Sydney Festival has announced its long-awaited 2014 program—setting the stage for the most captivating music, theatre, dance, visual arts and installations, in the country.
Comprising around 370 performances and 100 events, the lineup features everything from burlesque circus and cabaret, to traditional indigenous arts practice, and of course the return of the iconic five-story-high yellow Rubber Duck.
And for all you night owls, the festival is also offering after-hours free entertainment; so hit the dance floor at Town Hall's Paradiso Lates (January 16th, 19th and 22nd) for a bill that includes The Soft Pink Truth, Andy Votel and Tyondai Braxton, plus more to come.
Here are our top picks for Sydney Festival 2014.
Known for his spacious, serene sound, Kurt Vile will be playing his latest revered LP "Wakin On A Pretty Daze." Presented by FBi, Vile brings his seductive tunes to Sydney Town Hall, backed by his band The Violators.
British trio The Staves will make their much-anticipated Australian debut. The Staveley-Taylor sisters Emily, Jessica, and Camilla will be presenting their first independent release "Dead & Born & Grown". You can expect a mix of English folk, 70s-esque Joni Mitchell, and a level of purity in the vein of Laura Marling. They'll have you at the first track.
Born out of Tokyo's club scene, Soil & "Pimp" Sessions bring their vigorous "death jazz" to the Paradiso stage, as the sextet's feverish piano and percussion provide the backbeat to some of the funkiest tunes this side of Japan. The group has fast-become a favourite on the festival circuit, and put on an epic live set.
Theatre and Dance
A medley of storytelling, installation and culinary delights, The Serpent's Table at Carriageworks brings together five remarkable Asian-Australian authors and chefs, as they share dishes of significance from their lives, and the moving stories behind them. Guests will have the opportunity to savour dishes by Pauline Nguyen (Secrets of the Red Lantern) and Adam Liaw (MasterChef, Destination Flavour).
La Cucina Dell'Arte is a performance of hilarious and chaotic kitchen cavorts, brought to you by Belgium brothers Danny and David Ronaldo. A feast of circus and theatre, the duo has charmed audiences around the world with their ultimate cooking show extravaganza.
A rowdy mob of misfits, Scotch and Soda is a collaboration of some of Australia's finest acrobats and music-makers. Driven by the beats of Ben Walsh, revel in an evening of boisterous dance and dexterous endeavours.
January 16th, 17th, 19th, 20th, 21st
Esteemed Berlin dance company Sasha Waltz & Guests joins renowned baroque orchestra Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin to showcase Waltz's first dance-opera—a reinterpretation of the romantic tragedy Dido and Aeneas. The performance will be set underwater as submerged dancers glide around a glass aquarium on stage.
A feat of uncanny architecture, Merchants Store gives the audience the control to defy gravity. Set in Darling Harbour, what may seem like a conventional 19th-century Sydney building will in fact mirror people dangling from the windows, climbing up walls and crawling across the roof.
January 16th- February 16th
From Sydney-based artist Alex Davies, comes The Very Near Future— an interactive cinema experience that will break your perceptions of reality, and take you closer to time travelling than ever before.
For tickets to all events and performances head here.
Image credits: Sydney Festival 2014