From the 17th to 26th March, Castlemaine will play host to a range of amazing performances and exhibitions by artists from the Philippines, China, India and Sri Lanka. Locally produced works will also explore some of the unique enduring relationships between Asia and the central Victorian goldfields.
In this thoughtfully curated program, works celebrating specific junctions of culture and place, will see specially produced festival events occurring at iconic sites dotted around the picturesque goldfields town.
“The artists will be creating and premiering works in a range of distinctive settings, including in our wonderful historic buildings, homes, nature reserves and botanical gardens,” Martin said. “Their works will invite us to connect with echoes of the past, and expand our understanding and appreciation of Asian culture.”
One such work specially commissioned for the Festival will see Filipino artist Carlos Cedran take audiences on an allegorical journey through the history, society and culture of Manila, all staged within the Old Castlemaine Gaol.
“Another incredible piece will invite audiences to walk in the footsteps of the thousands of Chinese immigrants whose passage here in the days of the goldfields so profoundly shaped this landscape; we’ll be starting that journey from where a 19th century Chinese market garden once flourished,” Martin said.
Whilst the 2017 Castlemaine State Festival will show several theatre works exploring Asian themes, the medium of film will also be a festival focus. The Philippines is widely considered to have the oldest film industry in Asia, and six of the country’s most iconic films will be screened at Castlemaine’s grand dame, the Theatre Royal.
Meanwhile, the Castlemaine Art Museum will be adorned with an installation by edgy Filipino artist, Leeroy New and music lovers can be immersed in contemporary cross-cultural music resulting from a collaboration between Melbourne’s Chamber Made Opera and artists from Chengdu’s Sichuan Conservatory of Music – in ‘Between 8 and 9’.
Such exciting collaborations provoked Kathryn Mackenzie, Tourism Manager at the City of Greater Bendigo to credit the Castlemaine State Festival for leading the way over many years.
“Like so many who love the arts and culture our region offers, I can’t wait for next year’s festival to come around again and the focus Martin is bringing to the art of Asia in his programming this time only adds to that sense of excitement. In our role here we can’t wait to showcase this latest chapter in the festival’s history and in the unique experience our visitors will have here with us over the ten days of the festival”.
As Festival goers share Kathryn Mackenzie’s enthusiasm in embracing these exemplary works by its Asian neighbours, they can all be enriched by the unique insights to be found in the 2017 Castlemaine State Festival.
The Castlemaine State Festival is an Asia TOPA Program Partner. The Asia-Pacific Triennial of Performing Arts is an artistic celebration of our relationship with contemporary Asia and is a joint initiative of the Sidney Myer Fund and Arts Centre Melbourne and is supported by the Australian and Victorian Governments.
About the festival:
Castlemaine State Festival (CSF) is Victoria’s premier arts and cultural celebration.
Established in 1976, the Castlemaine State Festival is a biennial ten-day multi-arts event that draws on the distinctive culture of the central Victorian goldfields region – of old and new, of the artistic and the industrial and its dynamic community strengths.
The Festival showcases a feast of music, theatre, dance, visual art, literature and film from the region’s finest artists and performing arts companies, alongside the very best of the national and international landscape – entertaining an audience of 40,000+ attendees.
The 2017 Castlemaine State Festival runs from the 17-26 March.
For more information visit: castlemainefestival.com.au
Booking available: http://castlemainefestival.com.au/festival-info/box-office/