British Columbia

Chutzpah! Festival celebrates 15 year anniversary

The Chutzpah! Festival of Jewish performing arts features world-class dance, theatre and music performances in six locations around Vancouver from Feb. 19 to March 15.

Festival director Mary-Louise Albert continues to focus on dance and international artists

The Chutzpah! Festival of Jewish performing arts is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year.

The festival features world-class dance, theatre and music performances in six locations around Vancouver from Feb. 19 to March 15, 2015.   

Mary-Louise Albert, the festival's artistic and managing director, danced at the first Chutzpah! Festival, long before she became involved in programming.

She says the festival has greatly expanded since she began her tenure.

"The main change has been a real focus on the international artist," said Albert. "That and also a number of world premieres."

More recently, the festival increased the number of venues. The main hub continues to be the Norman Rothstein Theatre, but there are also shows at places such as the Electric Owl and the Imperial downtown.

Albert has also put a strong emphasis on contemporary dance. Three years ago, the festival began to offer a multi-week dance residency.

"It's not only just having this space and a lovely theatre to be working in, but the work will be fully presented in that corresponding festival," said Albert.

This year's artist-in-residence is Vancouver-based dancer Shay Kuebler, who will be touring his show around northern Vancouver Island after the festival.

As for show recommendations, Albert suggests taking a close look at the festival's website and being adventurous with your selection.

Shay Kuebler is one of the performers at the Chutzpah! Festival (Chutzpah!)

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