Our Sydney Festival picks for 2015

Tabac Rouge

After much scrutiny, somethingyousaid.com’s Harriet Cheney tells us the most unmissable events at the upcoming Sydney Festival:

It’s hard to beat Sydney in January; you’ve got the beach, the cricket, Australia Day barbies and the most exquisite weather. How lucky we are though, that the real focus every January turns to culture, and not just run-of-the-mill sort of culture, but engaging performances from all around that globe that completely knock your socks off (cause who needs socks on a glorious summer night anyway?).

Sydney Festival offers over 100 events across 19 days with events and performers from over 25 different countries. Here’s ten not to miss…

1. Be enchanted in a magical world: Tabac Rouge
This exquisite combination of circus, dance and theatre by the internationally acclaimed James Thierrée promises to be a captivating, dream-like spectacle that transports us to another world. Based around themes of desire, power and societal systems, this mysterious work, featuring world-class performers, effortlessly drills down deep into the psyche. http://www.sydneyfestival.org.au/2015/tabac-rouge

2. Expand those cultural taste buds: Latvian Radio Choir
Like Pitch Perfect, in that they sing a cappella, but completely different in every other way; their repertoire of masterpieces spanning centuries and their exploration of the weird and wonderful boundaries of the voice will be one of those culturally enlightening, international experiences that the Festival allows us to access on our own turf. http://www.sydneyfestival.org.au/2015/latvian-radio-choir

3. Blow your mind: Anna von Hausswolff
Playing on the Town Hall organ backed by her band, this Swedish born artist introduces the organ to contemporary experimental rock music – think Jezabels meets Anna Calvi with even more drama. Original, passionate and strung together with an epically beautiful voice, this will very likely be my Festival highlight. http://www.sydneyfestival.org.au/2015/anna-von-hausswolff

4. Be enlightened about local issues: Long Grass
Highlighting a situation that most southerners know very little about, Long Grass is about Australian Aboriginal people who live on the fringe of Darwin in the ‘long grass’. Whether they have been outcast from the community because of addiction, wrongdoing or another reason, this piece of theatre uses humour and multimedia to explore life on the edge. http://www.sydneyfestival.org.au/2015/long-grass

bal-dan-deacon-press-shot-201402185. Late night guaranteed good time: Dan Deacon
I still remember Deacon’s 2012 Sydney Festival performance as one of the most enjoyable gigs I have ever been to. He’s a conservatorium trained musician who has mastered electronic music and knows exactly how to use it to work the crowd.

His audience interaction is incredible and he has charisma in bucketloads – you’ll want him at your next birthday party.

Have a read of our in depth interview with Dan too, which went up on the site earlier this week. http://www.sydneyfestival.org.au/2015/dan-deacon

6. Rebalance after those late nights: Complimentary yoga with Lulu Lemon
Get your zen on with free Tuesday – Friday yoga classes every week of the Festival.

7. Release that inner child: Waterfall Swing at Darling Harbour
A cascading waterfall that miraculously dries up just as you are about to swing right on into it – what’s not to love about this free activity? http://www.sydneyfestival.org.au/2015/waterfall-swing-at-darling-harbour

8. Explore the city: Bankstown – Live
For four hours on four separate nights, Bankstown will become a stage for theatre, music and art. This is definitely not the black box stage you know, but instead a stage among authentic spaces of the Bankstown locals, such as the back yard, hills hoist or even the footpath. This project features new work by critically acclaimed international and Australian artists. http://www.sydneyfestival.org.au/2015/bankstown-live

9. For the whole family: A Simple Space
This multi-award winning troupe of seven acrobats is sure to be one of the Hyde Park Festival Village hits. Their strength, agility and weightlessness seem to defy gravity and, as if standing on their heads or someone else’s wasn’t enough, they intertwine humour into each act as well. The perfect show for that friend with the short attention span. http://www.sydneyfestival.org.au/2015/a-simple-space

10. Bizarrely emotionally moving: Kiss and Cry
Two very graceful and practiced dancing hands tell the story of a cinematic romance. The Boston Globe describes the work as “anything but ordinary … a film, a theatre piece, a dance, a puppet show, a poem, a musical and a meditation. Ravishingly beautiful” This one’s a must-see! http://www.sydneyfestival.org.au/2015/kiss-and-cry

11. Celebrate with triple j: Beat The Drum
In 2015, triple j turns the big Four-Oh and to celebrate being 40 years young, they are throwing a huge, once-in-a-lifetime party starring an all-star Aussie line-up of legends. It’s happening in Sydney’s Domain and includes acts such as Bernard Fanning, Courtney Barnett, Daniel Johns, Dave Faulkner (Hoodoo Gurus), DZ Deathrays, Gotye, Hermitude, Megan Washington, Sarah Blasko, Thundamentals and (the creator of one of our Top 20 albums of the year) Tom Iansek. Don’t miss out. http://www.sydneyfestival.org.au/2015/beat-the-drum-celebrating-40-years-of-triple-j



Words by Harriet Cheney with additional material from Bobby Townsend