By Rama Gaind.
The large annual performing and visual arts celebration held during three weeks in January is underway in Sydney. The 2022 Sydney Festival is packed full of world premieres, incredible musicians, outdoor events, critically acclaimed shows and stunning visual works. It features music, dance and a variety of theatrical performances.
Running until 30 January, the line-up spans 133 events including 33 world premieres and 52 new commissions. With an evolving mix of livestreams, new work from emerging artists, as well as documentaries and a longer form cinematic opera; you will find both original content, commissioned and produced by Sydney Festival, alongside curated pieces to enjoy. The festival’s line-up this year has been put in action into the city’s parks, pools, streets, stages and screens this summer.
The evolving COVID-19 dynamics in 2022 have presented many challenges for the organisers, covering everything from the way shows are produced to how to safely engage with venues, artists and audience.
As the new director of Sydney Festival, Olivia Ansell was constantly having to adjust to the changing health regulations, travel restrictions and border closures due to COVID.
“We are thrilled to reunite artists with audiences this summer, unleashing a compelling and diverse line-up of world class performing and visual arts experiences to be enjoyed outdoors, indoors and online. Sydneysiders and visitors alike can rediscover their city differently, through a contemporary, immersive, irreverent and imaginative lens. Sydney Festival’s 2022 program will play a crucial role in restoring culture safely to our city.”
The festival includes stunning installations, music in boatsheds and at The Cutaway in Barangaroo, musicals, outdoor theatre, a strong dance component and more
Across its most revered venues and storied public spaces, amongst its iconic beaches and hidden boat sheds, Sydney has come alive with an array of free and family-focused events, illuminating public art installations, intimate provocations and large-scale performances that will mark, interrogate and celebrate the rituals of summer in the city.
During 20-22 January, Zoom will be performed at the Riverside Theatres. Inspired by iconic children’s book Harold and The Purple Crayon, Zoom channels the same philosophy; a child who makes sense of their world through art. Using original music, lasers and projections, the performance will take you on a truly magical and immersive journey.
Fluffy will be on at Carriageworks un 23 January. It is an interactive family show and free play environment where mess is beautiful, creativity builds adventure and imagination runs amok. Using paper from offices and families Fluffy makes the recycling process magical by transforming wastepaper into an enchanting confetti cosmos.
Visit the National Maritime Museum until 30 January for the Sea of Light. Traverse the sand with a UV torch as your paintbrush, to paint and stencil your own voyage in light. Steer ships that leave glowing paths of light in their wake as you sail them across the sea floor. Then, dive below the surface to uncover glowing inflatables in hidden reef worlds.
Airship Orchestra at Darling Harbour until 30 January will transport visitors of all ages into a realm of choral sounds and rhythmic light, with its charismatic band of voluminous astral creatures guiding the way and gthe imagination.
The Australian Design Centre presents two inspiring events as part of the Sydney Festival until 27 January. The exhibition is Happy Objects and theatre work Window, Cricket Bat.
Jamming With Strangers at the Casula Powerhouse, until 27 February, lets you experience what it feels like to connect with people through music. To create a sense of belonging, it’s time to build intimate relationships again, connect with people through music and share the importance of communal spaces with musicians, fans and friends.
What are you waiting for? Dive on in – and participate.