Embrace Live Art at the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival

Ramanenjana, Photo: Adi Bulboaca/PuSh Festival

The PuSh International Performing Arts Festival returns to the city with a theme of “A Manifesto for Live Art” across theatres and venues from January 18 to February 4. For two decades, PuSh has been Vancouver’s signature mid-winter cultural event, delivering innovative and thought-provoking works of theatre, dance, music, and multimedia by acclaimed local, national, and international artists.

PuSh is renowned for showcasing personal accounts of resistance and acts of vulnerability to drive social change. The festival offers audiences an opportunity for self-reflection to examine our relationships with complex issues, including migration, race, displacement, labour, injustice, and AI.

PLI, Photo: Loic Nys/PuSh Festival

International Programming

Featuring 17 original works from 15 countries, including four world premieres and seven Canadian debuts, PuSh’s 2024 lineup is dedicated to inspired risk-taking and dynamic interdisciplinary collaboration. In addition to a strong Canadian presence, the festival also features works from Mexico, Australia, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, India, the UK, Palestine, Romania, Madagascar, Haiti, China, Brazil, and the U.S.

BLOT, Photo: Adi Bulboaca/PuSh Festival

Standout Performances

Ramanenjana @ Dance Centre – Jan. 19-21

Blending reality and fiction, see this witty, captivating docu-fiction performance rooted in a sacred ritual about a dance event that made history in 1863 Madagascar.

Dear Laila @ The Fishbowl – Jan. 20-Feb. 3

Participants will experience a model of the artist’s childhood home in a Palestinian refugee camp in an intimate, interactive installation of displacement and resistance, exposing how war and exile infiltrate the everyday.

BLOT – Body Line of Thought @ Left of Main – Jan. 22-23

This choreographed performance is inspired by our own anatomy, using the body’s language to redefine interconnected states of repetition, fluidity, compassion, and empathy through microbiology.

Because I Love the Diversity @ Performance Works – Jan. 22-24

Through his semi-improvisational, trance-like movement renowned across the globe, choreographer and dancer Rakesh Sukesh explores racism’s effect on body, mind, and our relationship to art.

Inheritances @ Annex – Jan. 24-25

Accomplished contemporary pianist Adam Tendler performs 16 original compositions live in what promises to be a bold meditation on confronting the legacy of the past.

PLI @ Vancouver Playhouse – Feb. 2-4

A circus artist and two visual artists move through an entirely paper set in a visually arresting and deeply philosophical ode to transformation.

Adam Tendler, Photo: PuSh Festival

PuSh Experiences

The highly anticipated Club PuSh, the festival’s platform for out-of-the-box work and interactive experiences, runs from January 26-27 at 9pm as two cabaret-style nights of live entertainment at Performance Works on Granville Island. It features a more relaxed, casual atmosphere where people can connect with artists and party with fellow festival-goers.

The PuSh Industry Series also returns for 2024 to stimulate dialogue with attendees from the national and international performing arts community during the second week of the festival. The series brings together over 200 visionary arts workers to imagine possible futures through a cultural exchange that invites generative friction, collective reflection, and creative response.

Dear Laila, Photo: PuSh Festival

PuSh Festival is the Lower Mainland’s premiere artistic gathering, taking place over three weeks each January. It presents ground-breaking, contemporary works of live and performing arts by a diverse group of artists every year.

To browse the full program and purchase tickets, visit PuSh’s website.

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