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Adelaide Fringe and Festival closing weekend picks

Festivals

Festival-goers have a packed line-up of music, dance, theatre and visual art shows to choose from as the Mad March festivities draw to a close this weekend. Here are some picks from the Fringe and Festival programs.

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Adelaide Festival

Freeze!

Nick Steur presents Freeze! at Adelaide’s Granger Studio. Photo: Tony Lewis

“On face value, watching someone balance rocks doesn’t sound like a particularly enticing way to spend an hour, but within minutes Dutch performance artist Nick Steur will have you absolutely spellbound,” writes InDaily reviewer Rachael Mead of Freeze! Steur is performing his mesmeric balancing act again today at the Grainger Studio, then at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens over the weekend and on Kangaroo Island on March 20, 21 and 22.

Xenos

Dancer and choreographer Akram Khan, who first performed professionally as a 14-year-old in Peter Brook’s The Mahabharata at the 1988 Adelaide Festival, has returned 30 years later with Xenos, a dance work inspired by the myth of Prometheus.  Xenos has been co-commissioned by the Festival and will be an Australian exclusive said to mark Khan’s final full-length solo performance as a dancer. It’s at Her Majesty’s Theatre until Sunday

Bennelong

Bennelong: ‘A flag of hope across the dark backdrop of Australian history’. Photo: Tony Lewis

Also in the Festival dance program, but from closer to home, is Bangarra Dance Theatre’s exploration of the life of complex Aboriginal figure Woollarawarre Bennelong. Choreographed by Stephen Page, Bennelong has received glowing reviews interstate for the beautiful staging, choreography and performances, and our own reviewer also believes it’s a must-see. It’s at the Dunstan Playhouse until Sunday.

21: Memories of Growing Up

Snapshots of periods in time: 21 Memories of Us in Adelaide. Photo: Tony Lewis / Adelaide Festival

As well as a brief connection with the lives of strangers from all over the world, this video installation at the State Library’s Institute Building offers intriguing snapshots of periods in time. 21: Memories of Growing Up is the creation of Swiss artist Mats Staub, who has asked people of diverse ages and backgrounds to share stories from the year they turned 21. The resulting recordings, covering the years between 1939 and 2015, are fascinating. It’s open from 10am-5pm daily until Sunday. Read InDaily‘s review here.

Human Requiem

Rundfunkchor Berlin’s Human Requiem. Photo: Matthias Heyde

“This staging of Brahms’ German Requiem subverts some of the formal traditions of choral singing, breaking down the barrier between performer and audience, to powerful effect,” David Washington writes in his review of Human Requiem. The singers of Berlin’s acclaimed Rundfunkchor move in and around the audience at the Ridley Centre at Adelaide Showgrounds, at one point even sitting on swings hanging from the rafters. Performances continue until Sunday.

Animal

French graphic designers Antoine et Manuel have transformed the University of Adelaide’s historic Barr Smith Library with a light, sound and video installation that is said to capture the beauty of Australia as experienced by someone who’s seeing it for the very first time. According to the Festival program, visitors will get to “journey through underwater reefs, jungle landscapes, get up close to the blistering Australian sun and even become immersed in a living human body”. Entry is free and Animal is open from 8.30pm until 12.30am today (Friday) and tomorrow (details here).

Fringe

Parade of Light and Borealis

The Art Gallery of SA is all lit up for Fringe’s Parade of Light.

If you haven’t wandered down North Terrace after dark to see the Parade of Light, then make sure you do this weekend. Among the buildings being lit up with colourful projections are the State Library, the Art Gallery of SA, the University of Adelaide’s Bonython Hall and Elder Hall. A must-see is Swiss artist Dan Acher’s Borealis, which re-creates the Northern Lights above the SA Museum lawns. The lights are switched on from 8.30pm until midnight, ending Sunday.

Holden Street Theatres

Once again, Holden Street Theatres has earned a swag of four and five-star reviews and Fringe Weekly Awards for its quality theatre program. Among the plays you can still catch this weekend are Borders by Henry Naylor, which explores the parallel worlds of a western paparazzi photographer and a Syrian graffiti artist (read review here) and Flesh & Bone (pictured above), which takes audiences into the “gutters” of East London, where Shakespearean-style verse meets Cockney slang and “the villains do rock and roll” (read review). Also showing is Joanne Hartstone’s solo show That Daring Australian Girl, which shares the story of Adelaide-born actress turned suffragette Murial Matters.

Glittery Clittery: a conSENSUAL party

We’ve “borrowed” this one from CityMag, which describes the Garden of Unearthly Delights show as “a celebration of women and all that makes womanhood lovely, and tough, and ridiculous, and amazing”. The Fringe Wives Club’s style of “sequined-covered sass” may be a bit confronting for some, but it will end your Fringe with a joyously risqué bang. (Read CityMag’s full list of final Fringe and Festival picks here).

Anya Anastasia

Cabaret chanteuse, Fringe regular and this week’s Adelaide Critics’ Circle Award winner Anya Anastasia is presenting two shows this year: The Executioners (final performance tonight at the Queen’s Theatre, read review here) and her “musical comedy meet deranged opera” show Rogue Romantic (in Gluttony until Sunday).

A Simple Space

Photo: Chris Herzfeld

Adelaide circus company Gravity & Other Myths is once again wowing Fringe audiences with its performances at the Royal Croquet Club’s “Grand Auditorium”. InDaily reviewer Bension Siebert describes it as “a delightful and stunning tour de force” which rejects all the usual circus conceits to “draw focus on the human”. Final performance on Sunday.

Po Po Mo Co & Sam Perry Live

If you haven’t explored the smaller Fringe venues and hubs, then you’re missing out on some real treasures. New hub Rajopolis, in the Feast home Raj House, has presented a host of Fringe Weekly Award winners, including “underground comedy cult” troupe Po Po Mo Co (pictured above, winner of a Fringe emerging artist award this week, and named best Original New Circus show at last year’s Melbourne Fringe). Also worth checking out is The Gallery Above the Hindley, whose artists include vocal loop artist Sam Perry from The 360 All Stars (he’s performing until Saturday and was awarded five stars in this InDaily review).

Djuki Mala

Hailing from Elcho Island, the five accomplished dancers of Djuki Mala fuse traditional Yolngu dance with contemporary pop culture to create a hilarious, charming and high-energy mix which our reviewer awarded five stars. Performing at the Garden of Unearthly Delights until Sunday, they also scooped a Fringe weekly award for excellence in Aboriginal Creative Arts.

See all InDaily’s 2018 Adelaide Fringe and Adelaide Festival stories, reviews and photo galleries here.

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