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Dry season set to dazzle as Darwin Festival program revealed

Tammy Weller

The Darwin Festival has launched its 2013 program, providing intimate events alongside international artists.
Dry season set to dazzle as Darwin Festival program revealed

The Darwin festival has launched its 2013 program, This Territory Life, which includes 85 events of comedy, cabaret, music and theatre over 18 days.

Edwina Lunn, in her second year as Artistic Director, says the festival aims to celebrate what it means to live in Darwin. 

'From local Indigenous stories to cabaret fanfare and a rich tapestry of works from influential neighbours both nearby and over the seas to Indonesia, what we hope is that this Festival reflects the sensibilities of our contrasting inhabitants... 'Those that were born here, brought here, landed here or wandered here,' said Lunn. 

The local community will be a focus in The Walking Neighbourhood as part of the Bagot Festival. Local children will collaborate with artists, taking audience members on a walking tour through the Bagot community. The tours will feature music, storytelling and local history.

The festival continues its intimate theme with some acts forgoing traditional festival stages and instead performing in suburban spaces as part of Backyard Unplugged. One such intimate performance is Kate McLennan and Wes Morris’s comedy show Standard Double which is performed in a hotel room to 20 people at a time.

Part of the Darwin Festival program is dedicated to Indonesia and includes the Australian premiere of Papermoon Puppetry’s Mwathirika. The show, which has toured internationally, examines the darker parts of Indonesia’s history using traditional shadow puppetry combined with a less formal style, Teater Boneka. Also part of the Indonesian festival is the White Shoes & The Couples Company, a pop/funk/jazz band from Jakarta.

International artists coming to the Darwin Festival include Taylor Mac, labelled by TimeOut New York as ‘one of the most exciting theatre artists of our time’, and Ireland’s ponydance who specialise in comedy dance theatre.

The festival also features world premieres of Tracks Dance Company’s Zombies in the Banyayn Tree, Candy B’s Hot Brown Honey Burlesque, and a collaboration between the Darwin Symphony Orchestra and local band Green Stone Garden. The band, who formed in 2011, won the NT Song of the Year in the folk category in 2012 and have just released their debut EP in May. 

The festival will host Salon Des Refuses, an exhibition of rejected works from the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Art Award. The artworks get a second chance as the general public get to choose the winners of the exhibition.

'Here at Darwin Festival we aim to capture the imaginations of all walks of life, while presenting a program that is unique on both a national and international scale,' said Lunn.

For the full line up visit the Darwin festival site.

About the author

Tammy Weller is a Melbourne-based writer. She recently completed a Graduate Diploma in Arts majoring in Writing, Publishing and Editing at the University of Queensland. She moved to Melbourne at the start of the year and also works as an actor and massage therapist.