PuSh Blog

Announcing PuSh in Development Supported by CDm2 Lightworks

April 22, 2021

Do you mind if I sit here? Photo by Matt Reznek

The PuSh International Performing Arts Festival is excited to announce the PuSh in Development Program Supported by CDm2 Lightworks—championing the development of new artistic projects, from mid-career and established artists creating work for touring markets both within Canada and internationally.

Throughout its 17-year history, PuSh has regularly supported the creation of work through residency programs and small co-production investments, and is delighted for the opportunity to bring this program to life with CDm2’s support.

Projects supported through the PuSh in Development program are likely to be a part of future Festival programming. PuSh also hopes to leverage its international relationships to launch the new experiences onto the world stage as part of PuSh’s efforts to connect artists with its global networks.

PuSh is currently supporting the creation of three works including Deciphers, Do you mind if I sit here?, and The Café.


Choreographers Naishi Wang and Jean Abreu come together in a new international collaboration exploring UK/Canada and Brazil/China cultural references related to poetry and vocal traditions of folk music. This cultural exchange will create a powerful physical journey and performance that demonstrates how the body can be used as an extraordinary tool of linguistic expression. This duet will investigate cultural links, post-colonial histories, the embodiment of the migrant experience, and the transforming nature of human identity.

Naishi Wang and Jean Abreu also created the most recently released PuSh Walk, available on Spotify, Apple, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Explore PuSh Walk

DECIPHERS CREDITS Deciphers is a co-production of the National Arts Centre (NAC) Visiting Dance Artist programme a joint initiative of Canada Council for the Arts and NAC, The CanDance Network small scale Creation Fund supported and presented by Montreal Arts Interculturels, The Harbourfront Centre, the National Arts Centre and PuSh International Performing Arts Festival.

Do you mind if I sit here?

Theatre Replacement has kept a small studio space in Vancouver’s Russian Hall since 2011. Some years ago, in a neighbouring closet, we came across close to 20 hours of 16mm films sent from the USSR between the 1950’s and 80s. These slowly decomposing artifacts, many of them fragments, cover everything from heavy industry to demonstrations of folk dances. Drawing on this discovery as both a conceptual and aesthetic spark, Do you mind if I sit here? brings together an ensemble of artists to develop an immersive performance that combines speculative fiction, a shared meal and asks what does it mean to finally let go?

We begin this process at a moment of significant global uncertainty and, hopefully, equally unbound imagination. After two years of development, Do you mind if I sit here?  will offer audiences a place and a moment wherein we might collectively imagine a future we could have never guessed would exist.

The development of Do you mind if I sit here? is generously supported by the National Arts Centre’s National Creation Fund.

The Café

The Café is an original, immersive, site-specific experience from Aphotic Theatre and ITSAZOO. This piece is an invitation to be a voyeur by permission; to eavesdrop on private conversations in public; to witness intimate relationships up close and personal. Seven scenes are being created by nine playwrights of various ethnicities, ages, beliefs, sexual orientations, and gender identities. With content performed in various languages, The Café is a day-in-the-life exploration of the cultural mosaic of a Vancouver coffee shop.

Intimately sized audiences of 40 people per performance are encouraged to sit at or near one of seven “performance tables” and watch a play unfold mere inches away from them. The Café seeks to blur the line between art and reality by decreasing the proximity between actors and audience, welcoming them to be voyeurs by permission in an immersive setting. Audience members are free to stay with one table and watch a scene reach its conclusion or wander around the coffee shop and experience other scenes – a kind of narrative choose-your-own-adventure.

ITSAZOO Productions acknowledges the support of the Province of British Columbia

Visit the webpage for PuSh in Development Supported by CDm2 Lightworks at pushfestival.ca/cdm2.

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