Castlemaine once again embraces the arts

Take a plunge into the unknown this March when the Castlemaine State Festival presents 10 days of over 70 performances, visual arts, talks and music programs in Australia’s largest regional arts festival.

Festival-goers are invited to the opening night dance-party, Equinox to enter the Castlemaine atmosphere where audiences are divided into Zodiac groups and taken on an holistic journey through movement, chanting and fantasy.  From fantastical theories to post-cabaret fantasia, Circa’s Peep Show promises human pyramids and awe-inspiring acrobatics, while there’s no sense to be made in Korea’s Ambiguous Dance Company’s Body Concert with 10 acts of wild movements and a soundtrack covering everything from Mozart to Daft Punk.

The communal spirit of Castlemaine is beautifully showcased in Dialogues, a program of talks and ideas exploring the future of living regionally in an ever-changing world.  The elegance of the old goldrush buildings that adorn the streets of Castlemaine are reflected

Mona Asuka

through the music of masters such as Germany’s classical piano darling Mona Asuka and Italy’s favourite contemporary harpist Floraleda Sacchi who will present pieces by Nils Frahm, Phillip Glass and more.

The diversity of people and the landscapes they inhabit is conveyed through works such as Australian poet Adam Ford’s Dance to the Anticlinal Fold and performances by world music and folk legends such as Timor-Leste’s award-winning songwriter Ego Lemos and Bosnia’s queer tattooed, flamboyantly longhaired and bearded Božo Vrećo.  Hosting a contemporary music program, the popular and historic Theatre Royal will feature Laura Jean, Emma Donovan and the Putbacks, Mildlife and Castlemaine’s very own Devo cover band Davo as well as local legends Puta Madre Brothers. Iceland’s JFDR will perform exclusively at the Festival and Mick Harvey will put his own spin on the songs of Serge Gainsbourg.

Contemporary film program, Not Your Sheila, will shine a spotlight on bold new works by Australian women in cinema and visual art takes pride of place in myriad venues around Castlemaine including the historic Art Museum. A series of free exhibitions and talks will take place across the ten days from local and international artists including local Castlemainian Cameron Robbins, Hayley Millar-Baker (Australia) and Jazoo Yang (Korea).

The region’s unique ability to communicate and connect globally is celebrated through multiple works from South Korea and collaborations with artists from Indonesia, Taiwan, Japan, Italy, Germany and Timor-Leste. Exclusive-to-Castlemaine Festival artists include Mona Asuka, Ye-Eun Choi, Federico Albanese, Floraleda Sacchi, JDFR, Ambiguous Dance Company, Abdi Karya, and Chun Liang Liu.   The Castlemaine State Festival takes place from 22-31 March 2019. castlemainefestival.com.au.