PuSh Blog

This is monumental – A Curatorial Statement by Norman Armour

January 18, 2016

PuSh2016_monumental2_credit-Chris-RandleI’ve said it before, and I’ll say again. This is big. I mean really big. Like the title, this is monumental. The launch of a world tour by one of the city’s, most revered and successful contemporary dance duos. Noam Gagnon and Dana Gingras, the creative forces behind Holy Body Tattoo, taught me and so many of us here in Vancouver that contemporary dance was indeed contemporary — of the moment, of the times and of ourselves.

Holy Body Tattoo worked with many of the best dancers in the city. They worked with graphic designers from L.A., indie musical stalwarts from Montreal, and cabaret artists from the U.K. Their shows sold out regularly, which at the time was something one rarely expected, dare even hoped for. They had the coolest t-shirts. Really… they killed at the art of “merch.”

Noam and Dana taught me that the energy, aesthetic interests, imagination, passion, and ferocious drive of Vancouver’s arts scene was more than up to scratch. In mine, and the books of many others, they were equal to any of the great stars on the international contemporary dance scene. Noam and Dana gave me faith that Vancouver would, in good time, take its rightful place on the world stage, and that I as a mid-career artist, producer and presenter had a future way out here on the west coast. They gave me an inspiring and visceral sense of the career might take, and what a supportive network of colleagues and fans spanning across Canada and around the world might look like.

This one-night only presentation is by far the riskiest, most daring thing that the Festival has ever taken on. It’s our first time in the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, one of several civic venues that I now affectionately refer to as our “neighbourhood” theatres. Firmly ensconced in our beloved new The Post at 750 incubator space, the QET, along with the Playhouse and Orpheum Annex, is now very much a part of the Festival’s family of local performing spaces. In the first week alone this year, we have Aakash Odedra opening the Festival at the Playhouse and Ranters Theatre following later in the week at The Orpheum Annex.

Photo courtesy of the artist
Photo courtesy of the artist

PuSh has brought to bear significant resources to this presentation. From planning and logistical, to marketing, to technical, to financial and human resources. We are contributing to the cost of the work’s re-mount, and we are featuring it right smack in the middle of the PuSh Festival three-week run.

While the momentous evening pays homage to a seminal moment in our city’s performing arts scene, the work’s creative team and content also speaks to where perhaps we are heading — in both good and not-so-good ways. And, like the true potential for Vancouver’s burgeoning creative sector on both the non- and for-profit sides of the coin, monumental is a testament to the fact that we have far more in common than our differences.

Join me! It will be quite the night.

Norman Armour
Artistic & Executive Director

Don’t miss monumental, January 28, 2016 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. Book tickets on your PuSh Pass, Youth Passport or as single tickets online.