10 Can’t-miss Performances at Vancouver’s PuSh Festival 2014

Get your art on at these these 10 Vancouver's PuSh Festival shows    

Vancouver’s International PuSh Festival of Performing Arts returns with a strong lineup of theatre, dance, music and more

The PuSh Festival is back in 2014 and celebrating its 10th anniversary. Running January 14 to February 2, the festival promises to showcase the best in theatre, dance, music and more, while continuing to push the boundaries of performance art. PuSh passes and tickets offer access to a variety of performances throughout Vancouver. And while there are seriously too many great shows to mention here, these are 10 that are guaranteed to be awesome.

10th Anniversary Gala: January 14

Celebrate PuSh’s 10th anniversary at the opening night gala taking place on the main stage. The night features Super Night Shot by Gob Squad, a German and British based experimental art troupe.

On the day of the gala, Members of Gob Squad will meet in downtown Vancouver armed only with their cameras and imagination to create a film that will premiere only one hour later. The result is sure to capture the spontaneity, creativity and entertainment of art while at the same time showcasing the people and city of Vancouver.

Dine Out Vancouver & PuSh: January 16, 22 & 30

Forget dinner and a movie, how about dinner and a show? The ever popular Dine Out Vancouver teams up with PuSh to present Act 1, Eat 1. Enjoy dinner at the Salt Tasting Room (Jan. 16), the Bitter Tasting Room (Jan. 22), or Bridges Restaurant (Jan.30) in the company of fellow festival attendees and artists. For dessert, head over to the participating show venues to enjoy selected PuSh performances at a discounted rate. Full pairings of restaurants and shows can be found online. 

Seeds: January 22-26

Seeds is a play that tells the highly debated story of Monsanto, the company embroiled in the genetically modified food debate. The play’s dialogue is based entirely on actual court transcripts and interviews conducted during Monsanto’s widely publicized legal case with a Canadian farmer. Eric Peterson, of Corner Gas fame stars in this theatrical blend of journalism and art, fact and fiction.

The Pixelated Revolution: January 15-18

Check out PuSh’s artist-in-residence Rabih Mroue and his insightful look into the growing role of personal technology in global issues. In his film, Mroue focuses on the use of cell phones to capture video of the Syrian revolution.

A complementary exhibit of his work is also being displayed at the Grunt Gallery. Both representations leave audiences reflecting on the reach of social media and its ability to portray important public issues through a personal medium. 

Credit: Flickr / MandyJ

FUSE: January 24

A yearly staple of PuSh, FUSE transforms the Vancouver Art Gallery into an energetic and dynamic party. Attendees will push (get it?) open the doors and enter a space of live music, art exhibitions, dance and original entertainment. The one-night event allows guests to interact more closely with the unique vision of the festival and its performers. Always a crowd pleaser, the event is ages 19 and up.

Inheritor Album: January 30 to February 1

Vancouver’s own 605 Collective brings to life their youthful and engaging interpretation of modern dance in their original composition Inheritor AlbumThe performance examines the abstract concepts of “inheritance and succession” through physical movements that showcase their athleticism and precision. 605 Collective values the ensemble act of creation as evidenced in their inspiring group performance.


Gender Failure: January 16-17

Gender Failure explores the gender binary through an interwoven act of performance and music. Writer and actor Ivan Coyote and musician Rae Spoon team up to examine the shortcomings of gender division and express their personal stories of trying to fit into gender roles. The poignant play is on for two nights at Club PuSh on Granville Island.

Credit: PuSh Festival

Gob Squad’s Kitchen: January 16-18

After kicking off the festival, Gob Squad returns with a modern twist on Andy Warhol’s retro Factory Films. Kitchen delves deep into the era of the 1960s and combines scenes from Warhol’s original films with live performance. Overall, the performance aims to encapsulate the trends, ideas, themes and artistic expression of a the 60s in a modern-day form.

A Brimful of Asha: January 16 to February 8

Ravi Jan and his mother, Asha, argued one day about marriage in the comfort of their Toronto home. For PuSh, Jan brings their argument to the stage in a semi-scripted play starring himself and his real-life mother. A Brimful of Asha explores the topic of arranged marriage and successfully captures the generational gap that commonly exists between parents and children, regardless of cultural background. Humour, improv and the true love that exists between mother and son brings together this topical performance.


L.A. Party/An Evening with William Shatner – January 21-25

Captain Kirk and radical vegans make for an unlikely pairing in Phil Soltanoff’s work that challenges familiar form and confronts our expectations of art. Very post modern and equally unique, Soltanoff’s performance can be seen on its own or as part of Act 1: Eat 1.