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Monday 1 March 2010

10th Annual Chutzpah! Festival in Vancouver

As Aesthetica is making international ties from Australia, New Zealand and Japan through to the USA and Canada, I wanted to bring you details about one of the most exciting performing arts festivals in Canada.

Chutzpah! opening later this week in Vancouver runs from 4 March until 8 April, and promises to captivate audiences with a stunning repertoire of dance, music and theatre with a special pre-festival presentation of the Vancouver based dance troupe, Move: the company’s Legacy Repertory Project. This year, to celebrate the Festival’s 10th anniversary, Artistic and Managing Director Mary-Louise Albert has programmed a particularly exciting and eclectic selection of gifted artists from around the world and here in Canada.

Mary-Louise Albert commented: “This is a very special year for the Chutzpah! Festival. I’m so proud of how much the Festival has grown and matured over the past 10 years. The high calibre of music, dance, theatre and comedic artists that Chutzpah! is now able to present, offers Vancouver audiences a very diverse and dynamic experience. I’m particularly excited that we will be celebrating the Festival during the Olympic period as this also offers us the opportunity to show off Chutzpah! to the international stage”.

Kicking off the Festival is The Idan Raichel Project, who burst onto Israel’s music scene in 2002, changing the face of Israeli popular music and offering a message of love and tolerance. With an enchanting blend of African, Latin American, Caribbean and Middle Eastern sounds coupled with sophisticated production techniques and a spectacular live show, the Idan Raichel Project has become one of the most unexpected success stories in Israeli music history, regularly selling out shows worldwide.

For dance enthusiasts, Aszure Barton & Artists return to Chutzpah! with her full company of 9 dancers for a breathtaking and explosive repertoire show. The company will be presenting two works: Busk (2009) retains Aszure Barton's signature style of precise whole-body expression. Original, evocative music by Russian violist and composer Lev Ljova Zhurbin, along with a powerful selection of world sound (including choir music from Sweden's Orphei Drangar), enhance this dynamic piece. Blue Soup (2009) is a bubbling mosaic drawn from Aszure Barton's notable past creations. Dynamic, physical action and emotional honesty propelled by a score of global sound build a powerful, pulsating environment. “Full of surprise and humor, emotion and pain, expressed through a dance vocabulary that takes ballet technique and dismantles it to near-invisibility.” - The New York Times. Gallim Dance from New York with special guest Sidra Bell Dance New York will also enthral audiences. The work Gallim Dance will be presenting, I Can See Myself In Your Pupil, is a suite of dances set to the vibrant music of the Israeli band, Balkan Beat Box.

Theatre go-ers will enjoy a special treat with three great plays. Odysseus Chaoticis by Israel’s Ish Theater is a fantastic cabaret show based on the travels of Odysseus, King of Ithaca. Parts of the mythological Odyssey are intertwined into a story of an eccentric Italian family; a romantic-dreamer husband, his uptight dominating, but loving wife, a needy old Papa and their noisy newborn baby all packed like sardines in their small home. The day-dreaming husband escapes his mundane routine and takes an imaginative journey inspired by Homer’s Odyssey – this is one of the most entertaining hours you will ever spend in the theatre! “An amazing balance between sharp directing and the brilliant improvisational skills of the three clowns, each one of them bursting with talent” - M.Zur-Glozman, Ma'ariv Online.

Also the world premiere of Donald and Lenore - a wild and seductive play about survival set in an underground Tahitian Lounge by internationally renowned Vancouver based playwright Tom Cone, directed by David Bloom and starring Linda Quibel and Billy Marchenski.

With its interdisciplinary nature, Chutzpah! 2010 offers an insightful programme and vast range of performances.

To download a programme, purchase tickets or for further information visit www.chutzpahfestival.com

Images (c) the artists.

Photo 1: Steven Schreiber
Photo 2: David Lee

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