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OzAsia Festival celebrates 66,000 opening week attendances including 25,000 at Moon Lantern Trail

Lucky Dumpling Market - OzAsia Festival 2021 (Photo credit: Xplorer Studio).

OzAsia Festival 2022 runs from October 20 to November 6.

Adelaide Festival Centre’s OzAsia Festival is celebrating attendances of 66,000 across the first four days of performances and community events across the Riverbank precinct.

Families and fans flocked to the popular Moon Lantern Trail as it lit up Tarntanya Wama/Pinky Flat with more than a dozen giant lanterns, including the 40-metre-long Hong Kong Dragon and the new lantern designed by local artist Michelle Lee, depicting six Chinese Opera Masks.

Attendees were welcomed through the new Gate of Grace, created by acclaimed artist Tianli Zu, and enjoyed roving performances, puppetry, live music, food and interactive workshops on the festival’s opening weekend.

Crowds also gathered at Elder Park’s Lucky Dumpling Market which continues to serve up a delicious range of cuisine from the best local vendors, as well as live entertainment at the Lucky Beats stage, community performances, and free workshops from Tuesday to Sunday each week. 70,000 dumplings were sold over opening weekend.

Due to popular demand Lucky Dumpling Market has been extended until November 13 with more OzAsia Festival live music being presented on the Lucky Dumpling Market stage as part of Lucky Beats.

Adelaide Festival Centre CEO & Artistic Director Douglas Gautier AM: “It was wonderful to see the riverbank precinct come alive over the weekend, with so many people enjoying the stunning display of lanterns, delicious food, and performances at Adelaide Festival Centre as part of the 15th OzAsia Festival.

“We look forward to continuing to welcome audiences over the next two weeks to experience the best in contemporary Asian and Asian Australian performance.”

OzAsia Festival Artistic Director Annette Shun Wah: “We were thrilled to see so the whole precinct aglow across OzAsia Festival’s opening week. With so many stellar performances still to come, audiences can look forward to the best of the best in dance, music, theatre, comedy, visual arts and literature across the remaining two weeks of OzAsia Festival.”

Minister for Arts, Andrea Michaels MP: “This is one of the great signature events for Adelaide and the Riverbank. It was fantastic to experience the Moon Lantern Trail over the opening weekend. Not only do South Australians love it, but it is a respected event nationally and in the Asia Pacific region.”

This week music takes centre stage with something for everyone including; Bridge of Dreams, a breathtaking collaboration between 22 pre-eminent Australian and Indian musicians, featuring Shubha Mudgal and Aneesh Pradhan led by award-winning saxophonist Sandy Evans at Her Majesty’s Theatre for one night only.

At Dunstan Playhouse, iconic New York-based Singaporean pianist Margaret Leng Tan explores her 50-year career and its impact on avant-garde music in Dragon Ladies Don’t Weep. Hip-hop and RnB fans can catch Kuya James, Diola, Eastmode, Parvyn, Barkada and Claz at Nexus Arts this Friday night for Eastmode in the West End: the biggest block party you’ve seen this side of the pandemic, right in the heart of Adelaide’s west end.

OzAsia Festival’s second week also features two world premieres – rock opera The Rat Catcher of Angkor Wat, a free outdoor musical theatre and puppetry experience set in the futuristic year of 2222, created by A Blanck Canvas and world-famous psych rockers The Cambodian Space Project, and Action Star at Dunstan Playhouse, in which leading film actor and fight choreographer Maria Tran makes her theatrical debut. Filled with world-class stunts, weapon-wielding, and explosive choreography, Maria’s jaw-dropping fighting skills leap from screen to stage in this virtuosic autobiographical performance.

Back by popular demand, The Special Comedy Comedy Special returns to Her Majesty’s Theatre this weekend with a stellar bill of Asian Australian comedians including Jennifer Wong, Michael Hing, Suren Jayemanne, Suraj Kolarkar, Lizzy Hoo, Annie Louey, Patrick Golamco, Jason Chong, and The Coconuts.

Opening this Friday from Indonesia is visual arts exhibition Batik Sangiran showcasing cloth cultural motifs designed by a team of thirteen researchers and ten women batik artists, adding to the exhibitions focusing on the theme of Women at Work in Adelaide’s Festival Centre’s Festival Theatre foyers.

In OzAsia’s third and final week Dalisa Pigram reaches into Australia’s history of colonisation and industrialisation to ask how we can shift from a broken past to a brighter future in the intimate dance performance Gudirr Gudirr.

In association with State Theatre Company South Australia comes playwright Michelle Law’s smash hit family comedy Single Asian Female, a heartwarming story about love, family and karaoke from one of Australia’s most exciting writers.

Chinese Australian musician, composer, and performer Mindy Meng Wang returns to OzAsia Festival with When, a deeply personal tale of upheaval, family, and the global pandemic, sharing stories between her hometown of Lanzhou, Wuhan and her new home of Melbourne. A highlight of the festival’s final week is Korean alternative K-pop sensation LEENALCHI (이날치) and Australian-Korean hip-hop supergroup 1300 teaming up in an Adelaide exclusive.

Writing and ideas program In Other Words (November 4 – 6) returns under the new curatorship of writer and performer Jennifer Wong, bringing together more than 60 writers and thinkers from diverse backgrounds over three stages around Adelaide Festival Centre as they engage in important conversations from politics to pop culture. Events include Business Breakfast, hosted by Karen Loon and Ming Long, and the popular Lunch on the Riverbank hosted by Jane Hutcheon in which audiences can enjoy Japanese cooking prepared by acclaimed Adelaide chef Simon Bryant while hearing from local celebrated author Katherine Tamiko Arguile.

A new addition to OzAsia Festival this year is the Bubble Tea Garden taking over Festival Plaza from 5-6 November, celebrating the beloved Taiwanese delicacy that has taken the world by storm.

OzAsia Festival 2022 runs from October 20 to November 6.

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