LORE, DANCE STORIES OF LAND AND SEA
BANGARRA DANCE THEATRE, TOURING JUNE 11-SEPTEMBER 5
01 Bangarra’s new production is a double bill, Sheoak by the Helpmann award-winning choreographer Frances Rings and I.B.I.S. by dancers Deborah Brown and Waangenga Blanco (pictured). A sheoak, also known as the Grandmother Tree, symbolises shelter, medicine and protection, while I.B.I.S celebrates resilience and optimism in the Torres Strait Islands, home to Brown and Blanco. Artistic director Stephen Page says Rings “is brilliant at what she does and Sheoak promises to be a powerfully beautiful piece. Waangenga and Deborah are at the start of their choreographic careers but I can already see that they have a bright future.” Lore premieres at the Sydney Opera House before touring to Canberra, Wollongong, Brisbane and Melbourne.
02 TURANDOT Opera Australia, June 24-August 28, Sydney Opera House
Graeme Murphy directs Puccini’s tale of the ultimate ice princess with a vendetta against men, set in China and based on a 12th-century Persian epic. Turandot covers all bases from the sublime (the powerful gongs and the experimental Eastern tonality, as well as the most overplayed aria in all opera) to the ridiculous (there are characters called Ping, Pang, and Pong). Lise Lindstrom and Yonghoon Lee take the roles of Princess Turandot and Prince Calaf.
03 THE DOG/THE CAT June 18-July 12, Belvoir Street Theatre, Sydney
Two of Australian theatre’s brightest talents, Brendan Cowell and Lally Katz (pictured), come together for a double bill of one-act romantic comedies in the intimate Downstairs theatre. In what is billed as “two interconnected tales of true love and stupidity”, Cowell ( Ruben Guthrie) and Katz ( Neighbourhood Watch) present their takes on the animals that are our best friends but each other’s eternal foes, and their place in modern love.
04 MARINA ABRAMOVIC AND DARK MOFO
June 12-22, Museum of Old and New Art, Hobart
An exhibition by the formidable performance artist Marina Abramovic at MONA coincides with Dark MOFO, the annual winter festival of art, music, theatre, ritual and feasting that celebrates the tenebrous and atavistic. Abramovic’s Private Archaeology, tracing her long career pushing the physical and mental limits, opens on June 13; the next day she will appear in conversation with MONA founder David Walsh. In his words: “Marina Abramovic seems to operate for all us. Her sins, her excesses, her minimalist, egocentric actions define the boundaries of what it is to be human. I would do the stuff she does if I had the balls. And the brains. And the desperation to understand.” Abramovic will then be in Sydney from June 24 to July 5 for a residence with Kaldor Art projects.
05 ADELAIDE CABARET FESTIVAL
June 5-20, Adelaide Festival Centre
Legendary comedian, writer and producer Barry Humphries takes the reins of the festival this year from Kate Ceberano, presenting a lineup that includes the best names in Australian cabaret: Meow Meow, Eddie Perfect, Christa Hughes and Ash Flanders, as well as appearances by Humphries’ longtime aquaintances Dame Edna Everage and Sir Les Patterson. Sequins, skin, song and satire will abound, but not swearing, as Humphries controversially banned the word “f..k” from the festival. He told The Advertiser last year: “I have found, without wanting to sound prudish, that too many young comedians — many of great brilliance — still resort to the F-word to get a laugh. So there’s only one rule: I’m banning it. It will be a good discipline for them — and it might be a relief to members of the public.” Hot on Adelaide’s stiletto heels are the Queensland and Melbourne Cabaret Festivals (June 10-20 and 18-28).