There’s no better way to dive into the clear waters of a new year than by exposing your eyes to fresh sights and wrapping your brain fibres around outrageous concepts. PuSH Festival never fails to give us this perfect social start that guarantees to broaden our horizons. With boundary-pushing theatre, dance, art, mixed media, and everything in between, the festival always stirs up interesting conversations.

This year the lineup boasts of a wide variety of subjects, and the icing on this avant-garde cake is its global diversity. Artists from Taiwan, Australia, Ireland, the US, and many more will be touching down in our city to bring us the best performing arts from across the globe.

Read on for our previews of the awesome shows in store for us from January 16 to February 4th.




Feb 1| Vogue Theatre

Antonio and Birdman Flyer

Witness one of the world’s greatest drummers perform his tour-de-force score for the 2015 Oscar-winning film. The screen might belong to stars Michael Keaton, Edward Norton and Emma Stone, but Sanchez owns the stage with his live percussions. This is a night at the movies like no other, having seen sold-out crowds in L.A., Sydney, Mexico City, and beyond.


2014 proved to be a landmark year for drummer/composer/bandleader Antonio Sanchez. Long one of the most acclaimed and in-demand drummers of his generation, Sanchez’s ever-expanding musical vision was discovered by new audiences through his Golden Globe & BAFTA-nominated score for Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Academy Award-winning film Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), and a globe-spanning 150-city tour with the Pat Metheny Unity Group, the latest iteration of a fifteen-year collaboration between the guitarist and drummer- in addition to appearing as a featured musician in Miles Ahead, Don Cheadle’s forthcoming biopic on Miles Davis as well as composing and recording his next album as a leader.



Dublin Oldschool


Jan 30 -Feb 3 | Historic Theatre, The Cultch

Dublin Oldschool at the National Theatre Emmett Kirwan and Ian Lloyd Anderson. Photo Credit Fiona Morgan 1_preview (1)

This is the story of a wild reunion between two estranged brothers: Jason, the would-be DJ, and Daniel, the washed-up junkie. Told through spoken word, with intermittent dialogue and poetic reflections, the brothers reminisce about drug binges and raves while striking up a new bond, offering hope and courage in the face of addiction.

Dublin OldSchool Production Shot 4 Photo by Ros Kavanagh




Jan 26 – 28 | Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre

A deeply moving performance that “stays with you long after you leave.” With record players, a reel-to-reel recorder, a singer and his guitar, Australia’s Saulwick conjures visions and voices of the afterlife. From rich textured recordings emerge stories on mortality and loss.

Endings Prudence Upton (12)


Foxconn Frequency (no. 3): For three visibly Chinese performers


Jan 31 – Feb 2 | Performance Works

Performance meets play in this video game-style keyboard standoff. With acclaimed pianist Vicky Chow at the centre, artists hooked up to seven video outputs, five speakers and multiple 3-D printers must put on their best performance to a series of relentless piano drills.

Foxconn 9_C.VickyShin


I’m Not Here


Jan 24 – 28 | Historic Theatre, The Cultch

A transformative work navigating the soundscape of grief. Doireann Coady is a fearsome new talent in the Irish theatre scene. Here she sings a few songs, reads a few poems, tells a few stories, and duets with her brother who’s been dead for 3,104 days. That’s how long she’s been thinking about this show.





Jan 17–21 | Performance Works

Patrick Keating was once a bank robber and a convicted criminal—a fact hard to believe about this much-loved Vancouver independent theatre artist. Here he shares a rare, human glimpse at what it means to be a lawbreaker in a riveting and wit-filled memoir.



It’s Dark Outside


Jan 24–28 | Waterfront Theatre

An all-ages delight, It’s Dark Outside turns the Western genre on its head and recasts the lone hero as a solitary old man up against dementia. Through puppetry, animation, shadow play and live performance, emerges an adventurous world.

PTC IT'S DARK OUTSIDE. Pictured - Tim Watts. Credits - Richard Jefferson_5


King Arthur’s Night


Jan 31-Feb 4 | Frederic Wood Theatre

Radical for its inclusivity and its reimagining of the classic Camelot legend, this epic production premiered to wide acclaim at Toronto’s Luminato Festival. Accompanied by live band and a 20-person choir, the cast, featuring actors whose life experience include Down syndrome, bring big heart and personality to the Knights of the Round Table.





Jan 20–21 | Vancouver Lookout Harbour Centre

What will happen to Vancouver and its youth destined to inherit it? Overlooking the city, audiences sit one-on-one with local children to contemplate these questions. A beautiful and humbling look at our city and the future through the lens of a child’s rich imagination

Lookout_production image Auckland_photo credit Oliver Crawford-27 (1)




Jan 18 – 21 | Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre

Subverting gender binaries, Italy’s award-winning Silvia Calderoni puts on a raucous and visceral dance party filled with contemplation and ecstasy. In the role of performer and DJ, while changing identities and attire, she exposes notions of sexuality for what they are: barriers to be broken down.

MDLSX © Renato Mangolin ALTA 100




Jan 24–27 | Performance Works

Winner of New York’s 2017 Bessie Award for outstanding production, this stunning display of mechanical sophistication and human movement features 64 robotic percussion instruments and two performers.

The dancers respond intricately, almost hypnotically, to the tapping and chiming instruments. A triumph of engineering and technical precision.

original6_credit_Gregory Lorenzutti


Piece for Person and Ghetto Blaster


Jan 17 – 19 | Scotiabank Dance Centre

Merging the physical and the cerebral, the athletic and the abstract, Melbourne-based performer, writer and director Nicola Gunn recalls a frustrating encounter in a foreign country that has stayed with her. From that experience, she crafts this frenzied and downright electrifying show to dissect morality, culture and the politics of intervention.

PPGB 3 © Sarah Walker




Feb 1 – 3 | Scotiabank Dance Centre

From Vancouver-trained choreographer of Cree, Métis and European ancestry Daina Ashbee, comes this bold dance work fusing the profoundly personal and the ferociously political. It’s a visceral meditation on the menstrual cycle that takes unflinching pride in the female body. Bearing it all, dancer Paige Culley offers a fierce performance that explores the line between beauty and agony.

Pour 2 photo Daina Ashbee


Radio Rewrite: The Music of Jonny Greenwood, Steve Reich, Olivier Messiaen & Christopher Butterfield


Jan 19 – 20 | Norman Rothstein Theatre

Performing a mesmerizing mélange of genres, Turning Point Ensemble pay tribute to Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood and his icon, Olivier Messiaen—both champions of the early 20th century proto-synthesizer, the ondes Martenot. Added to the mix are Steve Reich’s homage – variations on Radiohead and a premiere by Victoria composer Christopher Butterfield.

Jonny Greenwood


Reassembled, Slightly Askew


Jan 17 – Feb 4 | Culture Lab, The Cultch

In this multidisciplinary adventure and real-life head-trip, acclaimed playwright Shannon Yee shares her experience of surviving a traumatic brain injury and a medically induced coma. Placed in a hospital bed with headphones, audiences become immersed in her mind in this intimate and psychedelic work.

RSA Image RGB BLANK_Photo credit Richard Lavery


Some Hope for the Bastards


Jan 16 | Vancouver Playhouse

The “most significant dance artist to emerge in Quebec in the past 10 years”, Frédérick Gravel is back at PuSh following 2014’s sold-out Usually Beauty Fails. In this unholy hybrid of the highbrow and the high-octane, nine dancers perform as though enraptured by the rhythmic live score.

2.SomeHopeForTheBastards_photobyStephane Najman


Songs of Insurrection


Jan 22 – 23 | The Fox Cabaret

Acclaimed composer Rzewski and famed Belgian pianist Vandewalle share their latest collaboration— a rousing and timely tribute to political struggle. An uplifting and eclectic work pulling from iconic protest songs heard around the world

Hij is gespecialiseerd in de hedendaagse Amerikaanse pianoliteratuur en geeft wereldwijd concerten en lezingen gewijd aan de Amerikaanse muziek. Hij vertolkt vandaag voornamelijk 20ste eeuwse muziek, waarbij hij het virtuoze repertoire niet schuwt. Vandewalle is fellow van de Belgisch-Amerikaanse Educational Foundation en is piano docent aan het Conservatorium te Gent in België.

The Eternal Tides


Feb 3 | Queen Elizabeth Theatre

Renowned choreographer Lin Lee-Chen folds age-old rituals, customs and ceremonial rites of her native Taiwan into exquisite beauty of monumental scale. Dancers adorned in stunning costume are surrounded by sets vivid in colour and texture while performing in tribute to water and its vital cycle of renewal.



The Events


Jan 17–28 | Russian Hall

One of the worst crimes of the 21st century—the massacre of 77 adults and minors at a Norway

summer camp— is the inspiration of this provocative play by Scotland’s David Greig. In the face of heinous acts breaking communities apart, The Events is an act of community engagement, prompting discussion and catharsis.

Luisa Jojic and Douglas Ennenberg by Emily Cooper.1


Blind Cinema


Jan 24– 25, 31– Feb 1 | Vancity Theatre

An intimate chance to see the world through young eyes. In this mischievous experiment in storytelling and imagination, the adult/child power dynamics are reversed as blindfolded audiences discover a new cinematic experience through the words of young narrators.

You can get your tickets here!

PuSH Festival is Back To Jolt Us Awake With International Fare

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