By Lana Guineay
Operatic robots, virtual pop stars, lucky dumplings… the 2017 program for this year’s OzAsia Festival has just been launched, and features a delightfully diverse line up.
OzAsia Festival Director Joseph Mitchell says the 2017 festival, running 21st September until 8 October, will give audiences an insight into the vibrant culture and arts scene in Asia, with over 50 different events.
“OzAsia Festival continues to lead the way as Australia’s major arts festival engaging with Asia, making a strong contribution to Adelaide’s unique reputation as Australia’s festival city,” he says.
With world premieres, dance, music, film, visual arts and more on the agenda, we’ve chosen just a few highlights to help you decide what to see at this year’s festival:
If you like…epic theatre, history with a side of humour
See: Hotel by W!ld Rice
A ground-breaking, multi-generational drama that takes place over 100 years of Singaporean history – all from the vantage point of a famous but unnamed luxury hotel. Follow the Singaporean transformation from British colony to Malaysian state to sovereign nation in this five-hour(!) performance in two parts.
If you like… virtual pop stars
See: Hatsune Miku in ‘The End’
She toured with Lady Gaga, she’s one of the biggest pop stars in the world… but she isn’t an actual person. The “virtual music superstar” only exists on screen, but a little thing like non-corporeality hasn’t stopped her. With over 100,000 songs to her name and a world-wide legion of fans, Miku will perform the world’s first virtual opera at OzAsia Festival (while dressed in Louis Vuitton, naturally).
If you like…renowned dance theatre
See: Until the Lions
A headline performance from one of the world’s most important choreographers. Akram Khan’s Until the Lions retells a story from The Mahabharata, in a lean and powerful dance-theatre production. Incredible dance and compelling storytelling with a Pan-Asian cast from Indonesia, Taiwan and the Philippines.
If you like: happiness
Check out: the Moon Lantern Festival
The popular family-friendly event is back, and set to delight us all with Australia’s largest lantern parade. With workshops, live performances, food and fireworks, it’s a starry night to remember.
If you like: food
Check out: Lucky Dumpling Market
The festival’s lively new food hub, expect a street-style feast of dumplings, noodles, hot pots, premium wine… if your mouth is currently watering, you should definitely make this a pre-show stop.
If you like: free stuff
Check out: Writing China
OzAsia have teamed up with Open State for a day-long series of talks, ideas, workshops and forums, from Greater China and Australia. With speakers from writing, publishing, politics, dance and more, (including Aussie favourite Benjamin Law), drop in for a totally free session and prepare for thoughts to be provoked.
If you like: robots
See: Scary beauty
What happens when AI meets the arts? Find out at this world premiere event, where one of the world’s most sophisticated robots is set to perform an opera composed by iconoclastic Japanese composer Keiichiro Shibuya.
Check out the full program here.