Brisbane Festival dance highlights

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Dancenorth will present 'Lighting the Dark' at the Brisbane Festival.
Dancenorth will present 'Lighting the Dark' at the Brisbane Festival.

The Brisbane Festival has announced its program for 2024. Here are some dance highlights we have filtered out for you amid a packed and exciting line-up. 

In no particular order:

Dancenorth, that always creative group from Townsville, is presenting Lighting the Dark, "a bold new work by Chris Dyke, a Kaurna (Adelaide) based dancer and choreographer living with Down Syndrome".

Inspired by his real-life heroes Banksy, David Bowie and Freddie Mercury, Lighting the Dark shines brightly on Chris’s profoundly moving and life-affirming adventure through the world. Throughout the work, each of his heroes acts as a mirror reflecting his expansive perception and limitless sense of possibility. (Sep 12-14).

Ghenoa Gela, with producers Force Majeure in association with ILBIJERRI Theatre Company, continues her successful tour around Australia with the landmark work Gurr Era Op (which means "the face of the sea" in Meriam Mir), a celebratory sharing of culture and a call to action in the face of climate devastation, interweaving hybrid Torres Strait Islander contemporary storytelling, movement and spoken word. (Sep 12-14) When Geraldine Higginson saw this production at the Sydney Festival, she wrote: " I highly recommend GURR ERA OP both as a theatrical experience and an educational one."

Private View, conceived by Roz Hervey and directed by Michelle Ryan, will be performed by Adelaide-based Restless Dance Theatre. This show was described as "a work of terrific theatrical craft and great integrity," by critic Maggie Tonkin when it debuted at the Adelaide Festival this year. (Sep 19-21)

Dear Brother, a presentation by Queensland Theatre and Blakdance (Sep 7-28), is a form-defying work features Djabuganjdji man Lenny Donahue and Girramay and Kalkadoon man Tibian Wyles. (Sep 7-28) 

The biggest, but also the briefest, dance event will be Assembly Vol. 1, a premiere, which will bring together an electrifying fusion of music and dance at the Princess Theatre. For this work, the Australasian Dance Collective is collaborating with 4000 Studios, "an artist-run, independent music studio collective in Brisbane", and the largest of its kind in Australia.

Assembly Vol. 1 will see Danny Harley from The Kite String Tangle, Dominik Felsmann from the synthesizer composer duo Felsmann + Tiley (from Germany and London), and brilliant video artist Louis Frere-Harvey collaborate with choreographer Stephanie Lake and composer Robin Fox in a "late night party" called Auto Cannibal. But you better quick: it's on for ONE NIGHT ONLY on Sep 21.

In addition there's the Alexander Ball, curated by Samoan-Australian trans woman of colour Ella Ganza (Sep 14). 

There are also a number of participatory events:

Us And All Of This, will unfold on the Brisbane Powerhouse Forecourt. It is a large-scale sculptural performance created by Liesel Zink with sound artist Lawrence English, gathering 100 people from all walks of life to move together as one. 

Also, Studio1 is holding workshops with Force Majeure, Dancenorth and Restless Dance Theatre and is now inviting Expressions of Interest

These are just some of the entire spectrum of arts events on offer, indoor and outdoor, including the spectacular Riverfire display on opening night on August 31 . See the full program here.

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