Every year in January, a festive air floats above Sydney when the great australian cultural festival. Become synonymous with the energy and cosmopolitan style that characterize Sydney, each edition of the event attracts around a million curious people who come to discover dozens of artists and enjoy the summer entertainment in the streets of the city. This year, the kickoff will be given on January 7, and as tradition dictates, the festivities will end in patriotic fervor on January 26, national holiday.
A cultural and fun meeting
Theater, dance, music and many other artistic expressions will be on the program this year, orchestrated by 650 artists and creators. The organizers have also made it a point of honor to diversify the offer in order to make the works accessible and to satisfy the greatest number. We can therefore attend a hilarious and all-male performance of Twelfth Night, a Shakespearean comedy directed by Declan Donnellan and performed by a Russian company bringing together some of Russia's greatest comedians. Another major event, The Vigil of the Abyss (Bright Abyss) by James Thiérrée, the grandson of Charlie Chaplin: stranded on what we imagine to be a desert island, three men and two women deceive boredom by improvising astonishing numbers with the objects surrounding them. Accompanied by an opera singer, a contortionist and two dancers, James Thiérrée will transport the spectator into a waking dream combining acrobatic performance of the circus, elegance of dance and clownish humor, all without words, in the great tradition. chaplinesque.
The mix of genres operates in terms of musical programming, since the Sydney Festival is also the opportunity to listen to Elvis Costello at the Sydney Opera House, to discover traditional Irish music from Altan or to wiggle on the soul and funk rhythms of the seventies with the Blaxploitation Block Party.
A cultural event, but no less popular, the Sydney Festival also offers a wide selection of more accessible shows, concerts and exhibitions, sometimes outdoors, and above all, free, in places that are worth seeing. For example, the Domain, a vast public garden surrounding the Royal Botanic Gardens, will host “The Spirit of New Orleans”, a concert in tribute to the capital of jazz with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band and Terrance Simien.
Darling Harbor, a huge leisure park set up by the sea, will come to life with the "Concert of Fire" by Commandos Percu (Frenchie troupe) and their new generation sound and light: the vibrations will explode bags of powder that will illuminate the stage in a thousand fireworks. In addition to the concert, the Darling Harbor is also the Sydney Aquarium and its 11 species of marine animals, the National Maritime Museum and the Imax cinema. What to take care of ...
Always free and in the open air, the screening of films for young and old at the Sydney Olympic Park or the “Eat drink talk art” forum, food for body and soul, at the Mint, the former south wing of the he Sydney hospital, then the Monnaie hotel, which became a conference and café venue. From January 9 to 24, at lunchtime, visitors can gather at the Mint and listen to the artists present at the festival tell about their work and their work while having a drink or a bite to eat.
And of course, on the sidelines of the official party, an “off” festival takes shape, the streets and cafes come alive, leaving everyone the opportunity to concoct their program according to their encounters and desires.
After the party, the party continues
To end the festivities in joy, good humor and above all in patriotic fervor, the Sydney festival traditionally ends on January 26, a national holiday. On May 13, 1787, British Captain Arthur Phillip left England to establish a prison colony in Australia. He docked at Botany Bay, in the east of the country, on January 18, 1788, but set off again a few kilometers north in search of a more suitable place for the establishment of a colony. She anchored at Sydney Cove on January 26, where the Rocks district stands today at the foot of the Sydney Harbor Bridge. The place was named after the British Home Secretary, Lord Sydney, who became responsible for the colony. While January 26 today celebrates a past and a present that wants to be glorious, this date remains a painful point for the aboriginal community, which sees it as the anniversary of the invasion of their territory ...
Far from these political considerations, National Day is undoubtedly an additional occasion to celebrate, much more than in our regions. Around 5 events will take place across South Wales alone. In Sydney, the day begins with the “Woggan ma gule”, a traditional ceremony through which, through song and dance, Australians honor the spirits of their ancestors and the future of their people. It takes place at the Royal Botanic Gardens, sacred territory of the Gadigal clan.
Another major event of the day, the Ferrython, a real institution that sees four specially decorated catamarans compete in a frantic race to the Sydney Harbor Bridge.
And for those who just want to soak up the sun and soak up that typical atmosphere, there is Hyde Park with its luscious lawns, concerts, activities for children and its large barbecue.
- The official festival website: www.sydneyfestival.org.au
- The National Day website: www.australiaday.com.au