The 2022 Adelaide Festival program announced

'The Rite of Spring'. Photo by Florian Heinzenziob.
'The Rite of Spring'. Photo by Florian Heinzenziob.

The 2022 Adelaide Festival program encourages us all to return to live performance with joy and anticipation, and will gather together a community of artists from across Australia and the globe.

The 37th Adelaide Festival program will run over 17 days from Friday 4 to Sunday 20 March 2022. The program offers a total of 71 events in theatre, music, opera, dance, media and visual arts, including uniquely local programs Adelaide Writers’ Week, UKARIA Chamber Landscapes and WOMADelaide. 

'The Rite of Spring'. Photo by Maarten Vanden Abeele.
‘The Rite of Spring’. Photo by Maarten Vanden Abeele.

Nine world premieres, six Australian premieres and 17 shows playing exclusively in Adelaide will demonstrate the Festival’s tenacity and creative ambition and the adventurous spirit of artists from around the corner and around the world. It is both a showcase of thrilling and contemporary live performance and an opportunity for celebration, reconnection and optimism.

Adelaide Festival Artistic Directors Rachel Healy and Neil Armfield say, “We welcome audiences to a festival that refuses to curl and shrink, to aim low and take it easy. A feisty and defiant festival that begins with a phalanx of young bodies colliding and hurling each other through space, and ends with 150 breathing humans pleading for the pain in our lives to fly away. We invite audiences to experience the release of primal dance, of exhilarating performance and how the spark of collegiate music making can jump centuries. It’s all there again for the taking: a celebration of body and soul and how great it is to keep them together.”

Steven Marshall, Premier of South Australia, says, “I congratulate our Festival Directors, organisers and volunteers on a magnificent program; we are truly spoilt for choice. Whatever you are doing in March, make sure you take the opportunity to soak up some of this remarkable Festival.”

Of the dance and dance theatre program, Healy and Armfield say, “The 2022 dance program showcases great dance-makers pushing into new directions and reinventing their individual choreographic language. Pina Bausch’s seminal Rite of Spring is recreated by 38 African dancers while Bangarra Dance Theatre and the UK’s Lost Dog merge theatre and dance to tell old stories coming face to face with a new world. And in a highly-anticipated world premiere, Australia’s most dazzling choreographic talent Stephanie Lake matches nine dancers with nine drummers in a night of explosive energy and sound.” 

The recently renovated Her Majesty’s Theatre is the venue for a Festival-exclusive major dance work. The Rite of Spring / common ground[s] has an extraordinary pedigree: emanating from Germany, Senegal and the UK; produced by the Pina Bausch Foundation, École des Sables and Sadler’s Wells; choreography by the late Pina Bausch, her contemporary Germaine Acogny and Bausch colleague Malou Airaudo. Thirty-eight dancers from 14 nations across the African continent, Rite of Spring is Bausch’s towering and unsurpassed response to Stravinsky’s music, recreated in its entirety by a brilliant, hand-picked ensemble.

Stephanie Lake, possibly the most exciting choreographic talent to emerge in Australian dance in the last decade, brings her eponymous company to the Dunstan Playhouse to present the world premiere of Manifesto, dazzling us with the elemental human rituals of dancing and drumming, to a score by iconoclastic composer Robin Fox. 

'Juliet and Romeo'. Photo by Tristram Kenton.
‘Juliet and Romeo’. Photo by Tristram Kenton.

Another Australian premiere, exclusive to Adelaide, Juliet & Romeo is more dance theatre than pure dance, and more a hilarious sequel rather than a re-imagining of Shakespeare’s iconic love story: the star-crossed lovers are now 40-ish, approaching a mid-life crisis and in the midst of couples counseling. Produced by the UK’s dance/theatre/comedy/circus company Lost Dog, this work has gathered legions of fans and devotees wherever it has been performed around the world.

In addition, electrifying local contemporary circus company Gravity and Other Myths teams up with dance sensations Djuki Mala from North East Arnhem Land to present Macro, featuring a 30-strong acrobatic troupe, a mass choir, ancient Celtic rhythms, fireworks and giant projection scrims in a fun, free family event that will kick off the 2022 Festival with a bang.

For bookings and more information, visit www.adelaidefestival.com.au.

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