Adelaide Festival Centre has lifted the lid on the 2012 OzAsia Festival program, which celebrates India with a number of Indian performances spotlighting the richness of this vibrant country as well as performances and events focusing on Japan, Korea, China, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam and of course Australia.
Proudly supported by Major Festival Partner Santos, the culturally diverse OzAsia Festival will run from 14 to 30 September and play host to 20 performances and 73 events featuring 300 artists and presenters.
OzAsia Festival Director Jacinta Thompson says, “This year we embark on a thrilling journey into Indian culture, showcasing theatre, music, dance, film and cuisine, synonymous with the colourful country richly textured and steeped in traditions.”
“While India holds the centrepiece for this year’s program, we have also invited artists and industry specialists from other Asian countries and here in Australia to play an integral role in assisting to bridge the cultural divide, allowing us to deepen understandings about the diverse nation we have become,” she says.
The 2012 program boasts four world premieres, four Australian premieres, four South Australian premieres and seven Australian exclusives.
The Adelaide Festival Centre and the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra present a monumental Australian premiere and exclusive, the phenomenal composer Tan Dun in a tribute to the relentless pursuit of love, life and dreams Martial Arts Trilogy on 22 and 23 September. Tan Dun conducts the orchestra, sharing with Adelaide audiences a magnificent repertoire of his music for critically acclaimed feature films Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Hero and The Banquet. The stunning orchestrations portraying tales of love, desire and sacrifice are married beautifully with visual projections of scenes from the film trilogy.
Following the success of the 2011 OzAsia Festival show The Arrival and a recent nomination for a Helpmann Award, the exceptionally gifted composer and percussionist Ben Walsh returns with the Orkestra of the Underground at this year’s Festival. Ben and his musical ensemble are set to thrill audiences in the world premiere of Fearless Nadia, which celebrates 1930s Bombay starlet and blond haired blue-eyed stunt heroine who hailed from Perth. The performance features footage from some of her classic movie appearances, including footage from one of her most celebrated films the restored Diamond Queen set to a new score by Ben Walsh. Special guest Indian musicians and dancers will add to the not-to-be-missed spectacle at the Dunstan Playhouse from 14 to 15 September.
16 taiko drummers from Japan and Australia unite at Her Majesty’s Theatre on 19 and 20 September in Kodo & Taikoz in Concert featuring Riley Lee on shakuhachi. Japan’s acclaimed taiko ensemble Kodo join forces with Australia’s own high energy taiko group TaikOz, who have collaborated with some of the world’s most celebrated artists and arts identities, including percussion group Synergy, didgeridoo virtuosi Matthew Doyle and William Barton, theatre director John Bell and The Bell Shakespeare Company, choreographer Meryl Tankard and composers Andrea Molino, Gerard Brophy, David Pye and Graeme Koehne. Kodo are based on Sado Island in Niigata Prefecture and are known for elevating Japanese folk arts to a contemporary expression that captivates audiences around the world they strive to both preserve and reinterpret traditional Japanese performing arts.
In another Australian premiere and exclusive, the internationally acclaimed company that presented the fresh Korean interpretation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 2007 and Hamlet in 2010 will this year focus on applauded 19th Century Norwegian playwright, theatre director and poet Henrik Ibsen. His epic masterpiece Peer Gynt will be thrust into the 21st Century by Director Jung-Ung Yang and the South Korean Yohangza Theatre Company, featuring 15 talented actors playing a multitude of characters at the Dunstan Playhouse from 19 to 21 September.
In a moving world premiere, 20 young performers from the Sunrise Children’s Village re-tell the story of Cambodia, laced with their own personal accounts in a fusion of classical Khmer and contemporary dance and music. Exclusive to the 2012 OzAsia Festival, Cambodia Sun Rising is directed by Adelaide Director Cate Fowler in association with Geraldine Cox AM, founder of Sunrise Villages. Witness the emerging hope, inspiration and bravery brimming from these young Cambodians at the Space Theatre from 27 to 28 September.
Direct from Mumbai, exclusive to Adelaide Indian music mega star Kailash Kher along with his eight-piece band Kailasa will mesmerise Festival-goers in their first Australian performance on 29 September as they take to the Festival Theatre stage. Showcasing their unique blend of spiritual Sufi chants, Bollywood and Rajasthani Gyspy rhythms and Punjabi dance fused with electric guitar and modern beats with a myriad of traditional instruments, experience why Kailash and his band regularly play to sold out 30,000-seat arenas in India.
Embark on a poetic and beautiful dance double bill direct from India and fresh from an Edinburgh 2012 Festival, Uncharted Seas and Timeless by Aditi Mangaldas Dance Company at the Dunstan Playhouse on 28 and 29 September. Both traditional Kathak and contemporary forms of dance are explored, where the art of storytelling is presented via hypnotically intricate footwork, high-energy pirouettes and complex rhythmic patterns of beats.
Australia’s leading Indian musicians will cross cultures and join forces with singer and sitar player Sarangan Sriranganathan and Sydney jazz duo Sandy Evans on saxophone and Brett Hirst on bass in Sandy Evans’ Indian Project at the Space Theatre for one night only on 22 September.
All-round funny man Anh Do, who also adds accomplished writer, actor and film producer to his credits, presents his one-man comedy show, The Happiest Refugee Live! in a South Australian premiere and exclusive at Her Majesty’s Theatre on 22 September. Be swept up in Anh’s hilarious journey through life where he masterfully combines his stand-up comedian genius with real life stories, photographs and film to convey his incredible story.
A pivotal night on the State’s cultural calendar, the Moon Lantern Festival will close the Festival on September 30 and will set Elder Park alight with an abundance of magical wonder under a full moon. Festivities will commence from 3pm and run until 8.30pm, featuring a plethora of participating community groups and schools plus special guests this year, the performers from Sunrise Children’s Village. Marvel at the workshops, food and market stalls, diverse performances showcased on the main stage, the vibrant and unforgettable Moon Lantern Parade at dusk followed by the spectacular fireworks finale.
Music lovers will be delighted by Fire & Water a recital by performers featured in the Martial Arts Trilogy at the Space Theatre on 21 September. With renowned cellist Li-Wei, recipient of the Young Australian of the Year in 2002 and Xiaoxia Zhao from China, it is a unique opportunity to hear Tan Dun’s music solo cello and the exotic sound of the guqin.
To compliment Tan Dun’s performance at the Festival the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra is hosting six Australian composers inspired by Tan Dun in a world premiere of short works Crouching Tigers. Be the first to hear new works performed by Orchestra members by composers Tristan Coelho, Melody Eötvös, Annie Hui-Hsin Hsieh, Christopher Larkin, Lachlan Skipworth, and Timothy Tate which have been inspired and guided by the musical maestro himself.
Don’t miss tips from leading Australian composers in Pathways on 19 September at the Hartley Concert Room in the Elder Conservatorium, University of Adelaide. Offering music enthusiasts three free music forums throughout the day focussing on writing music as a career – approaches, tools and techniques for writing and ways to survive and thrive as a composer.
In addition to this, Maestro Tan Dun will give the public the opportunity to observe a Masterclass in the Space Theatre on 20 September.
For those wanting to channel their inner Bollywood Dance moves, classes have been tailored to suit various age groups with three workshops throughout the day on 16 September in the Banquet Room.
Three delectable O’Leary Walker Cooking Demonstrations at Lyrics, add an authentic flavour to this year’s Festival. Celebrated chef, restaurateur, author and TV presenter Peter Kuruvita shares his Sri Lankan heritage on 15 September, while Christine Manfield will impart her knowledge and divulge her passion for Indian cuisine, culture and its people on 18 and 19 September, and Adelaide’s beloved Mrs Singh of award-winning Jasmin restaurant will wow audiences with 30 year’s worth of culinary secrets on 20 and 21 September.
Visual arts enthusiasts will not be disappointed as once again this year’s Festival partners with Adelaide’s leading galleries.
Anne & Gordan Samstag Museum of Art, University of South Australia present Beyond the Self: Contemporary Portraiture from Asia on 3 August and running until 30 September. Bringing together painting, photography, sculpture, drawing, installation and media works the exhibition looks at the transformative possibility of portraiture though art from the early 20000s to the present, created by artists from Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines.
Concurrently at Anne & Gordon Samstag Museum of Art, well-regarded Adelaide furniture designers, Khai Liew and Bruce Nuske have created stunning pieces that have been inspired by the 19th Century European shift towards oriental design, particularly the popularity around the Japanese aesthetic. Marvel at their intricate craftsmanship at the Irrational and Idiosyncratic exhibition from 3 August to 30 September.
Political Art from Indonesia and China is featured at the Art Gallery of South Australia, Teeth of the Rice Plant explores how contemporary artists from Indonesia and China have been potent voices for expressing the aspirations and fears of society in times of political change. The exhibition is currently on show and will remain at the Gallery until 2 December.
The Art Gallery of South Australia will also celebrate the opening night of the festival in an event that calls for cultural immersion Asian Art After Dark. Indulge in after-hours access to Festival-themed displays, music and Asian cuisine on 14 September. Also on display at the gallery The Perfect Finish exhibition presents treasures of Asian lacquer ware from Japan, Thailand and Burma spanning three hundred years, Gallery 20 from 14 to 30 September.
Also part of the 2012 OzAsia Festival’s visual arts program The Needle on the Gauge curated by Ranjit Hoskote involves seven Indian artists intricately working with avatars, the extension of photographic images, documentary projects, performance-based work, posters and blogs to depict India’s crises and afflictions from 5 September at the Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia (CACSA).
For the first time the Festival is delighted to be partnering with the Jam Factory in a special artist talk with one of Japan’s most prominent artists. Masamichi Yoshikawa will give an in-depth talk on working with porcelain and applying modern re-interpretations of ancient Chinese ceramic forms as part of the 2012 Australian Triennale: Subversive Clay on 26 September at the JamFactory in GalleryOne.
Once again OzAsia Festival collaborates with The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre at UniSA to present the Keynote Lecture. Join revered global contributor to intangible heritage and arts, Professor Amareswar Galla for the insightful and thought-provoking Keynote Lecture, More Than Meets the Eye on Safeguarding Intangible Heritage – Asian Australian Perspectives on 24 September at the Dunstan Playhouse.
The Festival continues to create debate, this year in association with The Confucius Institute; Chair of the Department of Government and Public Administration at the Chinese University in Hong Kong, Professor Shaoguang Wang will give a Public Lecture on Democracy, Chinese Style: Participation Versus The Mass Line 18 September, Space Theatre.
And don’t miss the panel discussion chaired by Adelaide Festival Centre CEO & Artistic Director Douglas Gautier featuring prestigious panelists: The Hon. Senator Penny Wong, Carrillo Gantner AO, Hieu Van Le AO, Sid Myer AM and Martyn Eames who will focus on creating an ‘Asia Capable’ Australia across business, the arts and the community on 26 September, Lyrics. Titled Preparing Australians for the Asian Century the stimulating panel discussion will be free to all members of the public.
OzAsia On Screen, in association with the Media Resource Centre, returns with a wide variety of feature films and documentaries encompassing films from Japan, China, Philippines, Thailand, Hong Kong, France/Cambodia, Laos, Korea and Indonesia. The Festival’s screen component also includes a dedicated India on Screen program. To complement the film program, Adelaide Festival Centre’s GreenRoom program presents the Guru Short Film Competition, supporting young, emerging talent in a fun night of screening at the Mercury Cinema, 16 September.
Adelaide Festival Centre CEO & Artistic Director Douglas Gautier says, ““Adelaide Festival Centre has a strong tradition as a cultural leader and our OzAsia Festival continues the tradition as the pre-eminent event of its kind in the region. Now in its sixth year, the Festival has been embraced by local audiences and communities and has garnered significant attention nationally and overseas. Please join us for this annual celebration of our diverse multicultural society and the cultures of our region.”