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For almost three decades the acclaimed Melbourne International Arts Festival (more commonly referred to as Melbourne Festival) has been showcasing a rich smorgasbord of dance, theatre, music and visual arts. Combining all things multi-faceted and multi thought-provoking, the 17-day event offers an eclectic mix of performance and social analysis.
This year the event runs from 8th October through to 25th October. With a packed schedule to accommodate all ages and interests.
Here’s our round-up of the festivals latest and greatest; with an option to suit all tastes.
Let’s go The Melbourne Festival!...
Check out Israeli contemporary-dance troupe, Decadance. As well as an awesome pun-filled show name, this exhilarating sequence of dynamic dance is part of Batsheva, the renowned Israeli dance company fronted by acclaimed choreographer, Ohad Naharin. With an addictive soundtrack that encompasses everything from Vivaldi to Dean Martin, the moves are modern, tight and impeccably faultless. Engaging, fascinating and at times so intimate it’ll tug lightly at your heart strings, it’s the perfect dance show to marvel with friends.
A variety show that can only be explained as erotic, exotic and at times, a little psychotic, the sell-out and award-winning cabaret show, Limbo, makes its Melbournian debut at the 2015 festival. Fusing music, circus and acrobatics, the line-up is an electric array of stunts, dance and outlandish costume, with flame-eaters, sword-swallowers and pole masters, as well as contortionists, hand-balancers, clowns and beat boxers. There’s a little something to enthral both you and your date, whether that’s the sexy beats of New York composer Sxip Shirey, the excessive amount of fire or the sequined bras!
Masquerade is a mad dash of riddle and ruckus, based on the world-renowned book by British author, Kit Williams. Composed by playwright and actress, Kate Mulvany, it’s a story that holds personal poignancy because it was the book her Godmother read to her as a child; while she was in hospital and undergoing treatment for a rare form of cancer.
Chronicling the journey of Jack Hare, a bumbling rabbit who embarks on a dangerous mission to deliver a letter from the moon to the sun, Masquerade is a story of magic and mayhem; a host of weird and wonderful characters and an intelligent yet fun escape into a world of imagination and riddle. A pleasure for adults and children alike, you’re never too old to enjoy an adventure!
For an easy Sunday sesh
There’s no better way to spend a relaxed Sunday than with a classic whodunit movie from the 80s.
Blow Out is an intense political thriller, starring a young John Travolta in what’s argued the performance of his career. Playing a sound recorder who witnesses a fatal car accident, Travolta unknowingly records the evidence that proves the collision was a political assassination and not an accident. Thrown into a cat and mouse political mystery, if you’re after easy rather than artsy, kick back, chill out and break into the popcorn, Travolta fails to disappoint in this signature 1980’s spine-chiller.
Treat the parents to an evening of theatre at one of the Century’s most thought-provoking dramatisations.
An adaption on George Orwell’s infamous novel of the same name, 1984 is the international theatrical hit seen by more than a quarter of a million people worldwide. Looking at a fated world of perennial war, oppression and public manipulation, 1984 addresses the relationships between people, power, surveillance and politics. At times a harrowingly accurate portrayal of the society we now live, Orwell’s vision of the future from a novel he penned six decades earlier is one that will leave you vexed well after the performance has finished.
Time for a post-show drink to discuss!
For the downright kooky
Because you don’t go to an arts festival for the normal and mundane, the world premiere – and debut arrival in the southern hemisphere – of Swedish artists, Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg’s The Secret Garden is a psychedelic and often hallucinatory exhibition of sculpture, light and sound. Surreal and dreamlike, you’ll embark on a visual encounter of sensory exhibits that are as perplexing as they are creative. And to sweeten the deal, this one’s also free!
Tickets prices vary depending on performance, with a few freebies thrown in every year. Purchase online, in person or from Ticketmaster outlets. Get savvy and look into discount prices for family groups, students and matinee package deals.
And because getting artsy is hungry business, take advantage of ‘Festival Feasts’ - discounted dining options available at over a dozen of Melbourne’s most delectable dining venues.
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