The 19th edition of the international arts festival will take place from January 19 to February 5 all around Vancouver and in the region. Spotlight on two French-language shows in the program.
The PuSh Festival is an opportunity for all lovers of the performing arts to discover local, Canadian and foreign artists from the world of contemporary art during performances and discussions.
Tom Arthur Davis, programming director of the PuSh Festival, confides his enthusiasm for the festival’s French-language programming: “We have artists who come from Quebec but also from France and other French-speaking countries. We have already had partnerships with the La Seiième theatre. We try to make the francophone presence a priority in our programming. »
France will be represented by Never Twenty One by Smaïl Kanouté, a tribute to young black men who will never reach 21, victims of armed violence in New York, Rio de Janeiro and Johannesburg, as well as the company 7bis by Juan Ignacio Tula , accompanied by Marica Marinoni for the Lontano + Instante show, an acrobatic performance around a Cyr wheel concept: a human being plus a large aluminum ring.
Eastern Canada will not be left out with Manual, an interactive experience by Adam Kinner and Christopher Willes in partnership with the Vancouver Public Library. This route transforms a public library into a space for sensory encounters and awakening of consciousness. After meeting with a guide, participants will be silently guided through a series of actions and interactions, following written notes and immersive sound through headphones.
This will be the first participation in the PuSh Festival for two artists from Eastern Canada, Emilie Monnet and Alan Lake.
Okinum’s dreamlike and identity journey
Emilie Monnet’s Onishka company offers a dive into the reflection on interior barriers with the show Okinum. “The text is about a recurring dream I had about a giant beaver and I’m trying to decipher its words. In wondering about this dream, it leads me to look at my family history. It is a work of reflection on the family legacy. Okinum means “dam”. It’s a barrage of questions,” says the multidisciplinary Anishinaabe artist through his mother.
After a diagnosis of throat cancer, Emilie Monnet found in Okinum the metaphor of the dam and buried words while exploring the place of women and identity.
For her first play as a performer and co-author, Emilie Monnet has created a trilingual show (Anishinaabemowin, French and English) with a documentary dimension. “They say it’s a solo but there’s someone who generates all the sounds live with me. It’s really a dialogue, a sound dance between her and me. There is a documentary dimension because I recorded sounds from my environment. It’s a window into the learning of Aboriginal languages, the language of my grandfather,” explains the artist, who is eager to see the response of French-speaking audiences in the West to his show.
The moving human pyramid of Jellyfish Cry
Originally from Quebec, Alan Lake comes from the world of visual arts and cinema and then he encountered dance. He founded his multidisciplinary company Factori(e) in 2007. He always emphasizes that he is surrounded by collaborators who help him organize and bring these three disciplines to life.
This is a first participation in the PuSh Festival but also a first visit to Vancouver for the artist. “When I was 17, I crossed Canada to go to Vancouver. I had wanted the company to come to Vancouver for several years. I am very happy to finally be able to make this wish come true”, explains Alan Lake.
Inspired by the famous painting by Théodore Géricault, The Raft of the Medusa, this work, which is part of his cycle on life, dates from 2018. “We started from the real story of the frigate that ran aground at the end of the 19th century. We see these humans dressed, sometimes not, or with torn clothes, a human pyramid of these individuals who try to help themselves and end up collapsing. What is strange is that this work was created four years ago and there was the pandemic, I saw a lot of photos of boat people and Le Rafeau de la Méduse is therefore very current, ”recounts the choreographer.
Staging nine dancers is not easy. “There is a richness, with nine dancers, in this community which tries to help each other. We are researching human pyramids that come and go,” explains Alan Lake.
If this show is a search for pure movement, it is also an image theater for the choreographer. “It’s a theater that doesn’t speak, but the decor is furniture that moves and there is this relationship to visual theatre. It’s more of a cinematic approach to dramatic editing,” adds the artist.
Okinum will be February 2 and 3 at the Anvil Theater and February 2 and 5 online. A discussion with the artist will be offered after the February 2 performance.
The Cry of the Jellyfish will be at the Vancouver Playhouse on January 27 and 28 at 7:30 p.m. and 27 and 30 online. A discussion with the artist will be organized on January 27 after the performance. For more information visit: www.pushfestival.ca
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