NW Melbourne Festival Picks

The sudden emergence of magnolias and exposed pasty limbs can only equate to one thing: Spring has arrived! Which means Melbourne Festival is just around the corner. Hells yes. For those too busy sipping cider in the sunshine to read the Festival program, here’s a list of Next Wave picks. You’re welcome.

Manga meets dance in the latest offering from dynamic young Italian artists’ collective Dewey Dell, who return to our shores for the first time since their Next Wave Festival 2012 appearance. They’ve joined forces with manga artist Yuichi Yokoyama and Kuro Tanino, Artistic Director of Japanese theatre company Niwagekidan Penino, to create Marzo, an impeccably stylized, eccentric and fantastical dance work, featuring some very excellent costumes.

The Framed Movements exhibition at ACCA investigates the potential that lies at the shifting boundaries between art forms. Featuring film, installation, photography and performance, Framed Movements brings together some of the world’s most forward thinking contemporary artists including Jess Olivieri (NWF 2010), Hayley Forward & Parachutes for Ladies (NWF 2010), Lee Serle (NWF 2010) and Lane Cormick (NWF 2014), whose work Kalasaki Rose will be performed at the opening night event.

New dance work, AM I, blends spoken word, razor-sharp choreography and original live music scored by composer Nick Wales (NWF 2012) to explore the elemental question of identity. Choreographed by the award-winning Shaun Parker and featuring a cast of 14 musicians, singers and dancers (including acclaimed international performer Shantala Shivalingappa) AM I is a stunning collision of movement and music, spirituality and science, that burrows to the very heart of what it is to be human.

Professional dancers, actors and rising sports stars make up the cast of TEAM OF LIFE, a new work from critically acclaimed Melbourne dance theatre company KAGE (NWF 1998). The production springs from a groundbreaking methodology that uses sporting metaphors to help young people overcome hardship. Informed by workshops with young refugees and Indigenous youth, TEAM OF LIFE tells of their search for different kinds of freedom, dissolving the boundaries between sport, theatre and identity.

Curator and Blak Wave contributor Djon Mundine (NWF 2014) has teamed up with Natalie King to curate Whisper in My Mask, an exhibition at Tarrawarra Museum of Art that explores the many masks we wear. Each of the works has been specially commissioned for the exhibition, creating a compelling, wide-ranging exploration of identity and concealment that spans visual arts, performance and interactive events. Whisper in my Mask features more than 20 of Australia’s most vital contemporary Aboriginal and non-Indigenous artists, including The Telepathy Project (Veronica Kent and Sean Peoples, NWF 2008), who will feature in A Day in the Valley, an associated day-long program of events curated especially for Melbourne Festival.

Seriously though, that’s only the tip of the iceberg, so put the cider down and head to the Melbourne Festival website to check out the full program – it’s chock-full of goodness!

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