Castlemaine State Festival reveals 2019 program

Castlemaine State Festival Ambiguous Dance Company Body ConcertTake a plunge into the unknown this March when the Castlemaine State Festival, Australia’s largest regional arts festival, presents 10 days of over 70 performance, visual arts, talks and music programs.

Prepare yourself as Deep Soulful Sweats’ opening night dance-party event, Equinox enters the Castlemaine atmosphere where audiences are divided into Zodiac groups and taken on an holistic journey through movement, chanting and fantasy.

From fantastical theories to post-cabaret fantasia, Circa’s Peepshow promises human pyramids and awe-inspiring acrobatics, while there’s no sense to be made in Korea’s Ambiguous Dance Company’s Body Concert with 10 acts of wild movements and a soundtrack covering everything from Mozart to Daft Punk.

Presenting his inaugural Castlemaine State Festival, Director Glyn Roberts said the adventurous program is full of wonder and excitement, with Castlemaine at its core. “Castlemaine is a place that is contemporary, classical and, most importantly, communal and we are thrilled to have several exclusive-to-Castlemaine events taking place next year,” he said.

“If you are lucky enough to be a first-time visitor to the region you will soon notice that Castlemaine isn’t just a regional city, but a microcosm of Australian society with its diversity, successes, beauty all here in this one special place. We cannot wait to celebrate this extraordinary program of arts and culture right here in Castlemaine.”

The communal spirit of Castlemaine is beautifully showcased in Dialogues – a program of talks and ideas exploring the future of living regionally in an ever-changing world. The elegance of the old gold rush buildings that adorn the streets of Castlemaine are reflected through the music of masters such as Germany’s classical piano darling Mona Asuka and Italy’s favourite contemporary harpist Floraleda Sacchi who will present pieces by Nils Frahm, Philip Glass and more.

The diversity of people and the landscapes they inhabit is conveyed through works such as Australian poet Adam Ford’s Dance to the Anticlinal Fold and performances by world music and folk legends such as Timor-Leste’s award-winning songwriter Ego Lemos and Bosnia’s queer tattooed, flamboyantly long-haired and bearded Božo Vreco.

The popular and historic Theatre Royal will host a contemporary music program featuring Laura Jean, Tropical Fuck Storm, Emma Donovan and the Putbacks, Mildlife and Castlemaine’s very own Devo cover band Davo, as well as local legends Puta Madre Brothers. Iceland’s JFDR will perform exclusively at the Festival and Mick Harvey will put his own spin on the songs of Serge Gainsbourg.

Contemporary film program, Not Your Sheila, will shine a spotlight on bold new works by Australian women in cinema and visual art takes pride of place in myriad venues around Castlemaine including the historic Art Museum. A series of free exhibitions and talks will take place across the ten days from local and international artists including local Castlemainian Cameron Robbins, Hayley Millar-Baker (Australia) and Jazoo Yang (Korea).

The region’s unique ability to communicate and connect globally is celebrated through multiple works from South Korea, and collaborations with artists from Indonesia, Taiwan, Japan, Italy, Germany and Timor-Leste. Exclusive-to-Castlemaine Festival artists include Mona Asuka, Ye-Eun Choi, Federico Albanese, Floraleda Sacchi, JFDR, Ambiguous Dance Company, Abdi Karya and Chun Liang Liu.

The Castlemaine State Festival takes place from 22 – 31 March 2019. Over 40,000 people are expected to attend the free and ticketed events as part of the festival across the ten days. For more information, and full program, visit: for details.

Image: Ambiguous Dance Company presents Body Concert (supplied)