Highlights of the festival, which covers cinema, theater, and visual art in addition to music and dance, include appearances by the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet, jazz vocalist Dianne Reeves, and DJ Spooky, who will create a live remix of D. W. Griffith's film Birth of a Nation on three screens with a new score.
The New York-based Shen Wei Dance Arts will make its Australian debut with Rite of Spring and Folding, both choreographed by Shen Wei, a founding member of the Guangdong Modern Dance Company. Already Elsewhere, a new dance by Kate Champion and Force Majeure inspired by the dark, slightly surreal photographic style of Gregory Crewsdon, will have its world premiere.
The Sydney Festival is Australia's largest cultural event, presenting both national and international artists in venues in and around Sydney, including the Sydney Opera House. Free concerts take place in Parramatta Park, Sydney Olympic Park, the Domain, and other locations. The festival attracts about 1.5 million people per year.
This year, the festival's 29th, is the last for current director Brett Sheehy, who has been with the festival for four years, and is leaving to direct the 2006 Adelaide Festival.