The Adelaide-based festival of Asia-Pacific culture has announced the line-up for its ten-year anniversary celebration.

OzAsia, the international festival of theatre, dance, music, film and visual arts from across the Asia-Pacific region, is expected to draw an audience of over 280,000 over its 12 days in late September. Held at the Adelaide Festival Centre, 2016’s offering will feature 35 Australian premieres across over a hundred professional performances. Performers will come from a diverse number of Asian countries including Japan, India, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Korea, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia as well as the United Kingdom and Israel.

“2016 OzAsia Festival gives Australian audiences an insight into the vibrant contemporary arts scene from across Asia,” said OzAsia Festival Director Joseph Mitchell, “There is a generation of young, bold, risk-taking artists who are creating genre-blurring performances that celebrate the immediacy and fast-paced culture of Asia in the 21st Century.”

The opening weekend will include the Australian premiere of one of Hong Kong’s City Contemporary Dance Company’s performance of As If To Nothing, which captures the urgency and anxiety of modern day Hong Kong with an ensemble of 14 dancers, accompanied by live multimedia and sound in a moving set choreographed by Sang Jijia.

The Company Theatre Mumbai’s Twelfth Night is an award-winning Hindi translation of Shakespeare’s play. Premiered at the Glode in London, this production features original music, singing, dancing and many nods to the chaos of contemporary life in modern day India.

For the more adventurous, a collaboration between Australian Luke George and Singaporean Daniel Kok titled Bunny (the nickname for a person tied up in rope bondage) will be an interactive immersive experience that explores dormant desires.

For those with an interest in experimental music, the world’s first professional toy piano virtuoso Margaret Leng Tan – inspired by her mentor John Cage – will be bringing music boxes, paper accordions and a bicycle bell to her Cabinet of Curiosities, and over two nights Subversive will showcase some of the most progressive experimental music from underground Asia.

Margaret Leng Tan ‘s Cabinet of Curiosities

“Asia is where the rules for contemporary performance are being shaped for the 21st century,” said Mitchell, “Artists from this region of the world are drawing on a fusion of technology, tradition, modernity and international collaborations across international cultures, and this year our festival program provides a glimpse into the incredible visionary arts from Asia shaping the future.”

The festival atmosphere will be extended into Elder Park with a free Outdoor Live Music Concert Series running over ten nights in Elder Park alongside the Good Fortune Market, an extravaganza of food, design and performances. The tenth night of music in Elder Park will be a performance of King of Ghosts, a live film score to a classic Indian film, created by Soumik Datta, and featuring the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra.

The expanded program for the festival’s anniversary has been made possible with additional annual funding of $750,000 from the State Government and a one-off $400,000 from the Federal Government Catalyst grant program.

The festival promises to be a huge event, embracing experimental contemporary art and performance in addition to the more traditional forms. “Many of the productions are very different to the traditional theatre-going experience,” said Mitchell, “there is an energy, buzz and hint of the unpredictable about the artists and performances being presented this year.”


OzAsia Festival runs from September 17 to October 2 at the Adelaide Festival Centre

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