Announcing the sixteen-day Festival, the first of its kind in Australia, Adelaide Festival Centre CEO and Artistic Director Douglas Gautier said, ‘OzAsia is a new arts festival of national and cultural significance that celebrates the diversity and richness of our Australasian culture. OzAsia is built on twin key guiding principles: the contribution of Australian artists that identify with an Asian cultural heritage and the constant stream of cultural collaboration between Australia and its regional neighbours. The result is a festival that’s as exciting and as varied as the cultures it represents.’
The OzAsia Moon Lantern Festival takes place on Tuesday 25 September under a full moon in Elder Park. A tradition that's thousands of years old, the free Moon Lantern Festival will feature schoolchildren and community groups from across South Australia, parading hand-made traditional and contemporary lanterns, together with storytelling, martial arts, music, dance, Asian cuisine and Dragon Boats on the River Torrens. Festivities commence at 6pm, starting with a Buddhist blessing in the Rotunda. The Lantern Parade starts soon after sunset.
In a program that includes five Australian premieres and three Adelaide premieres, the OzAsia performing arts program features Australians who identify with an Asian cultural heritage; producing collaborative work between Australian and Asian artists and a cross-section of the cultures of Asia, both traditional and contemporary. Australian artists include William Yang, Leigh Warren and Dancers, Hung Le, Jo Dudley, Yumi Umiumare and Gabriella Smart.
The centrepiece of the OzAsia Festival performing arts program is acclaimed Korean drumming percussion ensemble Dulsori who return to present their new work Binari in the Festival Theatre for two performances on 29 and 30 September. Dulsori formed in 1984 and have travelled the world to rekindle the spirit of ancient festivals with their frenetic drumming and energy. ‘It’s a gripping performance of delicious percussion, crashing drums and rabble rousing vocals …’ The Guardian, UK
OzAsia presents the Adelaide premiere of renowned photographer and storyteller William Yang’s latest show China, in which the Australian-born Chinese returns to a motherland he never knew. A live score by Nicolas Ng for the Chinese violin and lute will accompany Yang’s commentary on this voyage, enhanced with images of China, shot from 1989 to 2005. China will be performed in the Space Theatre from 26 - 29 September.
Following William Yang’s performances on 26 and 27 September in the Space Theatre Looking Glass Pictures and Anna Yen present a free performance / screening of Chinese Take Away, a cinematic adaptation of an acclaimed physical theatre production of the same name that tells the story of performer/writer Anna Yen’s grandmother, mother and herself. Anna will also perform an excerpt from the stage play.
After China on 26 - 29 September in the Space Theatre, Japanese choreographer and performer Yumi Umiumare presents the Adelaide premiere of Dis-Oriental, an exploration of the notion of ‘oriental’ in the context of moving and living in foreign spaces, inspired by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban’s emergency cardboard tubing house.
Soundstream Contemporary Music Ensemble presents the Australian premiere of White Shadow - Music from Contemporary Asia in the Dunstan Playhouse on 25 September. Featuring the award winning Gabriella Smart on piano, with world-renowned Australian musicians including Claire Edwards and violinists Natsuko Yoshimoto and James Cuddeford, the ensemble will perform music by some of Asia’s acclaimed contemporary composers.
The celebration of the history of trade between the people of Northeast Arnhem Land and the Makassan trepang traders of Sulawesi is the subject of The Eyes of Marege by Julie Janson, performed by Australian Performance Exchange and Sulawesi’s top contemporary theatre company Teater Kita Makassar. Short Listed for a Patrick White Award this powerful contemporary work will have its Adelaide premiere in the Dunstan Playhouse from 27 - 29 September.
Joanna Dudley and Rufus Didwiszus present the Australian premiere of The Scorpionfish in the Space Theatre, 1 - 2 October. In The Scorpionfish Joanna, a pop icon in the city of Surakarta, Java, and recently based in Berlin, sings Javanese pop of the 1960s with a heady mixture of South East Asian, Hawaiian and American croon.
Vietnamese-born funny man Hung Le returns to Adelaide for the OzAsia Festival with the Australian premiere of I Still Call Australia by Phone in the Space Theatre from 4 - 6 October. Directed by Catherine Fitzgerald the show is Hung Le’s response to our popular culture of fear. He says ‘the strongest antidote to fear is laughter. I am planning to risk seven years in prison to create a performance that dissolves fear with laughter’.
The Australian premiere of Leigh Warren and Dancers production Wanderlust will be held during OzAsia in the Dunstan Playhouse from 3 - 6 October. After a decade of dialogue between director/choreographer Leigh Warren and Japanese director/choreographer Uno Man the two have joined forces to create a cross-cultural dance-work drawing upon the cultural traditions of Japan and Australia.
During OzAsia the Festival Centre Piano Bar will host three special free Sunday Sessions featuring OzAsia musicians Saritah (23 September), Sophie Koh (30 September) and the seven-piece Melbourne band the Dili Allstars (7 October).
OzAsia - The Big Ideas a free Symposium featuring national and international speakers, with panels of experts comprising artists, cultural commentators, academics and political figures. They will discuss the joint issues of Asia in Australia and making the cultural connection. The symposium will be held in the Space Theatre from 22 - 23 September.
Booking for ticketed performances may be made at all BASS outlets or through BASS Dial’n’ Charge on 131 246 or online at www.ozasiafestival.com.au
Visit the website www.ozasiafestival.com.au for regular updates.