A sneak peek into Adelaide Festival Centre’s 2019 OzAsia Festival program offers everything from immersive and physical theatre, world-leading contemporary dance and internationally acclaimed music stars, with tickets now on sale for six exciting new shows.

The line-up includes legendary playwright and director Stan Lai (with The Village), award-winning multi-instrumentalist Nitin Sawhney (with Beyond Skin – Revisited) and Malaysian pop megastar Siti Nurhaliza.

What the Day Owes to the Night by Algerian-French choreographer Hervé Koubi will make its Australian premiere at OzAsia Festival, while America’s Got Talent finalists SIRO-A will bring their mesmerising Techno Circus to Adelaide for the first time.

Rounding out the early release is £¥€$, an immersive work by Belgian theatre company Ontroerend Goed. £¥€$ invites audience members to act as ‘banks’ in an interactive performance about the global financial system and how the world’s richest pull strings to make it work in their favour.

OzAsia Festival Artistic Director Joseph Mitchell: “This first round of shows will give audiences an early taste of what to expect from this year’s OzAsia Festival. Once again, we have an incredible line-up of Australian premiere performances exclusive to Adelaide, and world premiere collaborations by artists who are at the forefront of contemporary performance. This early release hints at the dynamic range of experiences that will be released in August – including a fresh mix of immersive, interactive and genre-bending works alongside outstanding large-scale productions by some of our OzAsia Festival favourites from previous years.”

Visual art exhibitions confirmed so far include Sonic Blossom by Taiwanese-American Lee Mingwei at the Art Gallery of South Australia from October 31 to November 30, while the Samstag Museum of Art will host Ascent by Indonesia-born Fiona Tan from October 18 to December 6.

This year’s OzAsia Festival will also see the return of the ever-popular Moon Lantern Parade (Saturday, October 19) and Lucky Dumpling Market (October 17 to November 3), along with the second annual JLF Adelaide (November 1-3) – a contemporary literature festival featuring panels, debates, readings and music performances.

Adelaide Festival Centre CEO & Artistic Director Douglas Gautier AM: “The 2019 OzAsia Festival is going to be even bigger and will appeal to a broader audience than ever before. It’s wonderful to be revealing an early taste of the many great events on their way to Adelaide later this year. It is a showcase of everything contemporary art from Asia has to offer.”

The 13th annual OzAsia Festival will run from October 17 to November 3, with the full program launching on August 6. Tickets for the six early release shows can be purchased from ozasiafestival.com.au with early bird prices available until midnight on August 5.

What the Day Owes to the Night

Dance | France/Algeria/Middle East | Australian Premiere | Dunstan Playhouse, October 22-23

Bare-chested with chiselled form, 12 male dancers from across the Mediterranean Basin form spirals in fluid patterns of Sufi whirling, breakdancing, ballet and gymnastics that seem to defy physics. Acclaimed French-Algerian choreographer Hervé Koubi has crafted a distinct style of movement, one that fuses extraordinary athleticism and acrobatic skill with contemporary dance, physical theatre, warrior culture and capoeira. A deeply personal exploration of human migration and different cultures at the crossroads of east and west, What the Day Owes to the Night is at once beautiful, impossible, astonishing, and even dangerous. With a score mixing Bach, Sufi rhythms and Egyptian influences, the dancers’ composition unfolds like an ancient desert ritual. Performed over 300 times worldwide, this is the Australian premiere and only chance to see award-winning Hervé Koubi's most iconic creation.                           

£¥€$ (aka EYES/LIES)

Theatre | Belgium/Hong Kong | Australian Premiere | Space Theatre, October 19-22

“The best way to rob a bank is to own one” — William Crawford, Commissioner of the California Department of Savings and Loans. You can read 'lies' in the title, or 'eyes' or Pound, Yen, Euro and Dollar. But whether falsities or currencies, it's about money. £¥€$ invites you to get under the skin of the well-to-do 1%, the super-rich, the ones who pull the strings, the faces we never get to see. For one night, you can take their chairs. You call the shots. You're in the centre of our economic system. And who knows, you might make the world a better place, more fair, more responsible, because you'll do things differently, or maybe the taste for greed will overtake? Returning to Adelaide with a cast of performers from Belgium and Hong Kong, the acclaimed company behind popular shows such as Fight Night and The Smile off Your Face, Ontroerend Goed, aims at what you truly value: Money.

Beyond Skin – Revisited

Music | UK/India | Australian Premiere | Festival Theatre, October 17

Twenty years have passed since multi-award-winning musician and composer Nitin Sawhney released his seminal album, Beyond Skin. Now, to mark its 20th anniversary, he revisits both its beautifully reflective melodies and its still-relevant political statements in this unforgettable live event. Sawhney has had a rich and varied career since Beyond Skin's 1999 release, working across music, film, television, theatre and dance, and collaborating with iconic artists including Paul McCartney, Sting, A.R. Rahman, Anoushka Shankar and Joss Stone. The British-Indian producer and composer has released 20 albums and scored 60 films, including the recent Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle. Featuring Nitin on stage with a selection of talented musicians and singers, Beyond Skin is a bold, deeply personal musical statement. With assured excursions into jazz-soul, drum-and-bass, flamenco and traditional Indian elements, Sawhney travels back and forth between genres effortlessly. Don't miss this unique chance to see one of the most important musicians of our generation revisit the culturally iconic masterpiece that first made his name two decades ago.

Techno Circus

Physical Theatre | Japan | Adelaide Premiere | Dunstan Playhouse, October 18-20

SIRO-A are renowned for their spectacularly fun performances for all ages that combine special effects, mime, dance, puppetry, comedy and high-energy music in a mind-blowing visual feast for the whole family. Described as ‘Japan’s answer to the Blue Man Group’, SIRO-A create dazzling synchronised vignettes with the latest video-mapping technology, light animation, laser effects and 3D video projection – all set to a toe-tapping soundtrack. SIRO-A has wowed audiences on America’s Got Talent, attracted millions of views on YouTube, sold-out shows across the globe, and are now set to take Adelaide by storm with their new show, Techno Circus, at OzAsia Festival.

Siti Nurhaliza

Music | Malaysia | Australian Premiere | Festival Theatre, October 18

South East Asia's biggest pop star – hailed as the ‘number one singer of Malaysia’ – Siti Nurhaliza is a best-selling singer-songwriter with over 23 years in the music industry. Since winning a local singing competition when she was just 16 years old, the dazzling chanteuse has risen to become widely known as The Voice of Asia. Now she brings her soaring honeyed voice – complete with backup dancers, band, costumes and lighting effects – to her first-ever live concert in Australia, exclusively to Adelaide. With over six million record sales and six million followers on Instagram, Siti Nurhaliza has a repertoire of songs performed in Malay, Mandarin, English, Javanese, Arabic, Urdu and Japanese. Offering a dynamic fusion of modern pop and ethnic traditional melodies, this outstanding crowd-puller promises to captivate all ages.

The Village

Theatre | Taiwan | Australian Premiere | Festival Theatre, October 25-26

An epic theatre event, tracing the lives of three different families across half a century, by China’s most revered playwright and director, Stan Lai, The Village is a deeply emotive coming-of-age story. Expect to laugh and cry as heart-warming themes of identity, community and belonging are masterfully explored, appealing to the humanity within us all. In the late 1940s, thousands of Communist-defeated Chinese Nationalist Party soldiers fled to safety with their families in makeshift military dependents' villages in Taiwan. Fifty years later, what was presumed to be a temporary refugee exile transformed into a permanent communal melting pot that would vibrantly colour Taiwan’s cultural heritage forever. Drawing from true life stories in such villages, legendary director Stan Lai has captured poignant experiences and crafted a spell-binding set design and period costumes. Staged over 200 times worldwide, including in China, the UK and the US, The Village is a masterful and compassionate production that depicts the true, moving history of Taiwan. This Australian premiere follows sold-out performances of Stan Lai’s Secret Love in Peach Blossom Land at the 2018 OzAsia Festival.


Visual Art | Netherlands/Australia/Indonesia | Australian Premiere | Samstag Museum of Art | October 18 to December 6

Indonesian born, Australian raised and now living and working in the Netherlands, Fiona Tan is a visual artist and filmmaker widely regarded for her poetic meditations on representation, time and place. For OzAsia Festival 2019, Samstag Museum hosts the first significant presentation of the artist’s work in our country in 10 years. Ascent is not only a reflection on Mount Fuji — a mountain of great significance to the Japanese — but a study of visual culture, and a tribute to the history of both photography and film. Filling the Museum’s largest gallery, it is accompanied by a selection of earlier work demonstrating Tan’s singular ability to create beautiful things that people can enjoy and think about.

Sonic Blossom

Visual Art | Taiwan/US | Australian Premiere | Art Gallery of South Australia, October 31 to December 1

Lee Mingwei is a Taiwanese-American artist based in Paris and New York. His work hovers in a space across poetry, aesthetics, and intimate human exchange. His invitational projects heighten the senses and remind us to be present. Sonic Blossom offers an extended performance of one-to-one exchanges in a Gallery space between singers and those visitors receiving the gift of song. Of Sonic Blossom, the artist writes: “Like Schubert’s Lieder, our own lives are brief, but all the more beautiful because of this”. Originally created for the opening of South Korea’s National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Sonic Blossom has engaged audiences at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Mori Art Museum in Tokyo, Auckland Art Gallery, Centre Pompidou in Paris and Museum MACAN in Jakarta.


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