Preview: PuSh International Performing Arts Festival

2016 has been a fairly damning year. From the deaths of legends, to political woes — whatever your reason, you are probably looking forward to the clock striking midnight on December 31 and saying “see ya later” to the past 365 days. But don’t fret, 2017 is already looking up. Bringing in the new year with a bang is the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival. Starting January 16 and continuing for three weeks, this diverse, contemporary festival is sure to inspire imagination with something available for everybody’s tastes.

To show the vastness of creativity that will be available at PuSh, The Ubyssey has put together a small list of some of the most exciting upcoming shows. The festival will be spread amongst a variety of venues in Vancouver, including Club Push at the Fox Cabaret, which will act as the social space of the festival.

Macbeth (South Africa)

Even if you’re a die-hard fan of the Bard’s work, it is unlikely that you would have seen an adaptation as original as this one. Third World Bunfight brings to Vancouver an opera version of Macbeth set not in medieval Scotland, but in the modern day Democratic Republic of Congo. The mix of the contemporary setting and classical music is a recipe for a dramatic, exciting and politically charged production.

January 16, 17, 1921 at 7:30 p.m. at the Vancouver Playhouse.

Portraits in Motion (Germany)

Volker Gerling is both a photographer and a performer. In his shows, he will project a flip book of rapidly taken shots that depict a single intimate moment — from laughter to a hug. As these are being shown, Gerling will tell the story behind the images, bringing his subjects to life and creating a whole new way of viewing portraiture.

January 2426 at 8 p.m. at the York Theatre.

Every Brilliant Thing (England)

Duncan Macmillan and Jonny Donahoe have created a play that is said to be quintessentially British in how they navigate the topic of depression through comedy. The Guardian has called it both “heartwrenching [and] hilarious,” depicting this to be an emotional evening audiences will relate to.

January 26, 27 at 7 p.m., January 28 at 4 p.m. and January 29 at 2 p.m. at the Performance Works.

dirtsong (Australia)

Black Arm Band brings a powerful account of Aboriginal history, culture and conscience to PuSh through the mediums of song, documentary and narrative. Coming to Vancouver on the occasion of Canada’s sesquicentennial marks the production with even more poignancy as it remembers the displacement of indigenous peoples.

February 4 at 8 p.m. at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

Lido Pimienta (Canada)

The Colombian-born, Toronto-based musician comes to PuSh for a night of revolution through music. Drawing upon heritage, gender and ethnicity, Lido Pimienta pays tribute to the decolonized spirit through performance. This is sure to be a fun and exciting evening.

February 4 at 8 p.m. at Club PuSh (Fox Cabaret).

PuSh will be a festival that will forefront the kind of art that sparks debate, inspires creativity, and ignites political and social consciousness. To find out more about the shows or to purchase your passes, head to their website.

Early-bird ticket packages — called “PuSh Passes” — are also on the website. These are fairly pricey for all university students between the ages of 16 and 24, but you can purchase a four-show youth pass for only $20. If you queue an hour before a show, you could also purchase a Youth Rush Ticket for $5.