From an enormous moon sculpture to giant sea urchins and abstract art, Festival 2018 is set to ignite, inspire and completely astound audiences from around the globe. With over 1,000 free arts and cultural experiences on offer during the Commonwealth Games this April, Australian Arts Review takes a look at twelve events on the Gold Coast worth checking out:
Roundabout Stage, Broadbeach: 5 – 8 April
World champion athletes and performers hit the stage in this adrenaline-fuelled urban circus. Prepare for non-stop action, with breakdancing, beatboxing, BMX flatlanding, basketball freestyling, drumming and Roue Cyr (an acrobatic wheel). Connecting the street with the elite, 360 ALLSTARS explores all forms of rotation to deliver an extreme and exhilarating urban circus.
Kurrawa Park, Broadbeach: 5 – 15 April
For the first time, the Gold Coast will experience this special installation. Journey through the dazzling maze of winding paths and soaring domes, and awaken your sense of wonder. You’ll be amazed by the beauty of light and colour when you enter the luminarium – a monumental, walk-in sculpture that has enchanted millions of people across the globe. Since 1992 over three million visitors in more than 40 countries across five continents have immersed themselves in the spectacular, luminous world of Arboria – Architects of Air.
Emil and the Detectives
Kurrawa Park, Broadbeach: 5 – 8 April
How do we find our friends in the world? How do we work together to defeat tricksters? Find out in this delightfully intimate performance.Emil and the Detectives is told by two skilled actors and is made complete with smoke and mirrors, miniature worlds and a cinematic score.
Roundabout Stage, Broadbeach: Tuesday 10 April
Experience Australian Indigenous culture through a powerful blend of ancient and modern dance. After performing at Sydney Opera House and festivals across Australia, eXcelsior makes its Gold Coast debut. See the Brisbane-based company perform its signature fusion of traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dance and contemporary genres.
Surfers Paradise Beach: 4 – 15 April
Take a ride on one of 15 illuminated musical see-saws in this award winning interactive art playground, Impulse. You’ll become the musician and artist as your movement and rhythm activate the light and sounds of the seesaw. Impulse is a giant instrument and composition that is constantly changing. When see-saws are played at the same time, they create musical harmonies and dynamic light waves.
Museum of the Moon
Chinatown, Southport: 4 – 15 April
After mesmerising millions of people across the globe, this glorious silvery moon journeys to Australia for the first time. Museum of the Moon is an incredible seven-metre-wide, floating moon sculpture with detailed NASA imagery on its surface. Each centimetre of the replica equals 5 kms of the lunar surface. While you bathe in the moonlight, listen to a surround-sound composition, featuring archive audio from the moon landings, by BAFTA award-winning composer Dan Jones. As the sculpture travels around the globe, it highlights the latest moon science and gathers new musical compositions, personal responses, stories and mythologies from each stop.
The Night Watch
The Walls Art Space, Miami: 7 – 14 April
Taking its name from a famous 16th century Rembrandt painting, The Night Watch is a modern rekindling of the much-loved Gold Coast tradition of the Sunday night beachside gathering. The project explores the act of ‘night watching’ by translating and reinterpreting the Golden Age themes of Rembrandt’s civic guard scene into a portrait of life, Gold Coast style, through a curated program of contemporary screen-based works.
Roundabout Stage, Broadbeach: 4 – 8 April
Brace yourself as 10 ferociously committed acrobats put their bodies on the line in an electrifying explosion of physicality and power. The Rite of Spring has been the basis of dances and ballets for over 100 years but never circus – until now. In a world-first, Circa’s legendary ensemble-under the direction of Yaron Lifschitz dares to take on Stravinsky’s classical music masterpiece. A new creation that unleashes the primal energy that runs through us all, see bodies hurl, flow, twist, pulse and collide in an ecstatic tribal circus ritual.
Chelsea Ave, Broadbeach Beach: 5 – 15 April
Where does the human mind go when it’s challenged to survive, endure or succeed? Inspired by the experiences of elite athletes, Sea Stories takes you into the meditative zone. As the sun rises over Broadbeach you’ll hear a collection of first-person stories that poetically connect with the ever-changing seascape before you. Based on interviews with Gold Coast locals, Sea Stories explores the relationship between dreaming, discipline, resilience and water. Grab a free coffee, pull up a deck chair and settle in for an intimate, uplifting journey into the headspace of some extraordinary humans.
Appel Park, Surfers Paradise: 4 – 15 April
Discover and delight in the spectacular sea urchin shells that hover in Appel Park and float over the Gold Coast waterway. Each urchin is carefully crafted from hand-crocheted lace to mimic the striking and harmonious patterns found in nature. Together, the urchins embody the spirit, diversity and landscape of the Gold Coast. Urchins is a stunning installation designed by internationally acclaimed architects and artists Choi+Shine, curated by SWELL and fabricated by crochet communities throughout Australia. Don’t miss this unforgettable visual experience.
Yothu Yindi and The Treaty Project
Main Stage, Surfers Paradise: Wednesday 4 April – 7.00pm
Kicking off Festival 2018 will be Yothu Yindi and The Treaty Project, featuring original members of ARIA Hall of Fame inductees Yothu Yindi with special guests, serving up classic hits as well as brand new material, all with an electronic twist. The ensemble is inspired by the new remix package celebrating the 25th anniversary of Treaty and sees Yothu Yindi reunited with Gavin Campbell, founding member of seminal remix producers Filthy Lucre, for a Queensland exclusive performance.
Across the Gold Coast: 4 – 15 April
Are you sick of things looking a little grey? Feel like getting some sharp contrast in your life? Invite the Zebra’s and see things in absolute black and white. Where the African savannah collides with Coco Chanel. Watch these aristocratic Zebra’s prance, preen, graze and dance. With booty to blow your mind, and some dance moves to make Beyonce’ blush. Critically endangered on the African plains, experience the majesty of these rare and remarkable creatures. These human/animals are able to steer verbal content around themes of the planet, loss of habitat and biodiversity while still making people laugh out loud as they mingle with their audience.
Image: 360 ALLSTARS – photo by Matt Loncar