The 2014 Melbourne Festival program has been revealed with highlights including a celebration of circus, a giant mirrored carousel at the NGV, an epic-scale production with a choir of 40 teenage girls, the world premiere of Anouk Van Dijk and Falk Richter’s theatre collaboration, a retrospective of revolutionary NYC choreographer Trisha Brown and a strong focus on Festival commissions.
Running for 17 days, Melbourne will come alive with a festival program that features almost 100 events including 15 world premieres; 21 Australian premieres, and 6 specially commissioned works; occupying more than 30 venues and featuring 1000 artists from 23 different countries.
“This year’s Melbourne Festival covers an enormous range,” says Festival Director, Josephine Ridge. “There are shows aimed at disrupting our thinking with visual arts as performance, theatre as choral experience, and classical music getting together with the world’s best techno DJs. We offer the purity of tradition as well as the boldness of the contemporary.”
“Melbourne Festival is founded in partnerships with many wonderful colleague organisations. In 2014, almost all involve international collaborations of some sort, providing invaluable opportunities to artists of today and tomorrow, ensuring that the Festival’s impact is not over in 17 days.”
The 29th Melbourne Festival shines a spotlight on a new world of global circus - an incredibly fast-changing art form that has a particular relevance to Melbourne. The program features companies from Europe, North America, Asia and Australia: Cirque Eloize, Nanjing Acrobatic Troupe, Circa, NICA, Flying Fruit Fly Circus, Dislocate, D’Irque & Fien and Circus Oz.
Australian companies and creatives are well represented including Chunky Move (Complexity of Belonging), KAGE (TEAM OF LIFE), Dislocate (If These Walls Could Talk), Brown Cab Productions (My Lovers’ Bones), Roslyn Oades (Hello, Goodbye & Happy Birthday), the program offers a chance to make new discoveries, reconnect with much admired favourites, and encounter collaborations and special Festival commissions including Shaun Parker & Company’s arresting music and dance collaboration Am I.
Audiences will be astounded by European artistic legend, Heiner Goebbels’ When the Mountain Changed Its Clothing, an epic-scale production featuring 40 teenage girls from Slovenia; along with Carsten Holler’s spectacular, life-size Golden Mirror Carousel; and can embrace a residency from the UK’s Aurora Orchestra – one of the most exciting outfits in modern classical music.
The Festival hosts a retrospective of revolutionary New York choreographer Trisha Brown, who retired in 2012. From All Angles highlights the searching intelligence of Trisha Brown’s work and the impact of her practice, with performances of 18 works from 1973 to 2011 – the year she created her last pieces.
Music lovers are spoiled for choice with an exclusive concert from legendary techno producer and DJ Jeff Mills and a 60-piece orchestra; Greek superstar Mihalis Hatzigiannis performs with the MSO in an outdoor concert at the Bowl; award-winning composer Clint Mansell will perform a sweeping retrospective of his film compositions; Irish-American supergroup The Gloaming play their Australian premiere performance at Hamer Hall; Grammy Award-winning guitarist, Pat Metheny; and the second year of the Hadyn for Everyone program, including the much-loved Quartets at Sunset series.
After last year’s ground breaking ceremony bringing together the five clans of the Kulin nation, the Festival once again commences with TANDERRUM, a powerful event, deeply rooted in place and history – a celebration of the ground we stand on, and of the people whose ancestors walked it before our time.
Directly following the ceremony, Big hART stages MURRU: 10 Songs of Freedom for John Pat, an uplifting free concert in Federation Square, which has an accompanying theatrical event, Hipbone Sticking Out at Arts Centre Melbourne.
The Foxtel Festival Hub returns to the banks of the Yarra as a custom-designed bar, club and hub – a performance space and festive destination with an eclectic program including Since I Left You: A Celebration of the Avalanches; Mikelangelo’s album launch; Canada’s Buck 65 – the Tom Waits of hip-hop; the Australian premiere of Josh T Pearson; and the Festival debut of Ed Kuepper, The Bamboos and Tuba Skinny.
The 2014 Melbourne Festival runs from 10 – 26 October. For more information and full program, visit: www.melbournefestival.com.au for details.
Image: When the Mountain Changed Its Clothing – photo by Wonge Bergmann