• Yung Lung. Photo: Peter Tarasiuk.
    Yung Lung. Photo: Peter Tarasiuk.
  • 'Red'. Photo: Amber Haines.
    'Red'. Photo: Amber Haines.
  • 'Pendulum'. Photo: Gregory Lorenzutti.
    'Pendulum'. Photo: Gregory Lorenzutti.

With the long hibernation of live performance forced on us by the pandemic, Rising, the new Melbourne’s new arts festival, has taken on a greater significance.

The new festival was originally planned to debut in 2020. It replaces the White Night Festival and the Melbourne International Arts festival, combining the elements of both to become a huge, night-time event embracing the long nights of near-winter. The festival is timed to open on the date of the lunar eclipse on May 26, is spread across numerous indoor and outdoor sites and takes imaginative use of some of the city’s grandest, historic buildings, such as the rarely seen Flinders Street Station ballroom and Newport’s Substation.

The festival has been supported with an unprecedented $2 million dollar grant from the Victorian Government to commission local artists. Most of the artists were chosen via a call-out for submissions last year.

The  program is being described as a “surge of art, music and ceremony”, and will emphasise the spooky, umbrous joys of the dark and night-time.

On the varied program, the dance events include Pendulum, a performance installation by Lucy Guerin on the upper floor of the National Gallery of Victoria. In collaboration with  percussive artist Matthias Schack-Arnott, she has created a work where the dancers perform within a sea of suspended bells.

Chunky Move’s Antony Hamilton has collaborated with artist Callum Morton, music video director Kris Moyes, street-wear brand Perks & Mini, lighting designer Bosco Shaw and Melbourne techno experimentalist Chiara Kickdrum to create Yung Lung, described as “a techno treatise and party prophecy. Divinity meets the dancefloor” at a yet-to-be-revealed venue.

In addition, DanceNorth is travelling to Melbourne to present Red after its preview at its home venue in Townsville on May 20 to 21. In this work, dancers Sara Black and James O’Hara are trapped in a slowly deflating transparent plastic structure in an allegory on endangered species and a contracting world.

The joint artistic directors of Rising are Hannah Fox and Gideon Obarzanek, the latter the founding artistic director of Chunky Move and artistic associate of the Melbourne Festival.

For information and bookings, go to https://rising.melbourne/

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