Highlights from Melbourne Festival 2014

MELBOURNE’s creative arts scene comes alive with this year’s edition of Melbourne Festival! Anthea Batsakis picks out her choice highlights that no one should miss out on.


Melbourne is known to host a diverse range of festivals but few celebrate the creative blood that flows in the veins of this Australia’s culture capital in the same way that Melbourne Festival does.

The annual creative arts festival returns for another big year, playing host to a range of local and international artists, performances, and of course food! Melbourne Festival 2014 will hold almost 100 events featuring more than 1000 artists across 23 countries. In short, this festival is not one to miss!

Listed below are a few events that may spark your interest!

Circus: Cirkopolis

Many international circus shows will be performing at the Melbourne Festival, each juggling unique visual effects with unbelievable stunts. This includes the 2014 winner of Best Unique Theatrical Experience for the Drama Desk Awards, Cirkopolis.

Inspired by Fritz Lang’s renowned film, Metropolis, comes this breathtaking performance from Montreal’s Cirque Eloize. The show contrasts colourful circus acts with the backdrop of monochromatic cinematography, representing a totally industrialised future.

It is in this futuristic world that the show takes place; a stifled office worker uses his imagination to escape his environment, transforming it into a jaw-dropping and gravity-defying array of circus acts!

Music: When the Mountain Changed Its Clothing

Any festival in Melbourne would not be complete without special attention given to music. Melbourne Festival is no exception, with international musicians fighting jet lag to perform down under.

Most notably, European music legend Heiner Goebbels brings When the Mountain Changed its Clothing; a combination of visual arts, literature, and music by 40 Slovenian girls. It is a coming-of-age show exploring the loss of innocence that takes place when children become adults.

With featured text ranging from Jean-Jacques Rousseau to Ian McEwan, this avant-garde performance uses music in a revolutionary way that might perhaps charm you!

Film: !Women Art Revolution (!W.A.R.)

ACMI will be hosting the festival’s various thought-provoking films. This includes !Women Art Revolution (!W.A.R.) – an exposure of the barriers facing women in the art world from director Lynn Hershman Leeson.

The film provides viewers with an opportunity to see the female artists (in the broad sense of the word) who fought to break down these walls for a more equalised art society.

The inspiring feature has been showcased in a collection of notable film festivals from the Toronto International Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, and the Panorama Berlin International Film Festival.

Dance: Marzo

Many unique dance performances will be hosted by the Melbourne Festival, taking the concept of dance choreography to a whole new level, though none may be more eclectic than Marzo.

Italian artist mastermind Dewey Dell, in collaboration with renowned Japanese artist Kuro Tanino and theatrical director Yuichi Yokoyama, bring this sci-fi dance work to life.

Set in Mars, this explores the fascinating horror imbued within the arid alien landscape. It is a unique aesthetic and unlike anything else you will see in the Melbourne Festival. With retro-style alien costumes, audiences will be transported to a gritty reality the genre so often computerises.

Visual Arts: Golden Mirror Carousel

Various public art installations and galleries will be set up around the city, like the Belgian artist Carsten Holler’s Golden Mirror Carousel.

The word ‘carousel’ for some may ignite the image of delightfully tiny horses and carriages that rise and fall to the sound of French music (or maybe that’s just me). Holler’s provocative installation reinvents this romantic image. The life-sized and mirrored carousel will stir your senses, offering up a trippy visual experience that bends reality and makes its participants question their place within its confines. Oh, and it’s free!

Melbourne Festival will take place from October 10 and run through until October 26. For more information about the festival, including ticketing, venue times and what’s happening, visit the official website of Melbourne Festival 2014.

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