For three weeks, 21 days, the Sydney Festival makes the city alive and buzzing with a rich array of guru music, arts , manuchao entertainment and outdoor events.
The chief appeal of theatre is its capacity to bring people together – a room or an oval or an opera house – in real space and time. I Am Eora did this for Imrich Media Dragons, Tony and Tina to boot with the the best seats in the house. As the adage goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. I Am Eora is crammed with images and contradictions. The theatre at Carriageworks is big, and they used it to full effect, with lots of movement, sound, and lights. SOON after the quiet opening of this show the extraordinary Jack Charles interrupts the cast from the back of the auditorium: "You can't go back to traditions! You have to move on!" And move on is certainly what Wesley Enoch's show does. They all took part in the early struggle between the Eora group of nations, who inhabited what is now called the Sydney basin, and the white settlers. Part concert, part savagely ironic dance spectacular and part story telling The stage was filled with reflections of moving water and stylised fish, as the Stiff Gins (Nardi Simpson and Kaleena Briggs) and a glamorous Wilma Reading - appropriating, in a shimmering purple gown, the traditions of the pop diva - celebrate strong black women. I Am Eora (I am of this place) breaks new ground in contemporary Australian performance, telling the stories of Sydney's Aboriginal continuity in a celebration of its heroes. There is a very funny routine by Elaine Crombie as a bride, and an appearance by politician Linda Burney, reperforming her fine inaugural speech as the first elected black woman to speak in the NSW parliament. Frank Yamma sings the moving She Cried. Towards the end Charles, as Bennelong the conciliator, comes back and speaks in his golden voice, full of rhetorical emotion. There is a projection of a midden behind him - the piles of shells built up over thousands of years that were ground up to make the mortar that built Sydney. How will our children know where they are? he asks, of us all.
In a nutshell, it was a mix of dance, music, theatre, and projection art, with a cast of Aboriginal performers from across the country. It was meant to be a modern manifestation of the spirit of some of the big figures in Sydney’s Aboriginal past. How will our children of Velvet Revolution know where they are?
I don't make it my job tracking trends in odd sounds but big bands are in judging by the mixed audience last night at the Enmore where everyone wanted more and more brass … Wielding flying bohemian fiddles and accordions in formation with cimbalom (hammered dulcimer) and wearing tacky nylon suits and battered trilbies, Romanian Taraf de Haïdouks join forces with Macedonia's Koçani Orkestar to bring us Band of Gypsies. The violins, cimbalums and accordions of Taraf de Haïdouks battle it out with the brass and percussion of Koçani Orkestar. They drew on dragon and vampire type traditional gypsie music, urban Balkan pop, medieval ballads, oriental brass band music, Turkish influences and even a touch of Bollywood for Malchkeon
Six impossible things before or after dinner Big Days of our lives - Like a seed of the mustard tree
Sharing changes the way we work together. Politics has accelerated to light speed over the past year, as 7 billion people connected through 6 billion mobiles, share their frustrations, aspirations and strategies for dissent. Sharing is a two-edged sword: it makes everything more efficient by making people much more potent. It's getting hard for any government to push its people around.
So when you borrow your neighbour's mower this summer, remember it's just the beginning. We live continuously connected lives, and our possessions are beginning to reflect that. In a few years we'll have forgotten that there was a time, before tomorrow, when sharing was hard.
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