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FACT FILE: OzAsia Festival

Arts

INDONESIA is the feature country at this year’s OzAsia Festival, the annual celebration of the links between South Australia and Asia.

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Now in its ninth year, the OzAsia Festival runs from September 24 to October 4 in Adelaide and is highlighting dancers and artists from across Indonesia, as well as performances from other parts of Asia.

The festival opens at the Adelaide Festival Centre with a production that brings the bustling streets of Jakarta alive on stage. The Streets uses dance, theatre and immersive performance to paint of picture of life in urban Indonesia. The show explores contemporary and traditional life in a complex and face-paced performance that turns the spotlight on the haves and have nots.

Cry Jailalo is another highlight. Featuring raw, rhythmic dance from seven young men from a small village called North Maluku, the show is the creation of world-renowned choreographer and dancer Eko Supriyanto. Eko handpicked these dancers to perform this work around the world, an eye-opening experience for many who had never left their isolated village. The action takes place in the mystical, underwater world of Jailolo Bay.

For an even more unconventional offering performance artist Melati Suryodarmo will keep audience’s attention – for two days!

In her piece 24,901 Miles, Melati will present a live performance spanning two days, drawing on her themes of distance, migration and belonging. A collection of her works will also be on display in the vast visual arts component of the Festival. The visual arts exhibitions will be staged across various city venues including the Lion Arts Centre, Art Space Gallery and Art Gallery of South Australia.

 

Other artists from Indonesia include the Papermoon Puppet Theatre performing Mwathirika, traditional Javanese dance group Topeng Cirebon, and SambaSunda from Bandung. There will also be performances from Adelaide-based gamelan orchestra Gamelan Sekar laras.

In his first year as OzAsia Festival Director Joseph Mitchell has curated a diverse and modern program designed to shine a spotlight on the fresh, ground-breaking works coming out Asia.

“The talent and energy of artists from across Asia is fast gaining worldwide attention,” he says. “The artists in this year’s OzAsia Festival are at the cutting edge of their genres, breaking new ground and creating culturally engaging, contemporary works.

“We expect more than 100,000 people to attend performances and events at this year’s OzAsia Festival, in what will be a true celebration of Asian culture here in Australia.’

Performers from other countries are also featured, including Japan’s acclaimed electro-composer and visual artist Ryoji Ikeda. His Australian premiere of Superposition fuses art and science using synchronised video screens, human performers, live content feed and much more.

Step into a world of chaotic colour and sounds with Miss Revolutionary Beserker. This is Japanese theatre/pop that promises to take audience on a wild ride – any show that hands out rain coats to those in the front row has got to be full of surprises!

OzAsia also delves into the world of film with an eclectic mix of Asian cinema offerings. They include a selection of films from influential Japanese director Akira Kurosawa and one of Hong Kong’s most well-known and respected directors Ann Hui.

The festival also features a film program and forums on the arts.

The inclusion of the Night Noodle Markets adds to the atmosphere and will be a hit during the Moon Lantern Festival, which will feature the Hong Kong Dragon, the largest lantern ever created for a Moon Lantern Festival.

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