PuSh Blog

Sweet, Sweat Baby Sweat—A curatorial statement by Norman Armour

December 01, 2016

Photo: Klaartje Lambrechts
Photo: Klaartje Lambrechts

There are several dance works at the PuSh Festival. All of them are spectacularly unique. This particular one will warm your heart. It’s a tender sweet look at intimacy, love and empathy. “What ever happened to peace and love and understanding?” Elvis Costello famously penned.

At PuSh, we have a long-standing interest in youth—for all the obvious reasons. Jan Martens is as youthful as they get. He’s the kind of person you want to hang with. Meeting Jan, you inevitably get drawn into in his unbridled enthusiasm, his generosity, his iridescently sincere optimism.

Jan’s work has taken international stages by storm. And for good reason. His idiosyncratic choreography of our oh-so-human bodies is as endearing as it is physically demanding and aesthetically rigorous. And Sweat Baby Sweat features an 18-minute Cat Power song. It can’t get sweeter.

Photo: Klaartje Lambrechts
Photo: Klaartje Lambrechts

Jan’s minimalist aesthetic breathes a form of physical and emotional presence that is simply breathtaking. His choice of Cat Power for a song to accompany the choreography couldn’t be more apt. While in town, Jan will teach a choreographic workshop. I have no doubt he will inspire those who choose to participate. Hopefully they’ll be from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds. All the better to spread wide and far his thinking and perspectives.

Young, or simply young at heart, this one’s for you.

—Norman Armour
PuSh Artistic & Executive Director


As part of its North American tour, Sweat Baby Sweat will have stops in Banff, Ottawa, New York City, and Cincinnati. Here in Vancouver, it will be at the Dance Centre for three nights, January 18 to 20. Buy tickets.

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