It’s coming: Sydney Festival 2020 program announced

'Frontera'. Photo by Adrián Morillo.
'Frontera'. Photo by Adrián Morillo.

Just a few days ago, Sydney Festival announced its highly anticipated 2020 program, featuring an exciting array of theatre, music, visual art and, of course, dance works. The festival, which runs for three weeks from 8 – 26 January, in some of Sydney’s most beautiful and unique performance spaces, brings artists from all over Australia and around the world to festivalgoers. 

This year, Sydney Festival will present 46 new co-commissioned works, 14 premiere shows, four Australian premieres and six Australian exclusives, highlighting its commitment to taking local talent and creativity to the world stage, while at the same time bringing the best of the world to Sydney. 

Here, Dance Informa looks at the dance highlights from the Sydney Festival 2020 program. 

'Atlas of the Sky'. Photo by Bryony Jackson.
‘Atlas of the Sky’. Photo by Bryony Jackson.

Atlas of the Sky is an award-winning new composition by internationally acclaimed Australian composer Liza Lim, performed by one of Australia’s most innovative percussive performing arts companies, Speak Percussion. The performance combines Speak Percussion’s elemental, propulsive rhythms and purpose-built instruments with the incredible vocal palette of soprano Jessica Aszodi and a ‘crowd’ of 16 trained and untrained vocalists, creating a swarming wall of sound. 

Thirty years after its premiere, Bran Nue Dae, a most loved Aboriginal musical, will get a major revival at Riverside Theatres. Legendary Australian actor Ernie Dingo will reprise his role as Uncle Tadpole, in Jimmy Chi and The Kuckles’ exuberant portrayal of 1960s Western Australia. 

'Colossus'. Photo by Mark Gambino.
‘Colossus’. Photo by Mark Gambino.

Choreographer Stephanie Lake will bring her very ambitious work, Colossus, to the festival. The masterful work sees 50 bodies move as one. Colossus features pre-professional dancers from Ev & Bow, NAISDA, New Zealand School of Dance and Sydney Dance Company. 

ENCOUNTER, to be performed at Parramatta’s Prince Alfred Square, will bring together 16 young dancers from FORM Dance Projects and 48 musicians of the Western Sydney Youth Orchestra. ENCOUNTER is a joyful site-specific work produced by Fling Physical Theatre and celebrates the extraordinariness of growing up in Western Sydney. 

An Australian premiere will be Frontera, a monumental new dance work that makes use of intricate staccato light fields and projections, by Canadian choreographer Dana Gringras and her multimedia dance company, Animals of Distinction, to a soundtrack by Fly Pan Am. 

Strut and Fret will bring together a cast of international prodigies and deviants for the Spiegeltent cabaret spectacular, LIFE – the show

'Romances Inciertos, un autre Orlando'. Photo by Jose Caldeira.
‘Romances Inciertos, un autre Orlando’. Photo by Jose Caldeira.

Romances Inciertos, un Autre Orlando will be exclusive to Sydney Festival. The opera-ballet is a love letter to centuries of Spanish culture from French choreographer François Chaignaud and dramatist Nino Laisné with a four-piece Baroque band. 

Six is a West End smash-hit and feminist ‘her story’ lesson. The all-female pop musical remixes the history of the six ill-fated wives of Henry VIII. 

On the unveiling of the 2020 program, Sydney Festival Director Wesley Enoch said, “Sydney Festival brings to our city the newest works from the world’s most adventurous artists. We unearth the interesting, the new and the exciting. Wherever there is a debate to be had, a diversity of opinion or the need to speak the neglected story, Sydney Festival is there. We are proudly diverse. We are equal parts cultural ambition and celebration.” 

For more information on Sydney Festival 2020, click here.

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