• 'Manifesto'. Photo by Justin Ridler.
    'Manifesto'. Photo by Justin Ridler.
  • 'Rewards for the Tribe'.
    'Rewards for the Tribe'.
  • 'Multitud'.

It's a case of third time lucky – Melbourne's new Rising Festival, cancelled two years in a row, is scheduled to "rise" at last this year – pending all the usual caveats we have come to know over the past long while.

Co-directed by former dancer/choreographer/artistic director Gideon Obarzanek alongside Hannah Fox, the festival replaces the former Melbourne Festival. It will open on the first night of winter and run for 12 nights.

This year sees 225 events – including 22 commissions and 14 world premieres – featuring 801 local and international artists, who will take the city as their canvas, transforming its streets, gardens, carparks, waterways and rooftops in an explosion of culture – all embracing the idea of darkness and winter.

Dance highlights are Reward for the Tribe, a collaboration between Restless Dance Theatre and Chunky Move (of which Obarzanek was founding director). It is described as "five dancers with and without disabilities responding to the divine geometry of Leonardo Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man as they bend, crumple and reorganise a wonky set by Jonathon Oxlade that gently pokes fun at the precise angles of 20th Century modernist colour block paintings. Together the dancers find beauty in things as they are and question the pursuit of perfection".

Another dance highlight is Multitud, from Uruguayan choreographer Tamara Cubas, an "examination of the power that lies within bodies, and what happens when they collide". 

Throughout her work, Cubas has investigated the power of Latin American bodies—their history, memory and quest for decolonisation—often working with non-artistic participants and communities. Multitud will bring together 70 people from different age groups, backgrounds, communities, and artistic practices. Together they devise the work’s sound, movement and energy.

Also featuring large numbers is Manifesto, by Melbourne-based choreographer Stephanie Lake, which brings together nine dancers with nine drummers in a "tornado of movement".

See the full program here.

See our review of the Adelaide season of 'Manifesto' here.


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