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ART & THEATRE: 5 OCT 2015

By GRAEME WILLINGHAM

Crossing borders in Melbourne

The Melbourne Festival, which runs October 6-23, inquisitively traverses borders.

By this, the festival’s Artistic Director, Jonathan Holloway, means the ever-shifting borders between childhood and adulthood, between life and death, between dreams and reality, between artforms, and between the arts and civic society.

“We have sought every opportunity to blur the borders between artists and audiences,” Holloway said at the festival media launch.

From contemporary dance on ice, to fireworks, percussion and CBD street takeovers, to some of the world’s greatest theatre makers, locally and internationally, including Canada’s Robert Lepage and Geelong’s Back to Back Theatre, Holloway says his first Melbourne Festival program presents an assortment of familiar and unknown, local and far-flung, large-scale and intimate productions embodying the spirit of Melbourne.

“In each part of the festival we have put work of international excellence from Victoria and work of international excellence from the rest of the world, together as proud equals, further complimented by collaboration between the two,” he said.

The festival will present 62 events and 207 performances by artists and companies from countries including Spain, Canada, Germany, UK, China, USA, France, Ireland, Japan and Australia. With 10 world premieres and 18 Australian premieres and events exclusive to Melbourne, the 2016 festival draws from a spectacular line-up of dance, theatre, circus, contemporary and classical music, visual arts and free events.

Opening with a Tanderrum, with the five clans of the Kulin, festivities take off with a major, free outdoor spectacle from one of the world’s most renowned street-theatre companies, Basque company Deabru Beltzak. Exclusive to Melbourne, they will take to the CBD for three nights across the opening weekend to cause a disruption like no other with Les Tambours De Feu. An extravaganza of live music, pyrotechnics and extraordinary special effects, this free event will attract thousands to embark on a dizzy parade that will set Melbourne’s squares and laneways ablaze.

Visit www.festival.melbourne.

Above: Les Tambours De Feu; below, Paul Kelly and Camille O'Sullivan in Ancient Rain.