OzAsia Festival 2019 program explores flavours, movement and myths

OzAsia Festival has unveiled its complete 2019 program, with an 18-day spread full of movement, colour and flavour.

Joining an earlier announcement that included Stan Lai’s The Village, financial system roleplay £¥€$ and Malaysian pop star Siti Nurhaliza, the full 2019 festival program brings together an eclectic array of artists from around our regional neighbours and the world.

A memorably messy highlight of the 2015 OzAsia program, the technicolour, tofu-and-confetti-throwing pop culture mayhem of Miss Revolutionary Idol Berseker will return with new show TOTES ADORBS HURRICANE. A slightly less slippery, and somewhat more meditative food-based show is Abhishek Thapar’s Surpassing The Beeline, which brings together six expats – three from Amsterdam, three based in Adelaide – to share their stories and recipes of home and away in a mix of theatre and dining specially curated for OzAsia Festival.

Miss Revolutionary Idol Berserker (Photo: OzAsia Festival)

The shared colonial histories of Malaysia and South Australia will be explored in Light, a new theatre work that explores the complex legacies of Colonel William Light, his father Francis and less frequently remembered mother Martinha Rozells. Written and directed by Melbourne-born expat Thomas Henning in collaboration with Malaysian theatre makers TerryAndTheCuz, Light promises to bring a thought-provoking, and possibly contentious, new perspective to one of South Australia’s best-known historic figures.

Japanese director Kuro Tanino will follow his 2017 OzAsia season of The Dark Inn with the Australian premiere of new show The Dark Master, that will see Space Theatre transformed into a rough-as-guts Japanese diner. Its protagonist is a hiker who wanders in off the street only to be thrust into the kitchen by its owner, who barks cooking instructions from an unseen vantage point as the hiker struggles to cater to incoming diners in what sounds like a dark, stressful episode of Fawlty Towers.

The Dark Master (Photo: OzAsia Festival)

On the movement front, Vessel features Japanese visual artist Kohei Nawa collaborating with Belgian choreographer for an otherworldly dance performance featuring seven bodies shifting and transforming into a mass of limbs and water. In the Australian premiere of Outwitting The Devil, choreographer Akram Khan and an ensemble of dancers from India, Taiwan, Australia, Malaysia, America nad France will draw inspiration from ancient text the Epic of Gilgamesh to explore myths, old and new.

Tapei-based multidisciplinary artist Joyce Ho will premiere new work in Still, an exhibition that promises to provide a fascinating centrepiece to a visual arts program that also includes Fiona Tan’s Ascent at Samstag Museum of Art and the world premiere of Samsung Loves Us All from US-South Korean collaboration Young-Hae Chang Heavy Machinery, a work commissioned especially for OzAsia Festival.

Malaysian-Australian poet, rapper and author Omar Musa will bring his celebrated work Since Ali Died to Adelaide audiences the first time for the festival. Partly inspired by the death of his idol Muhammad Ali, the performance sees Musa lay out an unflinching perspective of the Australian experience and growing up brown and Muslim in regional New South Wales.

The 2019 OzAsia Festival will also include the return of the popular Moon Lantern Parade and Lucky Dumpling Market, along with Jaipur Literature Festival spinoff JLF Adelaide.

OzAsia Festival
October 17 – November 3
ozasiafestival.com.au

Header image:
Joyce Ho (Photo: Joyce Ho)

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