Report to the Community 2014 - Page 8

FROM THE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR From circus arts to high arts, the 2014 Melbourne Festival covered an enormous range of shows and artists. We turned up the volume and heightened the engagement the Festival had with audiences who have a love for the arts in all forms and combinations. 8 There were shows aimed at disrupting our thinking with visual arts as performance, theatre as a choral experience, and classical music getting together with the coolest of techno DJs. We offered the purity of tradition with the exquisite guqin from China as well as the boldness of contemporary work with Germany’s newest star theatre director, Falk Richter, as well as one of Europe’s most respected theatre makers, Heiner Goebbels. Importantly too, when the Festival concluded on 26 October after 17 days of amazing events, the ripples of its legacy continued. The impact of the six international and Australian commissioned works and a host of other world premieres continues to be felt by the artists whom we supported. As befits an international festival, we created opportunities such as the workshops held by the Trisha Brown Dance Company at the Victorian College of the Arts and the Aurora Orchestra at the Australian National Academy of Music, for some of the world’s most important companies to offer professional development and inspiration to the next generation of Melbourne artists. Melbourne Festival contributes meaningfully to the cultural life of this city in other ways too, with partnerships such as those with the Malthouse Theatre, Melbourne Theatre Company, Chunky Move, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, National Gallery of Victoria and the Centre for Contemporary Photography ensuring that together two plus two really does equal five. There were so many examples of this to be found in the 2014 program, but one of the best is the focus on the fast-changing world of circus, an art form in which Melbourne excels. In partnership with the National Institute of Circus Arts, the Flying Fruit Fly Circus, the Australian Circus Arts and Physical Theatre Association and the Jiangsu Acrobatic Association, Melbourne Festival presented an exhilarating showcase of circus and an investigation into its future including performances by companies from Canada, Belgium, Brisbane and, of course, Melbourne. All this added up to a Melbourne Festival program that was curated specifically for