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Media Releases

NEW AUSTRALIAN STORIES–CONTEMPORARY ICONIC WORKS BY AUSTRALIAN ARTISTS

The New Australian Stories initiative works to keep the spirit of great storytelling alive.

The New Australian Stories initiative was developed by the Australia Council to support the creation and presentation of new artistic works that reflect distinctly Australian stories. It was made possible by a one-off allocation of $2 million from the Australian Government.

This initiative will provide Australian artists working in theatre, music, dance, multimedia, literature and the visual arts the oppurtunity to tell their Australian story.

Opera Australia

Bliss

Some of Australia’s leading creative minds are at work in Bliss: a new opera.

Based on the widely acclaimed novel by Peter Carey, Bliss is composed by Brett Dean with libretto by Wendy Beckett. Opera Australia’s production is an Australian first — the first operatic treatment of a Carey novel.

Australian Art Orchestra

Bloodstream

A complex weaving of loss and redemption, of hope and reconciliation, Bloodstream blends the saga of a Ngarrindjeri woman, the enigmatic singer and songwriter Ruby Hunter, with the history of Murray River where she was born and still lives. The beauty and fragility of Australia’s natural environment, the resilience of the human spirit.

A remarkable collaboration between Ruby Hunter and Archie Roach, celebrated director Nigel Jamieson and the Australian Art Orchestra.

Marrugeku (Stalker Theatre Company)

Burning Daylight

Karaoke night–Broome-style. A story of one night spent in a transit zone outside a notorious pub in Broome.

This production from Marrugeku is a celebration of dance, film karaoke and Broome itself–one of the most diverse and cosmopolitan communities in Australia, full of contradictions, richness, friction.

Arena Theatre Company

Criminology

Take a ride through a warped mindset – where the torturous death of a friend is just an interesting by-product of another Friday night out. True crime that makes compelling drama, Arena Theatre Company’s Criminology is the unsettling story of Joe Cinque, murdered by his girlfriend at a dinner party in suburban Canberra.

Shocking, and more than a little sinister.

Lucy Guerin Inc

Explode

At 11.50am on 15 October 1970, a span of Melbourne’s West Gate Bridge collapsed. Thirty-five people were killed instantly. Many were injured.

Explode reaches into the myriad physical, structural and emotional implications of a collapsing bridge, through projection, sound and the moving body in this production from Lucy Guerin Inc.

Sydney Children’s Choir

Heritage in Song

Teasing out the threads that connect the gifted members of Sydney Children’s Choir, Heritage in Song releases intriguing fragments of their life stories in this interplay of music and images.

La Boite Theatre Company

Johnno

David Malouf’s iconic novel sees mates Johnno and Dante struggling to make headway in dreary post-war Brisbane–while plotting their escape to the wider world.

La Boite Theatre Company brings an Australian classic to the stage–and the world–in a co-production with the United Kingdom’s Derby Playhouse and the Brisbane Festival.

Perth International Arts Festival

Noongar Boodja (Noongar Land)

The Noongar Nations of South West Australia come together for this contemporary art project, created by senior Indigenous artists as a symbol of the living culture and identity of Noongar Nations.

A feature of the Perth International Arts festival in February 2006–and an enduring symbol of the Noongar nations for the future.

IHOS Music Theatre & Opera

Olegas (working title)

Opera plus film, Olegas brings to life an Australian hero.

Migrating from Lithuania to Australia after World War Two, Olegas Truchanas discovered the untouched beauty of Tasmania and devoted his energies to exploring and photographing its rugged wilderness.

Olegas portrays a man who battled the extremes of the Australian landscape to capture and preserve its image–and died in the process, drowning in the very river he sought to save.

De Quincey Co

Pivotal Country

A 72-hour journey into the harsh and beautiful Central Desert.

For three days and three nights, this innovative performance will use sound, speech, image and movement to reflect life in Central Australia, distilling the unique nature of Australia’s desert spaces.

Museum of Contemporary Art

Focus on Contemporary Australian Art and Portrait of a Distant Land

Cape Barron artist Ricky Maynard photographs the land, following song lines, ochre trails, tribal movements and historical displacement routes. His art tells the story of the Bass Strait’s Big River and the Ben Lomond tribes of Australia.

The Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney features Maynard’s ‘Portrait of a Distant Land’ in the traditional gallery – and through large-scale outdoor installations in the Sydney metropolitan area.

Force Majeure

Snapshot

Captured in a single moment, a secret window into the lives of eight very different Australians born over eight decades.

Acclaimed photographer William Yang will work with multi-disciplinary physical theatre company Force Majeure on Snapshot – dance theatre performed in a life-like kitchen where stories are passed on like recipes, eight stories rolled into one, and the wallpaper peels away to reveal hidden pasts.

Brink Theatre Company

The Extinction Project

An exciting project for the Australian stage, inspired by the writings of one of Australia’s great scientific minds — Tim Flannery.

The Extinction Project brings together director/dramaturg Chris Drummond, scientist/author Tim Flannery, scriptwriter Andrew Bovell, visual artist Hossein Valamanesh and the Brink Ensemble to delve into the notions of exploration, epiphany, discovery and extinction in today’s Australia.

Australian Dance Theatre

Devolution

Robots and humans struggle to co-exist in What God Hath Wrought, a collaboration between Australian Dance Theatre and one of the world’s first specialist robotics artists, Canada’s Louis-Philippe Demers.

Our place as humans in the ecosystem; our relationship with technology; and the need for ritual are the complex themes explored by Australian Dance Theatre in this groundbreaking work.

Kooemba Jdarra Aboriginal Corporation

Whispers of this Wik woman

Beyond biography, beyond family history, Whispers of this Wik Woman powerfully challenges notions about rights to identity, land and a role in the community.

Indigenous performing arts company Kooemba Jdarra adapts Fiona Doyle’s award-winning novel for the stage, giving dramatic flesh to Doyle’s ‘Nana’, Jean George Awumpun, loving grandmother and staunch activist.

New Australian Stories is supported by the Australia Council for the Arts, the Australian Government’s arts funding and advisory body.

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Brianna Roberts

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