OZ ASIA – Fund and Red Sorghum – Announcements

ozasia-moon-lantern1-3Adelaide Festival Centre today announced the launch of the OzAsia Festival Fund along with the Australian premiere and exclusive performance of Red Sorghum by Qingdao Song and Dance Theatre Company, an exquisite dance drama from Shandong for the opening weekend of the 2014 OzAsia Festival.


The OzAsia Festival is a two week event presented and produced by Adelaide Festival Centre each year. It is the premier Australian event contributing to, and engaging with, the cultural landscape of the Asian region.


The OzAsia Festival Fund has been established to seek support for this unique and highly acclaimed Festival, to ensure it continues to attract internationally renowned artists and performers, and to further build on the important Australia-Asia links that we are currently developing and expanding through the arts.


The Fund is seeking support from corporates who do business with China, people and/or organisations as well as seeking donations from private philanthropists who are interested in building stronger ties with the Asian community.


Adelaide Festival Centre CEO and Artistic Director Douglas Gautier said the fund for OzAsia Festival is vital in ensuring that South Australia maintains its history as the Festival State and as an Australian leader in arts and culture.


“The flagship of our cultural engagement program is the OzAsia Festival, which has grown each year since the first event in 2007. To further enhance the Festival’s standing within the community both here and overseas, the establishment of the OzAsia Festival Fund will be instrumental in growing the Festival and increasing its innovation and positioning of Australia positively in the Asian century.”


“The funds raised will contribute directly to enhancing the Festival which is a great vehicle for building social cohesion and cultural harmony, as well as bolstering business, cultural, educational and diplomatic links between Asia and Australia.”

Special Guest at the OzAsia Festival Fund launch announcement being held this evening is Mr Shu Xiao, Minister Counsellor (Culture) at the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China who said “we are extremely appreciative of the efforts that Adelaide Festival Centre is making to assist people of China and Australia to know more about each other and to forge a deep rooted friendship and cooperative ties between the sister states/provinces of South Australia and Shandong. I believe people of different backgrounds engagement is much stronger through cultural contacts and artistic exchange, and feel we learn to appreciate each other more through sharing one another’s arts and values. The establishment of the OzAsia Festival Fund is another step toward creating stronger cultural ties.”


The launch of the OzAsia Festival Fund further expands on Adelaide Festival Centre’s commitment to maintaining strong ties with our Asian counterparts. As a national leader in the Asia-Pacific region, this is another initiative which supports the outstanding work the Centre is already doing, including the recent appointment of Douglas Gautier to the Chair of the Association of Asia Pacific Performing Arts Centres, and the Asia Pacific Centre for Arts & Cultural Leadership program established last year with the University of South Australia.


The focus of this year’s Festival, which runs from 5 – 21 September will be on Adelaide’s sister state, Shandong. Shandong is a coastal province of the People’s Republic of China and one of the most populated and affluent provinces of China. It is best known for being the birthplace of Confucius.


The announcement of Qingdao Song and Dance Theatre’s premiere and exclusive performance of Red Sorghum is a terrific artistic coup for the Festival; the company is renowned for their breathtaking work.Adapted from the novel by Shandong’s Nobel Prize winning author Mo Yan, and winner of this year’s Wenhua Prize, China’s Ministry of Culture’s highest award for professional arts, the work presents themes of love, affection and patriotism.


Combining dance and unique music composition by Cheng Yuan, this passionate and moving drama tells the story of a group of characteristic villagers, their courage and bravery fighting against the Japanese occupation, and their individual struggle for love, life and destiny.


Red Sorghum reflects Shandong’s unique customs and the strong character of its people.  It delves into the meaning of life and tells us if you live, live brave and passionate like sorghum; if you die, die strong like strong sorghum.


OzAsia Festival Director Jacinta Thompson was deeply moved by the performance when she saw the work in Shandong last year. “I’m thrilled to be working closely with the Shandong Provincial Department of Culture as we present our Shandong focus for this year’s OzAsia Festival. Red Sorghum is an extraordinary dance drama production that is exquisite in design and compelling in its storytelling”.


Tickets for Red Sorghum will be on sale in June 2014.


In 2013 an agreement was signed between the Adelaide Festival Centre Trust and the Shandong Government’s Department of Culture. The agreement confirmed a commitment to continue supporting the cultural exchange between South Australia and Shandong. It established a long-term, cooperative and mutually beneficial relationship between the Shandong Government and OzAsia Festival.


For further information on the OzAsia Festival Fund and how you can become a donor please contact Development Manager Robyn Brown on (08) 8216 8826 or robyn.brown@adelaidefestivalcentre.com.au

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