PuSh Blog

A Long Overdue First – A Curatorial Statement about Le Cargo by Norman Armour

December 01, 2014

This is the PuSh Festival’s first presentation of an artist from the African continent. Certainly nothing to be proud of since it is definitely long overdue. I had seen Faustin Linyekula perform the piece a couple of years ago in the TB:A Festival in Portland. More recently I had seen another of his works in the Avignon Festival in France. Faustin and his work, Le Cargo, have been on the proverbial “short-long list” ever since.

Photo: Courtesy of the artist
Photo: Courtesy of the artist

So, finally, we bring you Le Cargo (one of three shows this year presented with our dear partners at The Dance Centre). Le Cargo has a wonderful sense of storytelling, intricate like fine lace, uplifting like the rhythms of a drumbeat. Faustin is a compelling performer, technically sharp, intensely focused, with arresting choreography and scenographic aesthetic that is as simple as it is considered. He is also a storyteller. To succeed in infusing narrative into a contemporary dance work is not as easy one might imagine. Faustin does it in several intriguing and artful ways. I felt that Faustin’s work, sensibility and concerns would speak to Vancouver’s contemporary dance community, which is in a great place right now. A whole new generation is in full flight (including MACHiNENOiSY also being presented by the PuSh Festival and The Dance Centre this year). Confident, assured, diverse, energized and committed. Everyone is hitting their stride.

I hoped that there would be a shared sense of kindred spirit. I hope that turns out to be true.

The TB:A Festival, on the other hand, is also very much of a kindred spirit. There are several of us in the performing arts who travel down to Portland each September. Our annual pilgrimage affords an opportunity to see a great collection of works that mix, mash and meld mediums, disciplines and aesthetics. No one else does a festival “hub” as well as TB:A does. The festival is curated by Angela Mattox. She collaborates with fellow TB:A staff member Erin Boberg Doughton. Both are trusted friends and colleagues. Funny thing is TB:A came into existence pretty much the same time PuSh did. Both Angela and Erin travel up here each year for PuSh. We are constantly sharing programming queries and suggestions. Our goal is to mutually affirm, challenge and inspire. I can safely say that Le Cargo would not be here this year, if it were not for my Portland visit. Thanks, TB:A! Thank you, Faustin!

Norman Armour
Artistic & Executive Director

Book your tickets to Le Cargo soon—we anticipate this show to fill up quickly! You can see Le Cargo on the PuSh Pass, Youth Passport, or with single tickets. Runs January 29–31, 2015, at the Scotiabank Dance Centre.