OzAsia Festival 2019
Thirty-five Adelaide exclusives including five world-first performances and 22 Australian premieres are among 60 events being held as part of Adelaide Festival Centre’s OzAsia Festival 2019 – Australia’s leading contemporary arts festival engaging with Asia.
Held from October 17 to November 3, the 13th annual OzAsia Festival will feature 850 artists from more than 20 countries in a line-up of boundary-pushing works across music, theatre and dance to film, literature and visual art.
There will be 18 days of performances, screenings, exhibitions and free events including the popular Lucky Dumpling Market (October 17 to November 3), Moon Lantern Parade (Saturday, October 19) and JLF Adelaide (November 1-3) – a satellite event of the Jaipur Literature Festival.
The festival features contemporary dance from Akram Khan and his latest work Outwitting the Devil, Damien Jalet and his sculptural Vessel, Hervé Koubi with acrobatic piece What the Day Owes to the Night and Anne Nguyen with martial art-inspired street dance Kata.
Major events being staged in the Festival Theatre include Malaysian pop star Siti Nurhaliza, music icon Nitin Sawhney and Stan Lai’s epic theatre production The Village.
America’s Got Talent finalists SIRO-A will perform Techno Circus, while Japanese performance group Contact Gonzo will bring the world premiere of Stuck in the Narrowest Path – a chaotic improvisation of ‘dance meets Fight Club’ in collaboration with Adelaide’s own Zephyr Quartet.
International theatre makers presenting their work in Australia for the first time include India’s Abhishek Thapar with My Home at the Intersection and Surpassing the Beeline, along with South Korea’s Jaha Koo with Cuckoo – a reflection on his country’s recent history with help from three ‘talking’ rice cookers.
OzAsia Festival Artistic Director Joseph Mitchell said: “The 2019 OzAsia Festival will be our largest, most adventurous and fun-filled festival to date. There really is something for everyone – from free events through to thought-provoking theatre and visually stunning dance. We’re excited to see some of the most loved artists from previous OzAsia Festivals returning with new works, while our more adventurous audience members can indulge in our more immersive events like a pop-up performance in the Dunstan Playhouse foyer (Stuck in the Narrowest Path) and a six-course meal featuring stories from local and visiting expats (Surpassing the Beeline). Come and enjoy the festivities and warmer spring weather for what is promising to be an unforgettable experience at this year’s OzAsia Festival. I can’t wait to see you there!”
Singer Susheela Raman is a highlight of the world music line-up, which also includes Lebanese producer Hadi Zeidan with the electronic soundscapes of Beirut Electro Parade and vinyl vibes of Shik Shak Shok.
Using the death of his hero Muhammad Ali as a lyrical springboard, rapper/poet/award-winning author Omar Musa will bring his show Since Ali Died to Adelaide for the first time after a sell-out season in Sydney.
Adelaide Festival Centre CEO & Artistic Director Douglas Gautier AM: “There is simply nothing like our OzAsia Festival. No other arts festival demonstrates as well as this one the value of artistic exchange and the contribution to positive social, cultural and economic relationships between Australia and Asia. This year’s program is a feast of theatre, dance, music, visual art, literature, ideas, film, food and community events; with an emphasis on contemporary performance, collaboration and new commissions.”
Returning to the OzAsia Festival are Miss Revolutionary Idol Berserker in a tribute to Japanese subculture, playwright/director Stan Lai (of 2018’s Secret Love in Peach Blossom Land) with The Village and Japanese theatre maker Kuro Tanino (2017’s The Dark Inn) with The Dark Master, a performance featuring a mysterious chef giving directions through an earpiece.
Following their run at OzAsia Festival 2016 with their human trafficking-themed Sk!N, Malaysian theatre company Terryandthecuz is teaming up with Black Lung Theatre co-founder Thomas Henning to present LIGHT – an experimental work providing a revisionist history of Penang and the birth of Adelaide as told through the respective stories of Frances Light and his son William.
Belgium’s Ontroerend Goed will present £¥€$ – an interactive theatre work about the global financial system and how the world’s biggest banks pull strings to make it work in their favour.
His Excellency the Honourable Hieu Van Le AC, Governor of South Australia and Patron of OzAsia Festival: “I am delighted to see OzAsia Festival continue to flourish as a celebration of our cultural diversity and the exciting ways in which artists from Asia are exploring contemporary performance. This year’s program has so much to offer, and I hope to see audiences engaging with all kinds of experiences in addition to the ever-popular Moon Lantern Parade and Lucky Dumpling Market. I think they will be thrilled by everything there is to see and do.”
OzAsia Festival 2019 will also coincide with the inaugural Asia Pacific Creative Cities Conference (October 23-26) organised by Adelaide Festival Centre and supported by the Government of South Australia. The four-day conference will host delegates from the UNESCO Creative Cities Network and creative practitioners to foster valuable new working relationships all while experiencing Adelaide’s richly diverse culture.
Images: What the Day Owes to the Night (Photo Karim Amar), Miss Revolutionary Idol Berserker, and £¥€$ (Photo Thomas Dhanens).