Three hundred people packed into the Adelaide Festival Centre’s Banquet Room last Thursday night to witness OzAsia Festival Director Jacinta Thompson unveil the 2013 festival to be held in September, and it will be action packed!
On a stage framed by gorgeous wooden oriental screens, presumably placed to promote the feng shui of the space, and with exotic swathes of fabric sails overhead, Thompson outlined a program that boasts no less than six world premieres, nine Australian premieres, 22 South Australian premieres, and a swag of other exclusives. As with previous OzAsia Festivals, the focus is on a particular country and this year it is Malaysia, and the regal Malay Tiger is the symbol of the festival.
The festival is supported by the State Government of South Australia and Santos is a major sponsor. In his introductory remarks, John Hill MP made reference to the close economic and social ties between Adelaide and Malaysia. Who doesn’t know or hasn’t met a Malaysian tertiary student gracing our fair city? Although Malaysia is the focus, there are productions and events from other countries as well, including China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, and Vietnam. There are also presentations from Asia-focussed/influenced companies from Iraq, Turkey, and from the UK and Oz as well!
The program is big, colourful, exciting and diverse. It celebrates theatre, dance, literature, music, voice, percussion/martial arts, cinema, keynote addresses, visual arts and even culinary arts. There is something for everyone; even the velvety-voiced Kamahl will be in concert! Fusions of western art forms with Asian influences (and vice versa) will be a feature underlining the inescapable fact that we all live in an evolving and multicultural global village!
What will the festival’s highlights be? That’s for you to judge – go on line and look at the program, but I’m looking forward to: the silky voice of Malaysian born, LA-based songstress Yuna; the athleticism and sheer teeth cutting excitement of Taiwan’s U-Theatre’s production of Meeting with Bodhisattva; the cutting edge musicality of the T’ang Quartet; the joy and communality of the Moon Lantern Festival in Elder Park; and Korea’s madcap Yegam Theatre Company’s martial arts/acrobatics /comedy infused production Extreme Jump.
This festival keeps on getting better and better and better. Go for it! If you go to four or more shows you can be in the draw to win an airfare/accommodation package to Kuala Lumpur with Singapore airlines.
Ozasia! Oi! Oi! Oi!
Image Credit: Malaysian artist, Guba