PuSh Blog

Some Hope for the Bastards—A curatorial statement by Norman Armour

January 11, 2018

Photo: Stéphane Najman, with K. de Jong, D. Albert-Toth, F. Ducharme, D. Desjardins, L. Vigneault, J. Wright

What you do next can be as important as what you do first.

In 2014, the PuSh Festival presented Usually Beauty Fails by Montreal choreographer Frédérick Gravel. In 2018, we will present his latest work Some Hope for the Bastards.

Gravel is a relatively not-too-new member of the Montreal dance scene. Relatively in that he could be considered a prominent figure in a “new generation” of creators who are redefining what is considered the city’s signature aesthetic and energy in the performing arts.

And yet, like his contemporaries he has been making work for a solid decade. With Gravel, it’s a remarkably prolific and determined output. His work is cheeky, droll, highly physical, pained, dripping in sensuality, often with live musical accompaniment (often himself as a band member and lead singer). The performers’ corporeal stage presence is naïve, wizened, caring, dismissive, and carnal—in equal measure.

Some Hope for the Bastards
Photo: Stéphane Najman

Some Hope for the Bastards is a commission realized through CanDance, a national network supporting the creation and distribution of contemporary dance. The network’s efforts to stimulate new large-scale works in the Canadian dance field essentially seeks four national presenters to each put forward $5,000 into a collective commissioning pot, which then gets doubled by the CanDance Network.

Commissioning artists for new work enables us to collaborate curatorially with other presenting organizations. PuSh can join forces with like-minded curators across the country to get behind a particular artist and project, for which we each share a desire to invest in. In the case of Some Hope for the Bastards, PuSh joined up with Banff Centre for the Art and Creativity, Montreal’s Festival TransAmériques, and National Arts Centre in Ottawa.

The benefits to an artist like Frédérick Gravel are obvious and numerous. In additional to the substantial financial resources raised and invested, there is also a commitment to the present the untested work. For certain, there is risk on both sides of the arrangement; but, in the best instances, it’s shared and aspirational.

Back in 2014, we invited Frédérick Gravel to Vancouver to perform a celebrated work from his repertoire. Now, in 2018 we are proud to be presenting a brand new endeavour, for which we played a contributing and substantive role in its realization. Enjoy the Bastards!

Norman Armour
Artistic & Executive Director
PuSh International Performing Arts Festival

Some Hope for the Bastards is here for one night only! Tickets are selling fast. Book yours now.