Adelaide Festival Features Isabella Rossellini, Denis O'Hare, Batsheva Dance & More, Beg. Tonight
The 2014 Adelaide Festival presents a program of outstanding music, theatre and dance events, a stellar literary festival and momentous visual arts exhibitions. The 29th Adelaide Festival line-up features 50 events with 29 premieres and 29 festival exclusives over 17 days, from tonight, 28 February to Sunday, 16 March.
Now in his second year as Adelaide Festival's Artistic Director David Sefton said, "I couldn't have been happier with my first Adelaide Festival in 2013. The overwhelming response from the festival-goers was that I had the licence to continue pushing the program in ways that would genuinely excite an audience already accustomed to taking risks: 2014 is the result."
Theatre program highlights include screen icon Isabella Rossellini (ITA/USA) in her one woman show Green Porno, Tony Award winner Denis O'Hare (USA) (True Blood, The Good Wife, American Horror Story) in An Iliad, Canadian theatre maker Robert Lepage's restaged masterpiece Needles and Opium, and from The Netherlands the epic and exhilarating six-hour Roman Tragedies. Israel's world-renowned Batsheva Dance Company headlines the dance program, returning to Adelaide for the first time since its Australian debut in 1996.
Sefton again pushes the boundaries of his music program headlined by the exclusive Australian debut ofJohn Zorn (USA) with Zorn in Oz, a one-time-only series of marathon concerts across four evenings. The series features 40 of his New York based collaborators including Mike Patton, Bill Laswell, Marc Ribot, Joey Baron and John Medeski.
Radical Israeli maestro Ilan Volkov curates and conducts Tectonics Adelaide, a two-concert program of experimental music; and 2013 sell-out advanced electronic music success Unsound Adelaidereturns. The music program also includes Black Arm Band with dirtsong, a critically acclaimed new show from The Tiger Lillies (UK) and out of the Bronx via Haiti and Tahiti, undisputed heavyweight party-starters Kid Creole and The Coconuts (USA).
The colossal visual arts program presents work from more than 40 artists and collectives, featuring the Australian premiere of River of Fundament, a major new seven-part film project by award-winning American artist Matthew Barney and composer Jonathan Bepler; the third Adelaide International 2014: Worlds in Collision; the 2014 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Dark Heart; and some of Australia's most exciting contemporary Aboriginal artists in Four Rooms at Tandanya. All visual art events are exclusive to Adelaide.
It is also a stellar year for Adelaide Writers' Week with headline guests including Wild Swans authorJung Chung (CHI/UK), celebrated contemporary writer Margaret Drabble (UK), the influential Christian historian Diarmaid MacCulloch (UK), creator of No 1 Ladies Detective Agency Alexander McCall Smith (UK), feminist icon Elizabeth Gilbert (USA) author of Eat, Pray. Love and Eleanor Catton (NZ) the 2013 Man-Booker winner.
In her third year as Adelaide Writers' Week Director, Laura Kroetsch said, "The 2014 program is brimming with great writing - the only thing as satisfying as reading these books will be listening to the writers talking about their work in the beautiful setting of the Pioneer Women's Memorial Garden."
The festival officially opens and closes with music: kicking off with a huge FREE energetic calypso-pop party (Friday, 28 February) headlined by 1980's legends Kid Creole and The Coconuts (USA), with support from the screaming eagle of soul Charles Bradley (USA), followed by a spectacular firework finale in Adelaide's Elder Park.
On the final night of the festival the Black Arm Band, featuring Archie Roach, Emma Donovan, Lou Bennett, Trevor Jamieson, Djolpa McKenzie, Genevieve Lacey, Deline Briscoe, Mindy Kwantenand Tjupurru with special guest Paul Dempsey, will perform their internationally acclaimed showdirtsong at the Festival Theatre.
In an Australian exclusive, legendary balladeers The Tiger Lillies (UK) return to the festival for the first time since 2000, with the Australian premiere of their critically acclaimed and visually striking Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Part concert and part film, this modern retelling of Samuel Taylor Coleridge's epic tale is spun into a hauntingly beautiful, large-scale multimedia performance with exquisite visuals fromMark Holthusen (USA).
Across three nights Unsound Adelaide returns with a mind-blowing line-up of electronic and experimental music including: Morton Subotnick (USA), Nurse With Wound (UK), The Haxan Cloak(UK), Moritz von Oswald Trio featuring Tony Allen (GER/NGA), Emptyset (UK), Cut Hands (UK),James Ferraro (USA) and Gardland (AUS). In a world premiere event, Jed Kurzel's (The Mess Hall) award-winning score for the controversial Australian film Snowtown, will be performed live with a full band and string section set to a backdrop of previously unreleased footage from his brother Justin Kurzel's film. Unsound Adelaide also includes Adelaide's own Zephyr Quartet and the Australian debut performance from Stars of the Lid (USA).
How can an orchestra, the 19th century beast, be more radical and experimental? Is it possible? These are the questions posed by acclaimed Iceland Symphony Orchestra conductor Ilan Volkov that led to the inaugural Tectonics music festival in Reykjavik in 2012. Custom-built for audiences in Reykjavik, Glasgow, Tel Aviv and now Adelaide, Tectonics brings together musicians from different worlds and backgrounds for an audience open to new experiences.
In an Australian first Tectonics Adelaide presents Gravetemple (Stephen O'Malley (USA), Oren Ambarchi (AUS) and Attila Csihar (HUN)), Ikue Mori (JPN), Aki Takahashi (JPN), Takehisa Kosugi(JPN), Jon Rose, Crys Cole (CAN), Robbie Avenaim, Marco Fusinato, Hammers Lake, Erkki Veltheim, Joel Stern, Soundstream and Speak Percussion.
In partnership with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Tectonics Adelaide boldly introduces new works from both young and established composers (Elena Kats-Chernin & Jon Rose, Matthew Shlomowitz, James Rushford and Giuliano d'Angiolini (ITA)), premiering new pieces alongside pioneering works of Iannis Xenakis (GRE), Giacinto Scelsi (ITA), David Ahern and Alvin Lucier (FRA) in performances of solo, chamber, orchestral and electronic music.
The fine music program features exciting young Hungarian string quartet Kelemen Quartet, as part of their debut national tour; Adelaide based Australian String Quartet will perform Continuum and over two nights in the city's cathedral Adelaide Chamber Singers will present The Complete Motets of JS Bach.
From Friday, March 7 to Monday, March 10, Adelaide's stunning Botanic Park will play host to one of the nation's most loved and distinctive festivals, WOMADelaide.
Epic theatre dominates the opening weekend of the festival (Friday, 28 February - Sunday, 2 March). Staged for the first time in Australia and exclusive to Adelaide, visionary director Ivo van Hove (NED) combines three of Shakespeare's plays Coriolanus, Julius Caesar and Antony & Cleopatra into one thrilling continuous six-hour political drama. Roman Tragedies is an immersive multimedia spectacular that frames political ambition and national interest through our obsession with the 24-hour news cycle.
Isabella Rossellini (USA/ITA) stars in Green Porno, a new, playful and wonderfully odd comedy about mating in the natural world. Rossellini takes us on an unusual and fascinating journey into the sex life and mating habits of a number of land and marine animals.
The revisited masterpiece Needles and Opium from legendary Canadian theatre maker Robert Lepage, has its Australian premiere and exclusive season at the 2014 festival. This stunning production has been thoroughly reworked since its last Australian presentation in 1994, and combines new scenography with original images to mesmerising effect, starring Quebec's Marc Labrèche.
An Iliad, an intimate solo show starring Tony Award winner Denis O'Hare (USA) (True Blood, The Good Wife, American Horror Story), illuminates the heroism and horror of warfare. Written by O'Hare and director Lisa Peterson (USA), the production was inspired by Robert Fagles' award-winning contemporary translation of Homer's Iliad.
Adelaide's multi-award winning The Border Project and Belgian theatre makers Ontroerend Goed, have teamed up to create Fight Night, a show where elections become a theatrical game. Five performers, five actors, five rounds, your vote, one survivor. This engrossing production explores the intricacies and traps of voting systems and media-driven democracy.
In its exclusive Australian premiere BigMouth (NED) ingeniously weaves together fragments of some of the most memorable speeches in history. BigMouth shows how picking the right words can turn the weakest argument into the strongest, achieve world power, or simply win the hand of a beloved.
The Shadow King, a major festivals co-commission is an explosive Indigenous reinterpretation of Shakespeare's greatest tragedy King Lear, the brutal tale of a family divided by greed, pride and ambition. Directed by Michael Kantor with co-creator Tom E. Lewis as Lear, this timeless tragedy speaks to the historic and current circumstances of Indigenous Australia.
Windmill Theatre present a unique rites-of-passage trilogy including the world premiere of their new show Girl Asleep, together with Fugitive and School Dance (Adelaide Festival 2012) in rep across the festival. State Theatre Company of South Australia's 2014 season opens with a new adaptation ofThe Seagull starring Xavier Samuel (The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, Anonymous, Drift) who returns to his home town to play the tortured Konstantin.
Notorious filmmaker John Waters (USA) is back with his new rapid fire comic monologue show This Filthy World Vol.2. Scotland's brilliant Shona Reppe presents The Curious Scrapbook of Josephine Bean, an award-winning and stunning theatre presentation for children aged six and up.
The theatre program also includes the world premiere of Blackout, the new work from dynamic theatre and dance creative team Jo Stone and Paulo Castro. Written and directed by Portuguese-born Adelaide-based Castro, from a concept by Adelaide's Jo Stone, Blackout is a crazed, hilarious, tragic and animalistic story about survival, as wedding guests on a boat struggle to come to terms with the impending end of the world.
Batsheva Dance Company (ISR) makes its long awaited festival return with Sadeh21 - an epic-dance expedition and voyage of the body by world renowned choreographer Ohad Naharin. The defiantly abstract and intensely emotional Sadeh21 comprises a series of movement studies, each new sadeh(Hebrew for 'field of study') juxtaposes explosive, frenetic bursts of energy with graceful, tender, lyrical passages in configurations of solo performances, duets and ensemble formations.
AM I, the latest production from the bold and exhilarating Shaun Parker & Company is a major festival co-commission. Director/Choreographer Shaun Parker and Composer Nick Wales have created a stunning visual and sonic world for AM I. World music and cult-like singing collide to create a compelling and gut-wrenching soundscape.
Worlds in Collision: Adelaide International 2014 curator, Richard Grayson (UK), has selected works that explore technology, politics, psychology and psychedelics providing alternative perspectives that differ from the accepted understandings of the world around us.
Time travel, digital frontiers, abandoned Star Wars sets, near-death experiences, new physics and a second moon herald the foundations of this diverse and extraordinary selection of artists and artworks which can be seen at the University of South Australia's Anne & Gordon Samstag Museum of Art, the Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia, the Australian Experimental Art Foundation andSASA Gallery.
Worlds in Collision features a selection of work from nine International Artists Benedict Drew (UK),Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige (LEB/FRA), Susan Hiller (USA/UK), Paul Laffoley (US), Rä di Martino (ITA), Katie Paterson (UK), Fred Tomaselli (US) and Artur ?mijewski (POL).
Artists' Week 2014 is co-convened by Lars Bang Larson (DNK) and Richard Grayson (UK).
2014 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Dark Heart, curated by Nick Mitzevich presents 25 of Australia's leading contemporary artists delivering their brave new visions in mediums including photography, painting, sculpture, installation and the moving image. Presenting works from Tony Albert, Brook Andrew, Del Kathryn Barton, Martin Bell, Ian Burns, eX de Medici, Julia deVille,Dale Frank, Tony Garifalakis, Fiona Hall, Brendan Huntley, Kulata Project - Tjala Arts, Rosemary Laing, Richard Lewer, Dani Marti, Trent Parke, Ben Quilty, Caroline Rothwell, Alex Seton, Sally Smart, Ian Strange, Warwick Thornton, Lynette Wallworth and Martumili artists and Ah Xian.
Patricia Piccinini's Skywhale will also make an appearance in Adelaide over the opening weekend and the work of Adelaide based sculptor and installation artist Julia Robinson will reshape The Studio activity space.
The National Aboriginal Cultural Institute, known as Tandanya will host Four Rooms curated byTroy-Anthony Baylis. Four Rooms explores notions of space, time and authorship using multimedia practices in interesting and new ways. featuring new contemporary Aboriginal work from, Tess Allas(NSW), Charlie Schneider (USA), Vernon Ah-Kee (QLD), Gordon Hookey (QLD), Jenny Fraser(NT/QLD), James Lunar (USA) and Zane Saunders (QLD).
Adelaide Festival presents Lola's Pergola - a celebration of the extraordinary and exceptional from our very own backyard. Located on the Torrens riverbank Lola's Pergola is the festival's ultimate quarter acre block, the centrepiece being the stunning supersized shady pergola under which long communal tables will be laden with the finest food, wine and ales South Australia has to offer.
DocWeek Australia's documentary film festival runs from Tuesday, March 4 to Sunday, March 9.