’s longest running dance festival features over 30 dance shows around the city. Free outdoor performances are also part of the 2015 Dancing on the Edge Festival (July 2-11).

Outdoor performances include Dusk Dances at Portside Park, Wreck Beach Butoh, and Fortier Danse from Montreal’s solo performance in secret locations around Granville Island.

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What to see at this year’s Dancing on the Edge Festival