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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Sydney Festival 2021

Sydney's biggest arts and culture festival is back for three weeks of exceptional locally made performances.
By Emma Joyce
November 23, 2020
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Sydney Festival 2021

Sydney's biggest arts and culture festival is back for three weeks of exceptional locally made performances.
By Emma Joyce
November 23, 2020
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Sydney Festival director Wesley Enoch's final program is proudly Australian Made, has an entirely new outdoor stage and is putting local talent under as many spotlights as possible, stretching from Stargazer Lawn to the Seymour Centre and Parramatta Park.

Returning from January 6–26, the three-week festival has a program of 140-plus events, covering live music and theatre to circus, dance and huge public art installations. There will be physical distancing measures in place across all of the events, with the bonus of some of this year's program accessible online, too.

Highlights include a celebration of tennis legend Wiradjuri woman Evonne Goolagong in Sunshine Super Girl, in which a huge tennis court will be assembled in the middle of Sydney Town Hall; a new work of dance theatre by Force Majeure called The Last Season that explores human survival and environmental destruction; and Spirit: A Retrospective 2021 — a powerful collection of dance stories from Bangarra Dance Company's 30-year repertoire.

Jamie James

Tickets are already selling fast for events at the new pop-up stage at Barangaroo Reserve. The Headland program includes an homage to George Michael in the celebratory The Rise and Fall of Saint George. Tickets start from $25 for that, as well as other Headland events like Sydney Symphony Orchestra's premiere, The [Uncertain] Four Seasons — an ambitious collaboration between composers, designers and scientists.

Circus fans have world-class performances to look forward to, from Circa's Humans 2.0 to Gravity & Other Myths' The Pulse. In western Sydney, Dorr-e Dari: A Poetic Crash Course in the Language of Love sees hosts Bibi, Jawad and Mahdi update a 1000-year practice of courtly Persian love poetry, and H.M.S Pinafore takes over Riverside Theatre with a gender-fluid, spangling production about class, corruption and power. Plus, returning for the third year is The Vigil, an opportunity to reflect on the eve of January 26. This year's free event is ticketed, so be sure to register before January.

Take a look at the full Sydney Festival program to start planning your summer of culture. 

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