SYDNEY, January 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
Sydney Festival opened its 2012 program with Australia's largest free outdoor cultural event, Festival First Night, attracting hundreds of thousands of people into the city centre for eight hours of music, theatre, dance and visual arts. Headlining the event was internationally-acclaimed music superstar Manu Chao, who had 60,000 people dancing to his unique blend of Latin reggae. Audiences thrilled to a mix of Australian and international entertainment including a 1950s swing dance, painted caravans, Australian singer-songwriter Meagan Washington , Indigenous singer Gurrumul and dapper Jamaican gents, The Jolly Boys. Keeping things at a lively pace were street performances by Tuba Skinny , Lewis Floyd Henry and Norman J and his Good Times Bus . Casper Babypants , Holly Throsby and Erth 's mythical puppet creatures kept the kids laughing and dancing throughout the afternoon.
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Festival First Night is just the beginning of the city's annual three-week celebration. Sydney Festival is an explosion of exciting theatre, dance, music, exhibitions and talks that takes over the city, celebrating uniquely Australian work as well as welcoming companies from all over the world.
As part of the opening weekend, the Festival celebrated Australian Indigenous culture with Black Capital, a suite of theatre, music, exhibitions and a symposium that reflect Sydney's diverse contemporary Indigenous culture. On Sunday, Sydney's history was told from the black perspective, with the world premiere of I Am Eora. Audiences were captivated by six Indigenous divas from Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, as they told stories of life on the road and in the spotlight in Walk A Mile in My Shoes.
Across town, cabaret sensation Meow Meow seduced audiences with Little Match Girl, performed in a 100 year old Belgian Spiegeltent; and at Belvoir St Theatre the new theatre piece Buried City examined the essence and cost of the bricks and mortar around us.
Sydneysiders and visitors know Sydney Festival is the most wonderful summer festival in the world - a claim underpinned by the city's lustre and charisma, making it an ideal showcase for the world's great artists. In the following three weeks, Sydney Festival will welcome works by choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, legendary theatre director Declan Donnellan, the acclaimed National Theatre of Scotland, two-time Mercury Prize winner PJ Harvey and the versatile Mike Patton.
Media releases http://www.sydneyfestival.org.au/2012/Media/
SOURCE Sydney Festival