2014 OzAsia Festival program revealed

Dream of the Ghost Story_editorialAdelaide Festival Centre has unveiled the 2014 OzAsia Festival program, which celebrates Adelaide’s sister state, Shandong Province, China, featuring more than 140 performers from the region and putting the spotlight on its rich history and resplendent culture.

The culturally diverse OzAsia Festival will run from 3 – 21 September and play host to 21 performances and 36 events featuring over 250 artists and presenters from across the globe, including performances and events from Japan, India, Korea, Philippines, Cambodia, Palestine, Bangladesh, Russia, Indonesia, Mongolia and of course Australia.

“OzAsia is the largest and pre-eminent cultural event in Australia presenting on works from the Asian region and is recognised around Asia as an important step in solidifying Asian – Australian relationships,” says Minister for the Arts Jack Snelling.

“The Festival has grown steadily since its inception eight years ago and is now an important event on South Australia’s cultural calendar. In addition to entertaining audiences, OzAsia is helping our understanding of  Asian culture, traditions and language and connecting local Australian Asian communities who have historically not taken part in cultural activities in Adelaide.”

This year the focus on Shandong will bring to Adelaide some amazing shows and exhibitions that would otherwise never be seen in this country.  This exchange of culture will nurture our Sister-State relationship with Shandong which is providing unique social, cultural and economic opportunities for South Australia.”

The program boasts 6 world premieres, 7 Australian premieres, 8 South Australian premieres and 26 Adelaide exclusives. This year’s hero image for the Festival is the dragon kite; Chinese dragons are legendary creatures in Chinese mythology and folklore, like the dragon the Festival holds virtues of power, strength, energy and good fortune. Shandong is known as the birthplace of kites and is home to the World Kite Museum, the largest in the world.

The 2014 OzAsia FestivalProgram highlights include: Qingdao Song and Dance Theatre’s premiere and exclusive performance of Red Sorghum; the company is renowned for their breathtaking work. Adapted from the novel by Shandong’s Nobel Prize winning author Mo Yan, and is the winner of this year’s Wenhua Prize, China’s Ministry of Culture’s highest award for professional arts, the work presents themes of love, affection and patriotism.

Ghosts, foxes, immortals and demons are brought to live with stunning performances, breathtaking acrobatics and dream-like staging by award winning Shandong Acrobatic Troupe. Featuring more than 50 performers the Australian premiere of Dream of the Ghost Story is a spectacular and visually stunning experience for the whole family.

Based on a true story of a Japanese-Australian photographer Yasukichi Murakami, what begins as a search for the past, becomes a quest for immortality in Yasukichi Murakami – Through a Distant Lens.

Another explosive Australian premiere see’s Director Wang Chong and Théatre Du Réve Expérimental present Ibsen in One Take – a movie, filmed live on stage in a single take. Inspired by the works of Norwegian dramatic playwright Henrik Ibsen, the work is an avant garde explosion of theatrical convention in China that defies artistic and technical expectations.

Beijing’s famed minimalist modern dance troupe TAO Dance Theatre has taken China by storm and is now set to captivate Adelaide audiences this September with the performance of 6 and the world premiere of 7, commissioned by Sadler’s Wells, with the support of the Adelaide Festival Centre.

Internationally renowned calligrapher/artist Hiroko Watanabe will fuse words and imagery together with expressive, controlled brush strokes to create a three dimensional calligraphy installation to the rhythms of Japanese band Above the Clouds. Together they meld the contemporary time honoured calligraphic traditions of Japan with the improvisation of Jazz infused electric guitar and bass with the strict cadence of Japanese drums.

A world-first music project, Synergy Percussion, Australia’s oldest and foremost contemporary music ensemble, joins forces with Noreum Machi one of Korea’s most important proponents of traditional drumming in a dark vibrant and transformative concert experience Synergy Percussion Meets Noreum Machi.

World-renowned composer and conductor Tan Dun returns to the OzAsia Festival with the magnificent Adelaide Symphony Orchestra with the Australian premiere of Nu Shu: The Secret Songs of Women. Tan Dan weaves heart wrenching stories of mothers, daughters, sisters and how they navigate their lives through the secret language of Nu Shu.

The Moon Lantern Festival remains a pivotal night on the State’s cultural calendar, this year falling on Monday 8 September, and features 10 schools and 48 Community Groups, as Elder Park is transformed and will be a glow with abundant light from the hundreds of lanterns and the magical wonder of the full moon.

The 2014 OzAsia Festival runs 3 – 21 September. For more information and complete program, visit: www.adelaidefestivalcentre.com.au/ozasia-festival for details.

Image: Dream of the Ghost Story – Shandong Acrobatic Troupe