The annual Sydney Festival returns in 2023, transforming the city once again into a kaleidoscope of colour, creativity, and activity from 5 to 29 January.
This year’s presentation features a dynamic program of over 100 unique events comprising 748 performances across fifty-four venues. Highlights include Frida Kahlo: The Life of an Icon at The Cutaway in Barangaroo, a multi-sensory experience via nine transformational spaces, from collections of historical photographs and original films, holography, 360 degree projections, and augmented reality that transports you inside Kahlo’s most famous works.
Rhythmic offerings include drummer Chloe Kim’s musical response to South Korean artist Do Ho Suh’s large-scale installation Staircase-III, 2010, on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia. The hand-stitched fabric staircase suggests the passage of time and is symbolic of the link and connective tissue between different spaces and cultures. On 19 January, Kim’s experimentation and improvisational sound will tie to the installation and play with ideas of spatial displacement and durational performance.
At Carriageworks from 6 to 8 January, Speak Percussion’s Polar Force explores notions of human fragility and isolation, climate change and geopolitical tension in a multi-form immersive performance direct from the polar regions with high-fidelity Antarctic field recordings, including a 100-knot blizzard, augmented by custom-built musical instruments made to manipulate pressurised air, water, and ice. Sea & Sand adds to the critical climate debate. The opera performance invites us to spend the day at the beach (Sydney’s Town Hall), from 6 to 8 January, as twenty-six tonnes of sand transform the space into a summer oasis where holidaymakers sunbake and sing gentle elegies about their lives and their eco-anxieties.
More events online.