Chutzpah Festival February 18 – March 13

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In their 16th year of showcasing world-renowned artists in a vibrant celebration of the performing arts, the Chutzpah! Festival has unveiled another amazing the line-up of electrifying music, theatre, film and breath-taking dance scheduled for presentation at various venues around Vancouver.

An eagerly anticipated highlight of Vancouver’s dance season is the Chutzpah! Festival’s Dance Series. The 2016 Festival presents some of the most sought-after contemporary choreographers in the world. This year’s performances again offer high calibre, challenging and gorgeous dance delivering innovative and spell-binding work including Canadian and North American premieres from Italy’s brilliant Spellbound Contemporary Ballet; the incomparable Israeli dance company Maria Kong performing their much lauded Open Source; New York-based Gallim Dance in their repertory work Wonderland by choreographer Andrea Miller, which Dance Magazine praised as

“Gutsy. Wild. Smart. Original.”; new to the international scene, New York City’s hot all male company MADBOOTS and a world premiere from our resident dance company, the acclaimed Shay Kuebler Radical System Art (BC) in a spectacular double bill; and Ballet Kelowna presents works by Artistic Director Simone Orlando, James Kudelka, Heather Myers and John Alleyne, with Toronto’s Continuum Contemporary Music accompanying (Chutzpah!PLUS).

Chutzpah! Festival 2016 presents outstanding internationally-celebrated music, including leading world music pioneers. The rich global landscape of music presented this year showcases some of the world’s most exciting musical performers from Israel, Mexico City, Germany, USA, Cuba and Canada.  Highlights include Israel’s sister group A-WA, whose sweeping and uncompromising creation will take you on an exciting journey. From the first time they took the stage, they’ve been dropping jaws, raising eyebrows, making people dance: from hipsters to families, from festivals to clubs, young and old alike; Juno Award winners Odessa/Havana in an exhilarating, unprecedented project of musical discovery, the Jewish-Cuban connection. Trumpeter and composer David Buchbinder and Cuban piano master Hilario Durán joins forces with a team of top Jazz and World musicians,  taking the audience on a journey that consistently engages, challenges and delights; a remarkable band out of Mexico City Klezmerson, seamlessly combine melodies and rhythms from Europe’s Jewish tradition and blend with Gypsy and Mexican influences, creating a unique fusion of rock, funk and jazz; with its members hailing from Berlin and Tel Aviv, Baladino offering fresh, yet deeply authentic interpretations of Sephardic and Ladino melodies, with Mediterranean-Gypsy grooves,  extended technique, subtle electronics, improvisation and stunning vocals;  the inspired work of Israel’s Victoria Hanna depicts her ongoing experimentation with the vocal and conceptual boundaries of language.  Accompanied by three world class musicians, this vocal artist enacts in her work a unique presentation of sacred Hebrew texts and spirituals in an entirely modern context, integrating music, spoken word and video; described by DownBeat Magazine as “a remarkable talent and a welcome new voice on the scene”, Israel/New York Jazz trio Rotem Sivan Trio; one of his generation’s premier mandolinists and clarinetists, New York’s Andy  Statman with his trio featuring Jim Whitney (bassist) & Larry Eagle (drummer and percussionist); and Israel’s Avishai Cohen Quartet featuring award-winning trumpeter Avishai Cohen, who has earned renown as a musician with an individual sound and a questing spirit, an ever-creative player-composer open to multiple strains of jazz and active internationally (Chutzpah!PLUS).

Chutzpah!’s thought provoking theatre and hilarious comedy lineup is always at its best. Theatre highlights include a world premiere from Israeli-Canadian BC based playwright, performer and lighting designer Itai Erdal in collaboration with Maiko Yamamoto (Theatre Replacement) and Anita Rochon (The Chop Theatre)  in a humorous and moving site specific play A Very Narrow Bridge, that reveals the complexity of living between cultures and family relationships. Joining Erdal onstage are local favourites Patti Allen, Tom Pickett and Anton Lipovestky; two much anticipated stand-up comedy performances from NYC’s one-of-a-kind Jessica Kirson and Canada’s own Jon Steinberg will get you laughing.  Jessica Kirson’s unique and captivating stage presence and wide variety of characters capture the attention of audiences everywhere she performs. Comedian Jon Steinberg draws material from his unique and twisted view of the world and is a perennial favourite on CBC radio’s The Debaters. Jon has been entertaining audiences across North America for over a decade.

NEW this year, as part of Chutzpah!PLUS is a memoir book reading and interview with Jennifer Teege in conversation with Marsha Lederman, the Western Arts Correspondent for The Globe and Mail.  Teege is the bi-racial granddaughter of Nazi commandant Aon Goeth, portrayed by Ralph Fiennes in ‘Schindler’s List’.   In her memoir My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me, Teege reveals the horrifying moment she discovered her ancestry after being given up for adoption and recounts how this discovery shook her life to the core (co-written with journalist Nikola Sellmair and newly translated from German).

Celebrating our 16th year, Chutzpah!’s Artistic & Managing Director, Mary-Louise Albert says, “Another great year with world premieres by BC dance and theatre artists and a focus on the continuation of our established, and well warranted excellent reputation of bringing numerous outstanding international music, dance, and comedy to our audiences!”

Single tickets for Chutzpah! are $21 to $36 and can be purchased online at chutzpahfestival.com, by phone at the Chutzpah! Box Office: 604-257-5145 or Tickets Tonight: 604-684-2787. Chutzi Packs are also available: see 4 different shows of your choice for only $89.

Tickets will also be available in-person starting January 25th at the on-site Chutzpah! Box Office at the Jewish Community Centre, 950 West 41st Avenue, just 2 blocks west of the Oakridge Skytrain Station (for hours please see our website: www.chutzpahfestival.com)


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