01/11/2013 05:32 EST | Updated 03/13/2013 05:12 EDT

PuSh International Performing Arts Festival Coming To Vancouver


The PuSh Festival that runs from Jan. 15 to Feb. 3, 2013 bolsters the performing arts scene in Vancouver every year. It's an amazing festival filled with theatre, dance, multimedia and music that is held at venues in and around the city and offers work from Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Japan, Scotland, Taiwan and the United States.

The festival presents groundbreaking work in the live performing arts with theatre, dance, music and various forms of multimedia and hybrid performance. The 2013 festival features more than 160 performances and events over 20 days with 18 Main Series shows, three full weeks of Club PuSh, the PuSh Assembly networking event, an opening gala, a free film series, shows paired with Dine Out Vancouver restaurants and a number of artist talks and other ancillary events.

For me, there are so many great opportunities to broaden the mind and inspire myself for the year. Browsing through the program I see so many things to do and I wanted to highlight three of the performances that I think will really impact me.

The first is 'Do You See What I Mean?' from Lyon in France. This is a guided 2.5-hour, blindfolded tour of the streets, storefronts and secret spaces of our city offers participants a deeply transformative experience of the everyday. You will go into homes and public spaces with no visual stimulus and come out of the experience with a deeply changed view of the world and perceptions of daily connections

Secondly, there is 'David Carr: Truth and Lies in Life and Art' (Feb 3, NSCU Centre at Capilano University. 7:30 p.m). A lecture with the always-fascinating David Carr — New York Times columnist, author of The Night of the Gun, and featured interviewee in the documentary Page One: Inside the New York Times. For the past 25 years, Carr has been writing about media as it intersects with business, culture and government and his insights always delight his readers.

The last one I shall talk about here, and the one I am most excited about, is "King Lear" (Feb. 1-2, The Centre in Vancouver for the Performing Arts, 8 p.m.). Acclaimed the world over, this athletic and virtuosic one-man King Lear is performed by Wu Hsing-Kuo in the style of Peking Opera.

This production of "King Lear" by Contemporary Legend Theatre of Taiwan mixes the ancient and the modern to startling effect. As a one-man show, "King Lear" becomes a series of vignettes that dramatize both the high theatricality of Shakespeare's play as well as what might be thought of as its folklore elements and ends with a reflection on theatre itself.

In addition to these standalone performances we have 'Club PuSh' that runs at Performance Works on Granville Island from Jan. 16 to Feb. 2. Club PuSh is a dynamic space that is all about experimentation and presenting cutting-edge work suited for a less traditional, more informal venue.

Marquee highlights include: the cabaret rock and roll show The God That Comes: with Hawksley Workman; Belgian transsexual Vanessa Van Durme's extraordinary true story Look Mummy, I'm Dancing; an evening of new English performance featuring Northern Soul, 30 Cecil Street & A Western; along with Herald Nix, Proud Animal, Twin River, Jan Derbyshire's Stood, Daniel Barrow's Winnipeg Babysitter, Ryeberg Live, Red Diva Projects' The Road Forward and sad sack, by night. Club PuSh is also the social hub of the festival — a place to grab a drink and chat with artists and other festivalgoers while taking in an array of performances from the Pacific Northwest and beyond. Friday and Saturday nights at 10 p.m., Late Nights at Club PuSh showcases live music and other groundbreaking entertainment.

For more details and to book tickets, go to