• Bangarra Dance Theatre's ' Bennelong'. Photo: Daniel Boud.
    Bangarra Dance Theatre's ' Bennelong'. Photo: Daniel Boud.

Lovers of dance, physical theatre and circus have much to savour at the 2020 Perth Festival. National and international companies will perform side-by-side with local artists.

In a first for any major Australian international arts festival, all the performance and events in the first week of Perth Festival are by First Nations artists. Part of that celebration of the depth and range of Australian Indigenous culture is Bangarra Dance Theatre's award-winning work Bennelong, which explores the life and legacy of Woollaraware Bennelong. The opening week will also see the world premiere of Buŋgul, a work that invites audiences into the culture that inspired Gurrumul's final album Djarrimirri (Child of the Rainbow), in a live audio-visual spectacular by Yolŋu dancers, songmen and the West Australian Symphony Orchestra. 

The ancient stories of Australia will be complemented by an ancient story from Ireland when Perth welcomes back Irish director/choreographer Michael Keegan-Dolan and his company Teaċ Daṁsa, who will perform Mám, a dance-theatre work of ritualised ecstacy. 

Hofesh Shechter's 'The Bad'. Photo: Gabriele Zucca.
Hofesh Shechter's 'tHE bAD'. Photo: Gabriele Zucca.

Outdoors at the State Theatre Centre, audiences will get up close and personal with the master of rock ‘n’ roll performance, Hofesh Shechter, as STRUT Dance transforms the Courtyard into a mosh pit of super-charged dance. In the Studio Underground, 50 dancers will flood the stage in Stephanie Lake’s monumental dance work Colossus.

At the Regal Theatre, Circa’s renowned ensemble will join 18 local performers from Co3, Circus Maxima and Circus WA to push the limits of human possibility in the world-premiere Festival commission of Leviathan.

The ever-popular Ballet at the Quarry by West Australian Ballet will comprise In Light and Shadow, by Krzysztof Pastor, Air and Other Invisible Forces, by Graeme Murphy, and a new work from dynamic Dutch choreographer Wubkje Kuindersma, a co-production with Dutch National Ballet.

Perth Festival runs from February 7 to March 1.

Pictured top: Bangarra Dance Theatre's "Bennelong". Photo: Daniel Boud.

West Australian Ballet. Photo: Frances Andrijich.
West Australian Ballet. Photo: Frances Andrijich.
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