INSIGHT: Understanding the PuSh Curatorial Process

We asked PuSh International Performing Arts Festival Associate Artistic Director Joyce Rosario for some quick insights into how the festival selects the exciting works that have become a staple of the annual Vancouver festival.

What are some of your favourite “discovery moments”  in the curation process?
The best ones are when I’m taken completely by surprise by a work because, in some way, my expectations are turned on their head. For example, I never thought that in my time at PuSh, I’d propose that we’d do an opera, or Shakespeare! Nothing wrong with either, but traditional form would be mission drift for an organization like PuSh. Brett Bailey’s radical revisioning of Verdi’s Macbeth, however, is a different thing altogether. When I saw it at kunstenfestival in Brussels, I was floored and wished that my first time seeing opera and Shakespeare had been like that experience.

 Can you talk more about the selection process in general for PuSh?
We’re in the midst of talking about how we can have a more rigorous, transparent process. At the moment, we want to take a look at inquiries on a quarterly basis.

What tips do you have for artists/organizations who want to be selected for PuSh?
Our first point of contact with an artist and their work is usually by email — which is probably the best thing/worst thing that’s happened to modern human interaction. We all have a love/hate relationship to our inbox! Short, concise correspondence regularly over time is way better than an annual missive to get to know you.

The 2020 edition of the PuSh Festival takes place across Vancouver from January 21–February 9, 2020, tickets go on sale as of November 28, 2019 at 10am.  

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