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4 Highlights From Adelaide's OzAsia Festival Programme

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Moon Lantern Festival Moon Lantern Festival Image © Claudio Raschella
Perusing the OzAsia Festival programme can perhaps be compared to planning an Asian holiday; some may prefer to laze on the beach in Thailand, others will seek the bustle of Beijing.

No matter what your preference, there is an option available and you don’t have to venture any further than the Adelaide CBD. There is an extensive film programme at Mercury Cinema, the people behind Gluttony will activate the Convention Centre Lawn with the Lucky Dumpling Market, the Moon Lantern Festival will return while Nexus Arts will showcase the best underground, queer, alternate and visionary arts. Let's take a closer look at four festival highlights.

'Until The Lions'

Choreographer Akram Khan, a Londoner of Bangladeshi descent, has taken an extract of the Sanskrit epic 'The Mahābhārata' and transformed it into a ‘lean and powerful dance-theatre production’. The source material, some of which is as old as the fourth century CE, is a core Hindu text. Khan has fearlessly modernised the tale of princess Amba by re-imagining it from a female perspective. It features ‘a Pan-Asian cast from Indonesia, Taiwan and the Phillipines’.

'Until The Lions' plays the Dunstan Playhouse on Friday 22-23 September.


Wild Rice Theatre’s momentous play is perhaps the Singaporean equivalent of 'War And Peace': a five-hour, multi-generational window into its 100-year transformation from British colony to sovereign city-state. The work, which is predominately delivered in English, is divided into two parts for ease of consumption and promises ‘laughing, gasping, crying and cheering on a rollercoaster journey that will leave you breathless.’

'Hotel' plays at the Dunstan Playhouse from 28-30 September.


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'The End'

Damon Albarn’s Gorillaz were the world’s first virtual rock band; Keiichiro Shibuya’s The End is the world’s first virtual opera, to be performed by the Louis Vuitton-clad Vocaloid singer, Hatsune Miku. Like the replicants in 'Blade Runner' or 'Pinocchio', Miku ponders whether she will ever be like her creator. It is difficult to quantify the enormity of Miku’s cultural impact in Asia; she has over 100,000 songs to her name; Mozart only had a mere 650.

'The End' plays Dunstan Playhouse on 3-4 October.

Regurgitator, Seja, and Mindy Meng Wang on Guzheng perform 'The Velvet Underground & Nico'

Brisbane’s Regurgitator have spent over 20 years in constant stylistic flux, unafraid of discovering new worlds and merging them with the old. The could have lazily, uh, regurgitated their triple platinum smash from 1997, 'Unit', but instead have spent the last two decades living and recording in bubbles, developing side projects and participating in innovative collaborative works. It is an ethos that aligns with that of pop art innovator Andy Warhol, the producer of the classic 1967 self-titled album ‘The Velvet Underground & Nico’. Ben Ely and Quan Yeomans, joined by German/Australian musician Seja and with Mindy Meng Wang playing the 16 stringed Chinese Guzheng, recreate the cult hit for its 50th anniversary.

Regurgitator, Seja and Mindy Meng Wang play Space Theatre on 29 September.

Click here for the full OzAsia programme.

OzAsia Festival runs from 21 September-8 October.


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