Recently appearing on the Late Show with David Letterman, master acrobat Li Liu sends audiences of all ages reeling with a sense of wonder and joyful dizziness with aerial feats that have garnered her numerous awards, including the gold medal at the Festival Mondial du Cirque in Paris. On Sunday, October 16, fans of artful physical domination over natural laws can witness Li Liu's balancing prowess, proclivity for twirling rings, and penchant for shaming flying squirrels during an acrobatic dance. After starting as a somersaulting tot at the age of 7, Li Liu spent eight hours a day for nine years honing her craft at the Chinese National School in Beijing. Since completing her rough and tumble education, she has toured extensively with groups such as the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Guests witness the equilibrium-defying acrobatics at the Centennial Theatre, which has housed all forms of imaginative entertainment, from travelling troubadours and unicorn orchestras to comedic romps and children's theatre, since opening its doors in 1966.
Canadian Comedy Award-winning funnyman Gerry Dee, known to some as “Gerry Dee – Sports Reporter” on The Score and the star of the upcoming CBC sitcom Mr. D, channels his years as a father, collegiate hockey player, and physical educator into a night of poignant laughs on his “Life After Teaching” tour. Gerry’s gift of gab and guffaw-extracting demeanor has eclipsed his sports career, making him one of the most sought-after comedians in both Canada and its trouser landmass called America. The first Canadian in 27 years to win the San Francisco International Comedy Competition, where Robin Williams and Dana Carvey once battled to the death, Gerry garners empathetic laughs with his intrinsic charisma and sharp observational humour about the foibles of marriage and the unbearable lightness of offspring.
Hockey Performance Centre develops the next generation of hockey stars using advanced training methods and decades of experience from former NHL players and veteran coaches. The facility relies primarily on the Benicky System, a training approach concocted by Dusan Benicky that zeroes in on individual skills and fundamentals. Having worked with dozens of the best NHL and international players, Benicky perfected his program by applying it within two environments: the gym and something called the skatemill. Players learn how to skate with power, how to shoot while on the move, and how to absorb contact without wrapping their limbs in bubble wrap.
Running for three weeks every January and February, the PuSh Festival brings more than 100 performances and events to Vancouver and showcases new and innovative theatrical pieces. Performed by award-winning Mexican touring ensemble Teatro Linea de Sombra, Amarillo weaves a mesmerizing tale of a lost man travelling between Mexico and Amarillo, Texas. The performance makes use of multimedia imagery to add dimension and keep audiences from becoming distracted by neighbouring gum chewers or compulsive aria singers. The Idiot, one of Vancouver magazine's entertainment picks, presents Fyodor Dostoyevsky's acclaimed novel in a musical format, produced by Neworld Theatre and Vancouver Moving Theatre. The play tells the story of the preternaturally good-willed Prince Myshkin and the chaos he unleashes on the circles of Russian society. Performed on a slowly rotating stage, El pasado es un animal grotesco —Spanish for "the past is a grotesque animal"—follows the lives of four young Argentineans. Taking place across a ten-year span, the show demonstrates how the characters enter adulthood while dealing with both their country's economic crisis and the need to crisply project everything they say.
The 30 brightly clad singers of the Soweto Gospel Choir sway, swoon, and kick as their voices harmonize across genres such as African gospel, reggae, and American popular music during uplifting live performances. Although the choir formed only 10 years ago, they have gone on to win two consecutive Grammys for their albums Blessed and African Spirit, in addition to playing with John Legend at the Academy Awards and joining U2 at the FIFA World Cup in their native South Africa for an inspiring tandem of "Amazing Grace" and "Where the Streets Have No Name." Despite having seen their reflection in Bono's purple sunglasses, the multilingual collective is also adept at performing with minimal accompaniment, often taking the stage with nothing more than a drum as they weave a sonic tapestry sung in everything from Zulu and Sotho to French and English. With traditional songs such as "Khumbaya" and "Mbube" (known to American audiences as "The Lion Sleeps Tonight") and pop hits including Peter Gabriel's "Biko," the Soweto Gospel Choir lends new interpretations to familiar strains and stirs souls with their resonant pipes and a wooden spoon coated in ectoplasm.
Named 2008's Best Latin Band by Miami New Times, three-time Grammy-nominated group Tiempo Libre fuses Cuba's myriad musical strands into a modern, ear-tickling mélange. Classically trained in conservatories on their native island, the septet plays timba music, which draws on Latin jazz, Afro-Caribbean beats, and son, Cuba's distinctive version of salsa. Supporting their recent album My Secret Radio, the group's infectious beats inspire audiences to get up and dance and the World Health Organization to declare general quarantines around affected venues. Chan Centre for the Performing Arts houses the group's music in its acoustically friendly Chan Shun Concert Hall with concrete walls built to dampen reverb and errant sonic interference. Over the stage, a 37-tonne canopy constructed of steel and cork can be raised or lowered to adjust the auditorium's acoustic character or to clothesline any belligerent concert-going giants in attendance.