Melbourne Fest boasts stellar dance program

Trisha Brown Dance Company coming to MelbourneFrom a program of events celebrating the work of one of the world’s most influential choreographers to a collaboration from two of dance and theatre’s most unflinching creators, the 2014 Melbourne Festival Dance Program will feature an incredible three co-commissions plus works from some of the best Australian and international choreographers in the world today.


In 2011, revolutionary New York choreographer Trisha Brown announced her retirement from the dance company she founded in 1970. Her company paid tribute by embarking on a mammoth international farewell tour, presenting her early works, her traditional stage works and some of the site-specific works that had helped define her reputation. Melbourne Festival will present the Australian leg of this tour, in which the Trisha Brown Dance Company will perform no fewer than 17 of her brilliant, revolutionary, post modernist dances alongside a wide-ranging program of films, talks and workshops.


From a long-standing and critically lauded collaboration comes the world premiere of a politically charged work featuring the potent choreography of Chunky Move Artistic Director Anouk van Dijk and the text of Schaubuhne Berlin’s Director-in-Residence Falk Richter. The premiere, named Complexity of Belonging, will seamlessly integrate text, movement and music to create a work that is in and of its time.


Shaun Parker’s AM I dance workFrom award-winning Australian choreographer Shaun Parker comes an ambitious new dance work entitled AM I – a stunning collision of movement and music, spirituality and science. Acclaimed international performer Shantala Shivalingappa will lead a cast of 14 musicians, singers and dancers, bringing to life an inspired blend of spoken word, razor-sharp choreography and stunning original live music.


Next, a group of professional dancers, actors and rising sports stars will perform TEAM OF LIFE from critically acclaimed Melbourne dance theatre company KAGE. In this uplifting new work, sport, theatre, dance and music meet head-on and questions are pondered, such as: If you thought of your life as a team, who would be your coach? Who is protecting your goals? Who is cheering you on? TEAM OF LIFE will honour both the great Australian game and the world game: Aussie rules and football.


Winter fades and spring blooms in violence in the work Marzo. For this work, dynamic young Italian artists’ collective Dewey Dell has joined forces with manga artist Yuichi Yokoyama and Kuro Tanino, the artistic director of Japanese theatre company Niwagekidan Penino. This team of artists has created an impeccably stylized dance work with a stunning visual aesthetic that is eccentric and fantastical.


Lastly, Melbourne’s Dancehouse will present the second edition of Dance Territories – a biennial event showcasing boundary pushing works of contemporary choreography. Two programs will pair works by local and international choreographers in a charged collision of dance, highlighting different approaches to similar subject matter in The Sacred and the Profane – Rituals of Now.


The 2014 Melbourne Festival runs October 10–26. Tickets are now on sale. Go to for more information.


Photo (top): Trisha Brown Dance Company in From All Angles. Photo (left): Choreographer Shaun Parker’s AM I in performance, featuring international performer Shantala Shivalingappa. Photos courtesy of Melbourne Festival.