Accento (Arts News)

OzAsia Festival returns to Adelaide

One of Australia’s most vibrant festivals opens tomorrow! Held from October 17 to November 3, the 13th annual OzAsia Festival will feature 850 artists from more than 20 countries in an engaging line-up of boundary-pushing works across everything from music, theatre and dance to film, literature and visual art.

Moon Lantern Parade | image supplied

Attendees will be treated to 18 days of performances, screenings, exhibitions and free events including the popular Lucky Dumpling Market (October 17 to November 3), Moon Lantern Parade (Saturday, October 19) and JLF Adelaide (November 1-3) – a satellite event of the iconic Jaipur Literature Festival.

Thirty-five Adelaide exclusives including five world-first performances and 22 Australian premieres are among 60 events being held as part of Adelaide Festival Centre’s OzAsia Festival 2019 – Australia’s leading contemporary arts festival engaging with Asia.

Siti Nurhaliza | image supplied

Malaysian pop star Siti Nurhaliza, music icon Nitin Sawhney and Stan Lai’s epic theatre production The Village are among the major events being staged in the Festival Theatre.

America’s Got Talent finalists SIRO-A will amaze festival attendees of all ages with Techno Circus, while fellow Japanese performance group Contact Gonzo will bring the world premiere of Stuck in the Narrowest Path – a chaotic improvisation of ‘dance meets Fight Club’ in collaboration with Adelaide’s own Zephyr Quartet.

“The 2019 OzAsia Festival will be our largest, most adventurous and fun-filled festival to date. There really is something for everyone – from free events through to thought-provoking theatre and visually stunning dance.

– Joseph Mitchell, Artistic Director OzAsia Festival

Captivating singer Susheela Raman is a highlight of the world music line-up, which also includes Lebanese producer Hadi Zeidan with the electronic soundscapes of Beirut Electro Parade and vinyl vibes of Shik Shak Shok.

Using the death of his hero Muhammad Ali as a lyrical springboard, rapper/poet/award-winning author Omar Musa will bring his electrifying show Since Ali Died to Adelaide for the first time after a sell-out season in Sydney.

“There is simply nothing like our OzAsia Festival. No other arts festival demonstrates as well as this one the value of artistic exchange and the contribution to positive social, cultural and economic relationships between Australia and Asia.”

Douglas Gautier AM, Adelaide Festival Centre CEO & Artistic Director

Returning OzAsia Festival favourites include the thrilling Miss Revolutionary Idol Berserker in a whirlwind tribute to Japanese subculture, legendary playwright/director Stan Lai (of 2018’s Secret Love in Peach Blossom Land) with The Village and Japanese theatre maker Kuro Tanino (2017’s The Dark Inn) with The Dark Master, a gripping performance featuring a mysterious chef giving directions through an earpiece.

Following a successful run at OzAsia Festival 2016 with their human trafficking-themed Sk!N, Malaysian theatre company Terryandthecuz is teaming up with Black Lung Theatre co-founder Thomas Henning to present LIGHT – an experimental work providing a revisionist history of Penang and the birth of Adelaide as told through the respective stories of Frances Light and his son William.

“The Government is proud to support OzAsia Festival and the important role it plays in our state. By showcasing the best of contemporary art from Asia and fostering positive relationships between Australia and its neighbouring countries, this festival provides major opportunities for artists across the Asian region to play their part in connecting our people and communities.”

– the Hon Steven Marshall MP, South Australian Minister responsible for the Arts

Now in its second year, JLF Adelaide will feature a transnational celebration of cultural connections and new perspectives. Former Adelaide Writer’s Week director Laura Kroetsch has joined the team as a producer for this year’s event after recently directing Dark and Dangerous Thoughts at Dark Mofo 2019.

This year’s OzAsia Festival will also see the Australian premiere of visual art exhibitions from 14 emerging and established artists from India and South Australia brought together by Adelaide’s Daniel Connell. The Art Gallery of South Australia will present its first major display of Islamic art for No god but God: The art of Islam along with Sonic Blossom by Taiwanese-American artist Lee Mingwei, while the Samstag Museum of Art will host Ascent by Fiona Tan.

OzAsia Festival 2019 will also coincide with the inaugural Asia Pacific Creative Cities Conference (October 23-26) organised by Adelaide Festival Centre and supported by the Government of South Australia. The four-day conference will host delegates from the UNESCO Creative Cities Network and creative practitioners to foster valuable new working relationships all while experiencing Adelaide’s richly diverse culture.

The full OzAsia Festival program is available online at www.ozasiafestival.com.au.

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