Cultural Programme

The cultural programme for the 5th World Summit will be arranged by Melbourne Festival, with the support of Arts Victoria.  Brett Sheehy, Artistic Director, will create a programme of arts events over the period 3-6 October, culminating in the opening night of the Festival on the evening of 6 October.

Melbourne Festival is one of Australia's flagship international arts festivals and one of the major multi-arts festivals in the world. 

Each Festival brings an unparalleled feast of dance, theatre, music, visual arts, multimedia and outdoor events from renowned and upcoming Australian and international companies and artists to Melbourne.

Through excellence, diversity and accessibility, the Festival presents the best possible artistic experience to as many people as possible. It proudly offers a wide variety of venues and ticket prices, plus many free events.

The 2011 Melbourne Festival will take place on 6-22 October.

The Black Arm Band Company: dirtsong
When: Monday 3 October
Where: Plenary, Melbourne Convention Centre
Time: 1930 - Opening Ceremony (included in delegate registration fee)

Black Arm Band dirtsong
Black Arm Band in dirtsong Photo: John Sones

dirtsong is a music performance from Aboriginal Australia mixing traditional and contemporary songs, sung in many Indigenous Australian languages.
A narrative about country, dirtsong seeks to evoke a sense of geographical place and country as a series of encounters, memories, occurrences, obligations and nature.

With words from Miles Franklin Award-winning author Alexis Wright (Carpentaria), these songs evoke a new conceptual and emotional map of Australia's heartland while gently awakening some of Australia's sleeping languages.

The Black Arm Band Company is a collection of many of Australia's premiere Aboriginal musicians. The ensemble performs, promotes and celebrates contemporary Australian Indigenous music. Its members come from across Australia and embody diverse musical, linguistic and cultural backgrounds.

Featuring: Archie Roach, Lou Bennett, Emma Donovan, Shellie Morris, Shane Howard, Mark Atkins, Stephen Pigram and Djolpa Mackenzie. Conception and direction: Steven Richardson, Vocals supervision: Lou Bennett, Music supervision: Eugene Ball

Also included in your registration is a ticket to one of Melbourne Festival’s preview events, below. Additional tickets for accompanying persons can be purchased at a concession rate by completing the 'Cultural Programme' section of the online booking form.

The Melbourne Conversations - Creative Cities, Regions and Communities: Why local art is so important.
When: Tuesday 4 October
Where: Federation Square
Time: 1800 - 1900
The City of Melbourne conducts a popular series of public conversations throughout the year. Tonight the conversation, though not a formal part of the programme, will align with the 5th World Summit on Arts and Culture.
Melbourne Conversations

 Back to Back Theatre / Ganesh versus the Third Reich
When: Tuesday 4 October
Where: Malthouse Theatre, Melbourne
Time: Evening performance
Additional ticket price: AUD55.00 (inc GST)

Back to Back Theatre / Ganesh versus the Tird Reich
Image: Busby

What if the story takes on its own life? What if it fights back?

The Nazis stole the swastika, an ancient icon of Hindu culture. Ganesh wants it back. Gods, like elephants, don’t forget.

In this World Premiere production, acclaimed Australian theatre company Back to Back Theatre conjure an epic journey of an elephant-headed Hindu god who seeks to go one-on-one with Hitler. As our hero Ganesh cuts a swathe through Germany we embark on a wildly inventive ride through history, where sacred icons and rituals become weapons of theatrical production.

Back to Back Theatre is one of Australia’s leading contemporary theatre companies. Based in the regional centre of Geelong, it creates new forms of theatre imagined from the minds of a unique ensemble of actors with disabilities, giving voice to social and political issues that speak to all people. The company has achieved international acclaim for its daring and intelligent productions, including small metal object (Melbourne Festival, 2005) and Food Court (Melbourne Festival, 2008).

“[small metal objects’] beauty lies in the way that it forces you to concentrate on the things and people who are normally rendered invisible. In their accidental participation in the show, the people in the crowds become distinct individuals…”  Time Out London (Critic’s Pick), Nov 07

Official Summit Dinner
When: Wednesday 5 October
Where: Melbourne Museum
Time: 1900 - 2330
You will be transported across town to the Melbourne Museum next to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Royal Exhibition Building. The Museum opened in 2000 and receives more than 1.5 million visitors per annum. Pre-dinner drinks will be held in the Museum’s award winning Forest Gallery and Melbourne Story exhibitions. After dinner, let your hair down to one of Melbourne’s finest dance bands.
Melbourne Museum

Chunky Move and Victorian Opera / Assembly     
When: Thursday 6 October
Where: Melbourne Recital Centre, Melbourne
Time: Evening performance
Additional ticket price: AUD99.00 (inc GST)

Chunky Move and Victorian Opera / Assembly
Image: Lucio Beltrami

With over sixty performers on a vast staircase on the Melbourne Recital Centre stage, Assembly is about crowds, a demonstration of mass action in both movement and voice. As striking patterns evolve from chaotic rabbles, musical harmony emerges from dissonant voices. Combining force and agility of Chunky Move’s dancers with the euphonious scale of the Victorian Opera, Assembly’s action shifts between mesmeric visualisations of kaleidoscopic order and the unpredictable convulsions of a fomenting mob. In collaboration with conductor Richard Gill, choreographer and director Gideon Obarzanek will create this highly anticipated work on a grand scale.

"Chunky Move do it with a hard-edged impact and design originality that makes them particularly memorable." Manchester Evening News

Melbourne Festival