The Japan Foundation
Performing Arts Network Japan
Archive Index Home
Feb. 11, 2020
Presenter  Topics
PuSH Performing Arts Festival opened in Vancouver (Jan. 21 – Feb. 9, 2020)
In recent years, the PuSH Performing Arts Festival of Vancouver has been the focus of growing attention. It focuses in particular on inviting a diverse, genre-crossover range of works of music, video, theater and other genres of performing arts in forms such as never seen before. This year, the festival features 55 events held between the dates of Jan. 21 – Feb. 9, including talks given at several venues in central Vancouver.
Joining the program from Canada is 2B Company, with their production Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story. The plot follows a Romanian couple of Jewish descent in their attempted emigration to Montreal city. The tragic-comic refugee story combines conventional theater with a concert given in Yiddish.
From overseas, the festival features the experimental theater piece Garden Speaks by London-based Lebanese director Tania El Khoury. The piece recreates on stage a graveyard where ten victims of military violence in President Assad's Syria are buried. Divided in groups of ten, the audience encounters the stories of the deceased in front of their respective graves. Additionally featured is a showing of the celebrated visual work The Democratic Set from Australian theater company Back to Back Theatre; the piece compiles performative recordings of a selection of local individuals as they are placed in cubicles of plywood and instructed for 15 seconds to do whatever they wish, for a work that is evocative of a democratic community.
Overall, the festival illucidates such topics of contemporary concern as refugees, violence and democracy.

Festival Outline
This Vancouver festival has been the focus of growing attention recently and has helped put the city on the map of Canadian performing arts centers along with Montreal and Toronto. The festival uses several venues in the Vancouver metropolitan area. The program covers the genres of theater, dance and music with a mission of providing “the very best in contemporary performance” selected from Canadian works. The successful 2009 festival gathered a total audience of 23,000 during its run. The festival also features relatively small-scale, yet ambitious, contemporary performing arts productions from abroad. Japanese artists performing at that 2009 festival included Chelfitsch. The festival schedule also features meetings for presenters and other events to encourage networking. In 2019, the program also included meetings for presenters and other events to help networking to function between Canada and abroad. With curation in 2019 by musician Aki Onda, sound artists Tetsuya Umeda, ASUNA and Marginal Consort of Japan also gave performances.
+PuSh International Performing Arts Festival