FUSE invokes a grown-up vibe with drinks and experimentation – along with 3,000 of your closest artsy friends. For one night only, the Vancouver Art Gallery loosened up formalities for its annual PuSh Festival co-presentation.
A trip to the art gallery wouldn’t normally make my cultural to-do list. Unless a specific touring exhibit appeals to me, I’d much rather see a live performance. But FUSE is the exception to this rule: a night where you won’t be shushed for talking too loudly. Take in some fantastic performances in situ of the Vancouver Art Gallery, all the while intermixing drinks with art appreciation. Think dressy cocktail party with flair.
Infused with shared artistic energy, FUSE: The PuSh Festival Edition celebrates a place where visual art meets performing arts, where site-specific and experimental practices flourish, and where audiences are consistently surprised and even challenged by what comes next. Embracing the outrageous, the adventurous and the hard-to-define, this special FUSE is filled with unforgettable, outstanding and boundary-pushing performances with local favourites and international guests.
Here are some of the performances I caught, some of which were in cool spaces that you’d normally never see on a ‘typical’ Art Gallery trip:
- Dusty Flowerpot Cabaret hosts a lavish costume-themed party in the heritage courtrooms
- Radix theatre gives useful lessons on how to survive an apocalypse
- Caroline Liffmann creates a site-specific dance composition that moves around the Gallery space
- 605 Collective dance group roams around in the gallery, performing excerpts from Inheritor Album
Cosplaying Good Times
My favourite of the night was easily Dusty Flowerpot Cabaret’s cosplay lounge, a space where audience participation was cheekily enforced. It’s rare to see a Vancouver audience so open to stepping outside of their comfort zone – a testament to PuSh’s mission statement. DFC created a fun, playful space where the audience was invited to help craft the story of an unlikely courtroom trial. And dressing up in drag is always, always fun.
A caveat – with FUSE’s growing popularity, some of the performances will lose their intimate feel. I arrived an hour into the evening, and it was packed. It got more progressively packed as the night went on. So don’t be intimidated by lineups – it’s usually a good indication of which performance bits are worth your time.
Find out more about future FUSE nights on the Art Gallery’s events page.
Image: Pardeep Singh.