Melbourne is the city of Festivals and the Melbourne Festival is the mack-daddy of them all! On the cusp of warm summer nights this year’s festival will be held from 10-26 October. The Festival Hub is set to be constructed on the banks of the Yarra. Each year’s construction is a bit different but I’m hoping for the multi-level/multi-bar/rootop tower that was the heart of 2012’s Festival.
Opening night – similar to last year, the Festival will open with Tanderrum where the five tribes of the Kulin nation (Wurundjeri, Boonwurrung, Wathaurong, Taungerong and Dja Dja) invite all Melburnians to celebrate with them through story, song and dance.
This year’s Melbourne Festival is circus heavy. We’ve always liked circus at The Plus Ones, so when we discovered that the crème de le crème of international circus was descending on the Melbourne Festival, it made us smile:
- Cirkolpolis – Montreal’s masters of circus arts
- Opus – A troupe from France that makes chaos
- Nanjing Project – Showcasing the best of Chinese circus
- If These Wall Could Talk – Slapstick theatre meets circus
- Carrousel des Moutons – Follow these guys down the rabbit hole
- Circus Futures Forum – A two-day conference looking at the future of circus
Best of Each Category
So circus is a feature but the Melbourne Festival program is packed with a host of other amazing shows across the arts spectrum. It was no easy task, but we’ve chosen a unique show from each of the categories:
- Classical Music – These Compulsive Behaviours – Music notation is composed live whilst the orchestra begins to play
- Music – A Moving Sound – A fusion of Taiwanese and Chinese sounds
- Dance – Marzo – Italian meets Japanese in a bout of ferocious dance
- Theatre – Something Very Far Away – Experience live animation through miniature puppetry
- Visual Arts – Melbourne Art Trams – Learn about Melbourne’s history through its historic trams
- Film – !Women Art Revolution – Break down barriers with the artists that built a revolution
At The Plus Ones we have always had a focus on free events, and the Melbourne Festival doesn’t disappoint. Some run for the duration of the festival whilst others are special one-offs. We still have fond memories of seeing amazing after-show performances from many. Here are some of the free Melbourne Festival events this year:
- Eaves Dropping On Artists – Free talks by artists on a range of contemporary issues
- Monash University Museum of Art – An afternoon of live performances, workshops and fun
- Visible Music Session – Presented by Multicultural Arts Victoria the sessions will showcase refugee, indigenous and emerging talent
- Framed Movements – All about movement, composition and form
- Circus of Oz – The gallery showcases the history of Circus Oz and recognises its contribution to Australia’s cultural landscape
As you can see, the Festival is humongous! We hope the guide distills things down a little but there’s always a hidden gem or two that is unearthed. If you find any feel free to let The Plus Ones community know. We hope you have an amazing Melbourne Festival.