Program Announced for Sydney Festival 2012

Sydney Festival has announced the 2012 program for its next annual three-week celebration, January 7-29. The festival includes theatre, dance, music, exhibitions, film and talks that takes over the city, celebrating Australian work as well as welcoming companies from all over the world.

It offers free large-scale outdoor events including concerts and performances and even a ferry race on Sydney’s iconic harbour. Sydney Festival is stated to be one of the most wonderful summer festivals in the world – a claim underpinned by the city’s lustre and charisma, making it an ideal showcase for the world’s great artists.

In 2012, Sydney Festival welcomes back some favourites of Sydney audiences – choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, legendary theatre director Declan Donnellan, the acclaimed National Theatre of Scotland, two-time Mercury Prize winner PJ Harvey, and versatile singer Mike Patton.

Sydney Festival opens with one of Australia’s largest free outdoor events – Festival First Night, an extravaganza that invites everyone to experience Sydney in spectacular and surprising new ways.

In recent years, Sydneysiders and visitors alike have enjoyed free performances by Brian Wilson, Grace Jones, Al Green, Emmylou Harris, Sharon Jones & The Dapkings, Arrested Development and many more.

Audiences have been dazzled by massive projections on buildings; seen Australia’s leading contemporary dancers; cheered on a mass saxophone ensemble battling it out with a pipe band; learnt to play the ukulele; witnessed three large-scale weddings; enjoyed watching the extraordinary and the very silly; and joined in a dance routine with 200,000 others.

The Festival uses 30 venues across the city including Sydney Opera House, as well as parks and city streets. Sydney Festival 2012 has 11 world premieres, 15 Australian exclusives and 14 Australian premieres, presenting more than 1500 artists from around the globe.

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Rakesh Raman