The Bhangra Festival returns, a new Canadian play comes to the Firehall and the VSO plays The Planets in another eclectic mix on Vancouver stages this week.
[pullquote]“To see a bhangra drum and dance group is commonplace these days, but we wanted to get away from the notion of the origin story; we wanted to get past the ethnic story and make the Festival part of Vancouver’s fabric” – City of Bhangra Festival co-founder Mo Dhaliwal[/pullquote]The 10th annual City of Bhangra Festival is underway (to June 7). With more than 17 events and 300 performers, the Festival may feature the folk music and dance from the Punjab regions of India and Pakistan, but attempts to bridge the cultural divide in Vancouver with an eye to cross-cultural collaborations. This year’s #BhangraLove theme is not just meant as a social media catch-phrase, but as a symbol of the cross-cultural collaborations between bhangra and the rest of the world.
Part mystery and part psychological drama, The Concessions (June 5-14) is a haunting piece of Canadian gothic centred around an inexplicable act of violence in a rural community. From Vancouver playwright Briana Brown, the play explores themes of faith, trust, and moving on after community crisis are explored. The Concessions is the fourth play to come out of the Flying Start playwriting collaboration between the Playwrights Theatre Centre, Touchstone Theatre and the Firehall Arts Centre.
The penultimate weekend of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s 95th anniversary season is one of the most famous pieces in the repertoire of a symphony orchestra: Gustav Holst’s The Planets (June 7 & 8). With movements such as “Mars: the Bringer of War”, which many believe to have inspired film composer John Williams’ musical representation of Darth Vader in the original Star Wars movies, The Planets is a symphonic work that has influenced a myriad of composers since it was written in 1916. Rounding out the concert is Maestro Bramwell Tovey’s Songs of Envious Time sung by the Elektra Women’s Chorus and Carl Nielsen’s Flute Concerto featuring Principal Flutist, Christie Reside.