Sydney - Tuesday 27 June, 2017. The Sydney Opera House today announced ANTIDOTE – a new festival celebrating the artists, thinkers and doers who have spearheaded change in a time of uncertainty.
ANTIDOTE is an important addition to the Sydney Opera House's stable of flagship contemporary festivals: All About Women, Graphic, BINGEFEST and Vivid LIVE. Over the weekend of 2 and 3 September 2017, it will fill Australia’s most recognisable meeting place with immersive performance, courageous ideas and some of the world’s leading change agents.
A response to the times we live in, ANTIDOTE marks a bold evolution in the Sydney Opera House’s curatorial program and builds on the strong base of the groundbreaking Festival of Dangerous Ideas, which it replaces in 2017.
International highlights include bestselling author and transgender rights activist Janet Mock, National Co-Chair of Women’s March on Washington Tamika D Mallory, author of Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People about Race Reni Eddo-Lodge, and the star satirists behind The Onion.
The festival also features local heroes such as Uncle Jack Charles and Archie Roach, Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras ‘78er Julie McCrossin and Rantings of an Aboriginal Feminist’s Celeste Liddle.
One of the highlights of ANTIDOTE will be a free durational performance of Noëmi Lakmaier's Cherophobia. In the Sydney Opera House’s magnificent Concert Hall, Lakmaier’s bound and immobilised body will be lifted by 20,000 multi-coloured balloons over nine hours. A live performance installation exploring notions of control, desire and restraint, Cherophobia unites the audience with a shared sense of suspense, anticipation and transcendence.
Participatory performances - including The Money by UK interactive theatre group Kaleider and Blank Placard Dance, replay by dance-maker Anne Collod (revisiting Anna Halprin’s seminal performance in San Francisco 50 years ago) - will re-shape the way audiences engage and think about big ideas, from capitalism and democracy to what constitutes contemporary activism.
Sydney Opera House’s Curator of ANTIDOTE, Danielle Harvey, says: “In a world rife with anger and anxiety, ANTIDOTE is all about hope – a platform for extraordinary people to share their stories, for activists to tell us what they have learned and for artists to make us think. As the free centrepiece of the festival, Cherophobia invites our audiences to ponder the artist’s intention and see ‘performance’ in a completely new way; to marvel at the collective power of 20,000 balloons (it’s a metaphor for the festival).
It is my privilege as a curator to take a magnifying glass to the world that we live in and to find the right people to help us understand and respond to the issues that concern us. We look forward to welcoming audiences, artists and thinkers to the Sydney Opera House this September.”