Fly Pan Am, Canadian electro-rock group will play live music for Canadian avant-garde choreographer Dana Gingras’s dance show with her dance troupe Animals of Distinction.
In Frontera, the question is explored as to in this world in which the human body is subject to more and more invasive surveillance and treatment, what space remains for the undisciplined, ungovernable body?
With synchronised and complex projections and lights by United Visual Artists (UVA), and live music by Fly Pan Am, 10 dancers explore ideas of inclusion and exclusion; their bodies are mapped in high resolution, their destinies unresolved.
Ronnie Burkett, marionette master, returns to Sydney Festival, this time with his show Forget Me Not.
In Forget Me Not, you find yourself in the new now, a world where written words are forbidden and putting pen to paper is a powerful act of defiance. For those determined to compose or write a heartfelt declaration, there is one way, but it requires you to take a perilous journey to a secret camp to trouver “She, the guardian of the lost hand”, the last to retain the knowledge of reading and writing.
Absurd, romantic and provocative, Forget Me Not is a tender call to arms and a rich theatrical love letter to ourselves in these more and more uncivilised times.
Inspired by Virigina Woolf’s Orlando, the Elizabethan courtier who changes sex and lives for more than 300 years, this opera-ballet show from François Chaignaud, choreographer, dancer, singer is a love letter to centuries of Spanish culture and an odyssey about a shape-shifting body which crosses centuries.
In this show, François Chaignaud and four musicians playing period instruments will traverse Spanish history from the Golden Age to the 21st century, in a theatrical mix of Baroque, cabaret, flamenco and gender play.
François Chaignaud gives life to three characters – luminaries from drama, poetry and Spanish folklore: Doncella Guerrera, who leaves for war dressed as a man, San Miguel, the ambiguous archangel from the poet Garcia Lorca and Tarara, free spirited dancer and Anadulsian Roma disappointed by love and who hides a secret androgyny.
Which shows are you seeing at Sydney Festival 2020?
There was a lot more than film soundtrack to entertain our ears over the last 12 months. Matilda was lucky enough to interview the renowned Youssou N’Dour, who came to Australia for a concert at the Sydney Opera House and also for BluesFest. She has listened to and spoken with Australian artists who play French or French inspired music: Mélange à Trois, Baby et Lulu, and the very original Coconut Kids who translated Australian classic pub songs into French for their Adelaide Fringe show “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oui, Oui, Oui”. Well-known Australian singer Gotye presented a tribute to the Belgian Jean-Jacques Perrey at Sydney Festival. Caroline Nin took us on a trip to the Paris Lido with her show “Songs and Stories of the Paris Lido” that she performed at the Adelaide French Festival.
Place des Anges, was a show of quasi ballet, quasi circus which leads nicely into other physical performances such as “Club Swizzle” and the Cirque de Soleil’s arena spectacular “Toruk – The First Flight” inspired by James Cameron’s film “Avatar”. Matilda got to speak with francophone performers from these shows.
A night at the theatre
There was also theatre with Camus’ Caligula performed in English, “The Great War” a Dutch show based on letters from a French soldier in the trenches during the war. The show “The Far Side of the Moon” impressed us with its innovative set and Yves Jacques’ talent performing alone on stage during the entire show. We learned about the story of the very interesting Julie d’Aubigny, in the show “Deviant Women – Julie d’Aubigny”. And we got to see a puppet show that was most definitely not for children with the show “The Daisy Theatre” by Canadian Ronnie Burkett at the Sydney Festival.
Schnitzel from “The Daisy Theatre” ready for bed. Image by Prudence Upton
Just for laughs!
We laughed at French-speaking or faux French comedians such as Al La France with his show “I think I’m Dead”, Marcel Lucont, and the show Cyranose, from which we spoke to Richard Maritzer, all of which performed at the Adelaide Fringe.
We also got to speak with Camille Chaumette and Agnès Mabille, exhibition curators while they were in Australia for the small exhibition of paintings by French photographer Michael Setboun. The photos comprised his “Paris Dark Light” exhibition and stayed in Adelaide for the weekend of the Adelaide French Festival in January.
Another important exhibition of French works was that of Cartier: The Exhibition, which was on at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra for a few months. Cartier Jewels dazzled the crowds.
And Matilda told you where to catch all of the French or Belgian World Cup Matches – even if they were played in the middle of the night Australian time. And of course, we all know that France won, which gave us yet another reason to celebrate!
La cuisine française
French cuisine has also had its moment. Matilda has spoken to you about Good France – the worldwide French dinner and about French restaurants awarded among the top 500 Australian restaurants according to the Australian Financial Review.
What have been your favourite moments over the last year? What subjects would you be interested in reading about over the next year?