In just a few hours, Australia’s most celebrated cultural event, White Night Melbourne, returns from 7pm Saturday 21 February to 7am Sunday 22 February transforming Melbourne’s city streets, major cultural institutions, public spaces, gardens, landmark buildings and laneways. With so much on offer, we take a look at five things, you should consider checking out:
Eat Me – State Library of Victoria
After being mesmerised by projections on the building’s facade (Rabbit Hole), step inside to the iconic Dome to Eat Me – a 360-degree projection created by renowned French artists Antoine + Manuel, which will animate the monumental architecture of the Library’s Dome, weaving through references to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
Commissioned by the State Library for White Night Melbourne, Eat Me uses 3-D mapping techniques, animation and stage design to create a mesmerising work that turns the Dome into a whimsical, abstract dreamscape. Shifts in scale, luscious gardens and vibrant colours will be set against a soundtrack created by Melbourne electro-pop artist, Sui Zhen, to create a truly unforgettable experience.
4 Elements – Royal Exhibition Building
Through the magic of light, 4 Elements presents how a physical occurrence can be felt, touched or perceived. It confronts audiences with the characteristics and beauty of each of the four elements: earth, water, fire, and air. The physical qualities of these elements will be interpreted by four dancers, expressing the relation we have to each of them.
Two dancers from the National Dance Company of Portugal, one aerial circus artist, and one synchronised swimming dancer, personify the elements by interacting with architecture through video mapping projection. Taking the four elements as a starting point, the facade of the Royal Exhibition Building will be transformed by projections; highlighting the grandeur and magnificent architecture of the building in being able to host this artistic show.
Ghostly Machines – Hamer Hall, Arts Centre Melbourne
In many performance spaces, large and complex machinery plays a variety of roles in enhancing the experience audiences will have. Ghostly Machines looks at what would happen if these machines starred in their own show. There is something otherworldly about objects behaving in unexpected ways, perhaps menacing and a little disturbing. Ghostly Machines is a combination of mechanical ballet, kinetic art and sound design – a visual and sonic feast.
Sita’s Garden – Birrarung Marr / Yarra River
The banks and depths of the Yarra will be transformed into a Little India, complete with a sublime glowing lotus pond and lined with scenes from bustling Indian streets! A remarkable themed and floating stage will host performances ranging from Bollywood to Bharata Natyam dance, and Bhangra to Australian/Indian collaborations – entertaining all onlookers with stunning scenes of refined classical Indian dance.
With the best of contemporary Indian inspired world music, and some very special guest artists, Sita’s Garden should be experienced by all. An extension of the water activities into Birrarung Marr, Bollywood murals, projections, Indian street food, and a welcome to the rising sun with a sun salutation sequence.
The Crucible – Birrarung Marr, Upper Terrace
Melbourne based team, Sean Diamond (SDKineticStudios) and Stephanie Selig (Flame Effects Australia), have created this project from the ground up starting with nothing but a vision of a beautiful metal dragon piercing the sky with her flames and a fire garden that delights participants. Working with Howard and Sons Pyrotechnics this project will light up White Night in a new and dynamic way.
Some pointers to make the most of your White Night Melbourne experience:
1. WNM is a popular event, so expect large crowds and queues to some works. The entire programme runs all night, so if a particular work is busy, come back at a later time. If you find yourself in a crowd, be patient and follow any directions from the White Night Melbourne team.
2. The WNM precinct has expanded to give audiences a better experience. It stretches from the National Gallery of Victoria in the south, through the city to Melbourne Museum in the north – comfortable shoes are a must. Attendance is expected to be lighter after midnight. Consider arriving later or booking in dinner first.
3. Summer has arrived in Melbourne and the forecast is for a warm night. Bring a drink bottle, stay hydrated and have a great night.
4. There is so much on offer, you may not be able to see everything. However, if you do try, take advantage of the quieter spaces to rest and recharge. The projections will take full effect from around 9.00pm, and run all night through to 7.00am.
5. Public transport will run all night (trams, trains and buses) and all City loop stations (except Flagstaff) are open. Other options are bike valet parking and special deals from participating car parks.
Finally, look out for one another and have a wonderful White Night 2015! For more information, visit: www.whitenightmelbourne.com.au for details.
Image: photo by Craig Stilitoe