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WOMADELAIDE UNVEILS EXTENSIVE ‘AROUND THE PARK’ PROGRAM

Grant Hancock photographer

­WOMADelaide, to be held in Adelaide’s Botanic Park from 11-14 March, today announced the final program elements with its “Around the Park“ program featuring dramatic installations, exhibitions, children’s activities and site performances to be featured “Around the Park”.

Leading the announcement is the breathtaking Cathedral of Light from outstanding visual experience company Mandylights. The 60m long archway composed of tens of thousands of LED light globes, is inspired by the arched windows of historic churches and has been exhibited extensively internationally. Walking through Cathedral of Light is a euphoric experience as audiences are drawn out of the darkness towards the metaphoric light ‘at the end of the tunnel’.

Bush Mechanics: The Exhibition is an award-winning realisation of the acclaimed ABC TV miniseries first aired in 2001, that followed five young Warlpiri men as they travelled through remote outback Australia using ‘nyurulypa’ (good tricks) to fix and keep their vehicles running.  The exhibition, developed by the National Motor Museum, embraces the light-heartedness of the original TV program that won over millions of viewers with a delightful mix of immersive technology, gaming and interactive screens, as well as one of the original cars, a Ford Fairlane painted with traditional Walpiri designs, explores the unique storytelling style of Warlpiri music, art and culture.

Kardla Paltendi (Dancing Fire)   The world-premiere commission is a collaboration between Kaurna man Jamie Goldsmith, his Taikurtinna dance group and installation artist Simon Hutchinson of Adelaide’s Nature Play events company Climbing Tree. Celebrating the re-emergence of traditional Kaurna fire practice, it taps into humanity’s fascination with fire and shines a light on Karrawirraparri (the River Torrens) and its reflection mirrored in the Milky Way.  Beginning nightly with ceremony and live performance, large carved flaming pillars will burn from within throughout the night symbolising the eternal connections of land, sky, the material and spiritual.

Other installations include HEXADECA, a new high-tech work from Adelaide creative studio Pulsing Heart.  This architecturally designed music making playground, draws upon sensor activated music technology and with collaborations from leading Australian musicians it invites the audience to become the conductor. As people spin in custom constructed seats, portions of a musical score is activated with the whole track only revealed when each seat is occupied.

TAKSU – an organic sculptural installation from NSW company Barefoot Design, is a giant portal made of 160 natural bamboo combs shaped into a spiralling tunnel, reminding us that we are urrounded by and inseparable from the natural environment.

Adelaide’s world-renowned Gravity and Other Myths will present Process, a world-premiere night-time promenade piece of acrobatic, physical theatre tailor-made for the festival.

Often described as Alice in Wonderland meets The Shining, UK performance duo Cocoloco will bring their trademark hilarious and ever-so-slightly bent street theatre to WOMADelaide, presenting three quirky pieces, Mafia Wedding, Madame Bonbon & Nobby and Alice & Alice.

The work of acclaimed artist and activist Peter Drew, best known nationally for his Real Australians Say Welcome and Together Soon Enough street posters, will be shown in AUSSIE, an exhibition of six stunning, large-scale images which celebrate individuals who applied for exemptions from the White Australia Policy in the 1900s.

The Memoryologist – an interactive experience from Adelaide’s Slingsby Theatre Company, where the audience share their treasured memories from 30 years of WOMADelaide, to be instantly transformed into a work of shadow play, music, poetry or imagery.

SA musician Tim Koch has created a 15-minute soundscape of original music to loop across all stages at the end of each night of the festival.  And, as part of the festival’s music training and development program, the WOMADelaide x Northern Sound System Academy, the NSS Studio will host mini gigs by emerging artists and record live onsite.

KidZone, the festival’s dream destination for children will be brimming with adventure filled learning and fun, featuring AFL superstar Eddie Betts reading My Kind and My People from his popular Lil Homies series of children’s books and Patch Theatre’s new Mirror Mirror, an adventure to draw kids into the heart of a gleaming mirrored dome where they flip the switch to loose themselves in a kaleidoscopic dream.  The SA Museum will deliver a program of discoveries, Evelyn Roth’s beloved Nylon Zoon returns, while Sonya Rankine, an award-winning Ngarrindjeri, Narungga, Ngadjuri and Wirangu artist, will develop a collaborative woven sculpture across the four days of the festival.

“The Around the Park program has surprise and delight for audiences and we are particularly excited to be featuring three world premieres with the very special collaborative work Kardla Paltendi,  PROCESS, a new work from one of Australia’s finest acrobatic troupes Gravity and Other Myths (GOM) and the beguiling installation  HEXADECA” said Director Ian Scobie.

South Australian Tourism Commission chief executive Rodney Harrex welcomed the final elements of the program being unveiled.

“It’s terrific to see how the program has evolved, with today’s announcement rounding out an eclectic, interesting and engaging festival. It’s certainly on track to deliver something for everyone for its 30th year celebration,” he said.

WOMADELAIDE, 11-14 March, Botanic Park, Adelaide, South Australia

For information and tickets visit: www.womadelaide.com.au

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