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Southbank comes alive with Arts Festival

09 Oct 2018

Southbank comes alive with Arts Festival Image

By Jacklyn Yeong

Melbourne International Arts Festival is a yearly wake-up call to bring the city alive, to make new friends and rekindle old friendships.

The festival will be celebrating the brilliance of fire, music, story and art coming together from our city and beyond.

Southbank’s Arts Precinct will be playing its part in the festival by featuring a range of programs displayed or performed by local and international artists in the Arts Centre, Melbourne Recital Centre and the Coopers Malthouse.

The festival’s artistic director Jonathan Holloway told Southbank Local News he wanted to curate an accessible and multicultural event for people to viscerally experience new worlds with all their senses.

“I want the audience to have a glimpse into so many different worlds and to open different doors that they would never normally get to open,” he said. “The festival can take you on a journey all around the world and back without going very far and so I really want to find works which are utterly transporting.”

What’s on:

Arts festival alumni Christian Wagstaff and Keith Courtney have created an exhibition for people to literally open 1000 doors throughout the entire festival period. Exhibiting at the same location as last year’s House of Mirrors at the forecourt of Arts Centre, each door will open to a personal adventure containing different possibilities.

French artists Compagnie Carabosse will be playing with fire as they transform the Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG) into Fire Gardens from October 10 to 13.

Also featuring at RBG until October 21 is the exclusive dance circus from the UK Lexicon, celebrating the misfits in a world of magic and laughter suitable for all ages.

Join protagonist Celeste from October 18 to 21 for a heritage discovery trip from Melbourne to China at the Playhouse at Arts Centre Melbourne for A Ghost in my Suitcase - a play adapted from Gabrielle Wang’s novel of the same name.

Artistic director Jonathan Holloway recommends Layla and Majnun, which will feature at the State Theatre from October 10 to 14. He described it as an “underrated Middle Eastern dance and music work based on a tragic love story,” which will feature chamber arrangements by the Silkroad Ensemble – an acclaimed ensemble founded by legendary cellist Yo-Yo Ma and dance works by choreographer Mark Morris.

The One Infinity project, showing at the Malthouse from October 12 to 20, will offer an immersive experience of music and dance.

Mr Holloway described Watt as a “simple, beautiful one-person performance” based on the story of Samuel Beckett. The theatrical performance will be bringing the Playhouse audience back to the 20th century until October 13.

ACCA and Buxton Contemporary will also be hosting works by Eva Rothschild and Ronnie Van Hout respectively, while visitors can also jump on one of eight art trams throughout the festival.

While some parts of the festival will be affected by major works at Southbank Boulevard and St Kilda Rd, Mr Holloway welcomed its inevitability as part of the festival.

“We work both sides of St Kilda Rd,” he said. “The Malthouse and the Melbourne Recital Centre will be impacted by roadworks but I always think when I’m putting a festival together, I want the events to be so good that no level of traffic chaos could stop people from getting to them!”

“A festival responds to how a city is, and it’s aspirational rather than critical and that’s what’s exciting about a festival in Melbourne.”

Melbourne International Arts Festival runs until October 21. festival.melbourne

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