Highlights of this year’s Club PuSh

Club PuSh

Vancouver performance arts collective Norma dons whiskers for Swan Song With Cats at Club PuSh. Photo: Elaine Miller.

PuSh, Vancouver’s International Performance Arts Festival, is underway. Celebrating its tenth anniversary, the festival takes place until Feb. 2, and features 150 performances by an international roster of musicians, filmmakers and theatre groups at various venues around town.

Some of those performers will entertain audiences at Club PuSh, aka Performance Works (1218 Cartwright St.). Here are some highlights of this year’s Club PuSh, the festival’s Granville Island hub.

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Highlights of this year’s Club PuSh

Human Library Lets you Check Out People at Vancouver’s PuSh Festival

Photo credit: HumanLibrary.org

The Vancouver Public Library has 2.8 million items in its collection: books, DVDs, periodicals and – starting Jan. 18 – even people.

As part of the PuSh Arts Festival, the library will be loaning out 30 human books – real, live people that you check out and chat with one-on-one for 20-30 minutes.  And from the titles, these human books sound like real page-turners: Polyamorous, Drag Queen, Occupy Activist and Refugee . . . to name a few.

The inspiration for the event comes from Copenhagen, Denmark, where the first Human Library was launched in 2000 as a way to fight stereotypes and promote dialogue in the community.  The human books typically represent stigmatized or marginalized groups of people – religious minorities, sexual minorities and others exposed to misconceptions and prejudice.

The hope is that curious readers will get to know these people on an individual level and learn more about their beliefs.  So far, human libraries have connected thousands of readers with human books in 65 countries.

Of course, to check out a human book, you first need to have a human library card. Continue reading:
Human Library Lets you Check Out People at Vancouver’s PuSh Festival

PuSh Festival Preview: 5 must-see shows, Jan 15-Feb 3

Photo courtesy of PuSh Festival.

The PuSh Festival – highlighting groundbreaking work in the performing arts – is set to descend on Vancouver from Jan. 15-Feb. 3.  More than 160 edgy, provocative performances will be held over 20 days, highlighting theatre, dance, music and multimedia from around the world.

In its ninth year, PuSh embraces 18 Main Series shows, three weeks of Club PuSh (for cutting-edge, experimental work), a free film series and even Dine Out events paired with Vancouver restaurants.

With so much going on, deciding which shows to see can be a little overwhelming.  Here are five picks of PuSh to get your creative juices flowing:

Ride the Cyclone: This darkly comic musical is about a high school chamber choir that perishes in a roller-coaster accident while on a trip to the amusement park.  The ghostly choir reunites to sing about their aspirations and thwarted dreams in one final concert.  Jan. 17-Feb. 16; Arts Club Granville Island Stage; from $29. 

Do You See What I Mean: Participants are blindfolded, then led on a 2.5-tour of the “streets, storefronts and secret spaces” of Vancouver in this unique piece of in situ art, which premiered in Lyon, France.  The deeply transformative experience is partly sponsored by the Canadian National Institute for the Blind. Jan. 25-Jan. 27, Feb. 1-3; departing from Access Gallery; from $31.  Continue reading:
PuSh Festival Preview: 5 must-see shows, Jan 15-Feb 3

25 unmissable Vancouver events in February 2012

It’s the shortest month of the year, but February in Vancouver is packed full of events.

You can depend on calendar staples: Valentine’s Day, Leap Year, Superbowl and The Academy Awards. Add to that signature regional events: Winter Pride LGBT Ski Week, Vancouver ComedyFest, Talking Stick Festival, Tales of the Cocktail and Playhouse International Wine Festival (pictured above). Don’t forget about February’s rich cultural celebrations: the city has a month-long program of film, talks, parties and performance in honour of Black History Month.

Get your eager mitts on the full list after the jump. Continue reading:
25 unmissable Vancouver events in February 2012

Volker Gerling Connects With Portraits in Motion

Stories to travel are like butter to bread—nourishing and complementary. My most cherished keepsakes from the road are not the postcards or evidential self-portraits in front of famous monuments, but the unique connections that resonate with me long after my return home. It’s these simple, fleeting moments that Berlin-based artist Voker Gerling addressed last night during the Emily Carr Speaker Series at Emily Carr University of Art + Design.

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Volker Gerling Connects With Portraits in Motion

PuSh Festival Opens with An Evocative Piece by Jérôme Bel

The highly anticipated PuSh Festival, a Vancouver showcase of the best in Canadian and international contemporary performing arts, opened last night at the Fei and Milton Wong Experimental Theatre in the newly constructed Woodwards District at 149 West Hastings Street.

Produced over the span of three weeks every January, the aim of this not-for-profit event is to introduce inventive performance art, while engaging the audience, serving as a meeting place for creative minds, and stimulating regional community and cultural development. The festival launched in 2003 as a simple operation, a welcome addition to the creative community in Vancouver, and has since grown in proportion, with audiences exceeding 24,000 people in 2009.

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PuSh Festival Opens with An Evocative Piece by Jérôme Bel