Friday, March 03, 2006

Adelaide Festival of the Arts

Over the next two weeks Adelaide will once again host the Festival of the Arts. This state wide festival happens every two years as the city is once again host to a variety of various events like musicals, art shows, opera, theatre, among other things.

To note this year is the world premier of David Byrne's musical about our infamous first lady, Imelda Marcos. Here Lies Love has music by Fat Boy Slim and songs and lyrics by David Byrne and it will probably be as eclectic as it sounds. I'd be interested to go but the ticket prices are a bit expensive.
Here Lies Love - A Song Cycle deals with the life of Imelda Marcos, co-ruler of the Philippines in the 70s and 80s, as well as the life of Estrella Cumpas, the woman who raised her.

Through a series of songs written by David Byrne, with musical tracks supplied by Fatboy Slim (Norman Cook), Here Lies Love - A Song Cycle, presents Imelda Marcos meditating on events in her life - from her childhood spent in poverty and her rise to power to her ultimate departure from the palace. In particular, the production will look at the relationship between Imelda and a servant from her childhood, Estrella Cumpas, who appeared at key moments in Imelda's life. Here Lies Love - A Song Cycle also incorporates video sequences and archival footage.

A live band will perform the songs, sung by Byrne, Diaz-Tutaan and Suthivarakom, with Byrne adding spoken commentary. A bar in the theatre will be open throughout the performance.

And speaking of Imelda, Ramona Diaz's film about the first lady will be on show at the Festival as well.

Few contemporary political figures have been as controversial and outspoken- even misunderstood-as Imelda Marcos, the former Philippines First Lady. Filmmaker Ramona Diaz's compelling and provocative film, Imelda, marks the first time that Imelda Marcos has agreed to tell her story.

This feature documentary details Imelda's controversial rise from humble origins, through astuteness, ambition and beauty, to become one of the richest and most powerful women in contemporary world history.
Mrs Marcos sought to stop the showing of the film in
The Philippines, but failed.

Another thing that was on was a visual arts installation called The People's Portrait. I saw this in Rundle Mall while I was walking on my lunch break It consists of a large video screen and a camera in the middle of the mall which is linked with several other video screens and cameras throughout the world.

On opening night the Festival lights up with The Peoples' Portrait, the cornerstone of a Festival-wide lighting and projection experience.

Transmitted in real time between video walls in Adelaide, New York and other international locations, The Peoples' Portrait captures faces from across the world in an instantaneous, collective and truly global portraiture project.

Passers-by from downtown Adelaide or Times Square, New York take a snapshot in a kiosk and within seconds the image is displayed on the big screen among portraits captured from global locations.

Investigating the aesthetics of portraiture in the age of globalisation and the internet, Chinese-American media artist Zhang Ga creates a transfixing visual representation of our world.

Conceptualised and produced by Zhang Ga

Needless to say I tried to have my portrait taken but a line had already formed. Maybe next time.


Since we've come and lived in Adelaide, this is the 3rd Festival that we've had and to be perfectly honest, we've never really gone out and tried to watch any of the shows. It's pretty difficult to find something the whole family enjoys. And even if we want to watch some more grown-up fare, it's hard to work it around our around childcare and school schedules.

That's why the wife and I enjoy those hours we get to spend together kid free as they come few and far between. That's the way it is down here, without yayas or grandparents or uncle and aunts to help with the kids and it's really up to us. Not that we're complaing ( ok, ok sometimes! ) but I think there's just so many advantages to being so hands on with our kids. I hope it shows though now that both of them seem to be doing well.


Dominique said...

Wow, what a grand idea about the people's portrait. Quick! Get the family photo taken! Make it really funny! And set us a picture of the gigantic you.

You should watch Imelda. Wait till she expounds on her 7 pillars etche etche philosophy...which turns into 12 (actually, 11) pillars!

chaz said...

Yup! We plan to stop by the portrait thing some time this week. It does sound like fun, doesn't it?

Now, that Imelda movie, I wonder if it's a comedy or a documentary!