Exciting dance at the 2021 Adelaide Festival

How do you plan a festival during a pandemic? This is the question Rachel Healy and Neil Armfield, co-directors of the Adelaide Festival, have been asking themselves all year.

“Certainly it has not been easy,” they say: “a forced break for businesses around the world; artists and performers lose months of employment overnight and some leave the industry to find jobs in other fields; impacts on mental health among artists; a reduction in the number of new productions created; insurance covers almost everything except disappearance, border closures, reduced flight routes, quarantine requirements; the new costs of developing and implementing specialized COVID management plans, and the severe reduction in site capacities and therefore box office revenues and ticket stock. “

They focused on finding solutions. “We wanted to make sure the Adelaide Festival stays true to a 60-year tradition of attracting top artists and international events to our city while simultaneously supporting businesses in Adelaide and others from across Australia. We have always had a very strong presence of local works, but in 2021 we have supported a number of artists and companies to take advantage of this year of forced isolation to develop new works on a scale. and an ambition that was not possible before. The 2021 Adelaide Festival has a record number of Australian premieres and we have also supported new creative collaborations and made early investments in artists and projects that will bear fruit in 2022 and beyond. “

One of the couple’s most innovative solutions is its Live from Europe program, which will allow Adelaide audiences to attend live international theater, music and dance performances from Russia, the UK, Germany and the Netherlands. These shows will take place, in real time, halfway around the world, as Adelaide audiences watch at the newly restored Her Majesty’s Theater, with the experience channeled through high-resolution cameras and the latest streaming technology.

One of these works will be tthe Olivier-Award winning dance event BLK DOG, from one of the “most exciting new voices in contemporary choreography”, Botis Seva; commissioned and presented by Far From The Norm and Sadler’s Wells of London. “Colleagues in London have told us that since Hofesh Shechter there hasn’t been such a craze for a choreographer,” Healy says, describing him as “totally exhilarating” – “he seems to have created a new choreographic language”. The performance will also be broadcast live at the Middleback Arts Center in Whyalla as part of a new program bringing Festival performances to regional centers.

Other dances at the festival include the Sydney Dance Company with Impermanence, Australian Dance Theater with Supernature, Restless dance theater with Gutter and rising local star Lewis Major with a double bill: S / WORDS and Deployment.

For more details go: here.

Don’t miss our interview with Lewis Major in the January / February / March issue. Check out our 40% Christmas special: one year (four issues) print + digital for only $ 31!


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Gerald R. Schneider

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