Bleach* Festival recently launched their 2017 program.
We chat with Festival Director Louise Bezzina about what’s new and the Commonwealth Games inspired theme.
What’s unique about the 2017 program?
The Festival explores and interrogates the relationship between sport and art, and the playful moments of collaboration where these experiences collide, merge, interact, conflict and complement.
With much of the Gold Coast’s daily life and identity closely related to the outdoors, active lifestyles, sport and recreation, these expressions already form strong associations for the people of the city.
In 2017, in the lead up to the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, Bleach* Festival and many of our collaborating artists will take inspiration from these concepts, with a highly physical and highly visual program that encourages celebration and expression, as the city comes alive over three weeks.
Any particular show or exhibitions we should look out for?
I’ve been wanting to present Fun Run for a while so I’m thrilled we can present it in 2017 as it works beautifully with this year’s festival theme. Fun Run will see artist Tristan Meecham run a gruelling 42.2 kilometres on a treadmill in the heart of Surfers Paradise in homage to the Greek messenger Pheidippides, supported by hundreds of community performers and athletes.
I’m excited to be working with The Farm and Co3 to present Frank Enstein, a world premiere work commissioned by Bleach* Festival which brings together two of Australia’s boldest contemporary dance companies, Gold Coast/Berlin based The Farm and Perth based Co3 for the retelling of the classic story.
How has the Gold Coast’s cultural scene in general changed since the launch of Bleach* Festival?
There has been a considerable growth in the City’s cultural scene since the festival launched in 2011. There are many professional companies now based here and working from here, some of these include The Farm (the first professional Contemporary Dance Company on the Gold Coast), Everybody Now (Professional Company that specialises in participatory and site specific contemporary performance) and The Walls (Contemporary Gallery Space in Miami) just to name a few.
Why is it such an important thing for the Gold Coast?
The vibrant cultural scene changes perceptions and transforms the city. There is such an incredible depth to the city that the arts and cultural scene is pivotal in shaping.
Anything else you want Inside Gold Coasters to know?
Bleach* Festival is truly unique in that it is a festival of place. The Gold Coast’s spectacular physical surroundings provide a distinct backdrop to present a variety of performances ranging from installation arts to music to world premiere theatre works. This year the Festival will visit 23 Gold Coast locations and take over 60kms of the coastline from Coolangatta to Helensvale.
The Gold Coast has a growing, youthful and energetic arts community who aren’t afraid to take risks, so it’s a really exciting time to be part of this developing industry, particularly in the lead up to the Commonwealth Games.
Check out the full program here.