The 18th Macao City Fringe Festival will be held from January 11 to 27, featuring a total of 18 programs and 10 outreach activities, including workshops, talks, art critique, sharing sessions and other artistic experiences.
The diverse program organized by the Cultural Affairs Bureau brings interesting and unusual activities to Macau for a two-week period and celebrates the city as a transaction point for artistic exchange. The activities were announced at a press conference held yesterday at the Old Court Building.
Organizers say that the budget has grown significantly, from MOP2.2 million in the last two years to about MOP3 million. Tickets go on sale this Sunday, December 9.
THE WEIRD AND WONDERFUL
Among this year’s highlights are a number of unusual performances set on non-conventional stages, which challenge the boundaries of performance art.
One such example is the unprecedented underwater concert “Wet Sounds” by British artist Joel Cahen, who will transform an ordinary swimming pool into a space for musical performance. Cahen is joined at the Macao City Fringe Festival by compatriots Davy and Kristin McGuire, British artists who will showcase the world’s first projection mapped pop-up book titled “The Icebook.”
Local artist Lei Sam I will transform an ordinary supermarket into the play, “A Short Time Escape,” narrating stories of life while shuffling between the aisles of a supermarket.
A series of interactive installation workshops put together by local art group Little Studio Ensemble will explore how technology works with art through responsive pieces on canvas installations. In the workshops, participants will create interactive pieces that will be assembled and curated into a larger composition.
Dance will form the core of several other workshops led by Macau choreographer Tracy Wong, Hong Kong artist Mao Wei, Taiwanese dance group Hung Dance, and Spanish flamenco artist Sònia Sánchez. These sessions will teach physical techniques of floor flow, contemporary dance and flamenco.
In addition, American artist Morgan O’Hara will hold the “Life Cycle Drawing Workshop,” seeking to “explore the phenomenology of the unconscious as evoked through the act of drawing.”
This year’s Fringe Festival also features family workshops, encouraging families to familiarize themselves with the world of art.
In “Edi’s Mime Workshop,” French mime and shadowgrapher Edi Rudo will teach participating families how to manipulate imaginary things, such as touching walls, climbing ladders and pushing heavy objects, and share a number of his best magic tricks and audience mime interaction skills.
“Family Dance Workshop – I Love Balls” by the Changde Modern Dance Company will see instructor Wu Bo invite participants to explore the different properties of balls through impromptu dance choreography and physical interaction in a relaxed environment.
CANU Theatre creates an absurd theatrical world using lights and hand shadows, while the concert “Once Upon a Time Singing in Portuguese” by Casa de Portugal in Macau features classic Disney songs and traditional Portuguese children’s songs suitable for the whole family.
This year, the Fringe Festival also features cross-disciplinary and cross-regional shows and collaborations, including the cross-regional creation Body Skyline, jointly presented by Amálgama Dance Company from Portugal, Dancecology from Taiwan and Stella & Artist from Macau, presenting a new perspective of the city through the lines of the landscape.
Meanwhile, “Interactive Urban Music Ensemble” will invite the audience to play music by touching installations with drawings of different musical instruments that produce sounds via a speaker.
The dance performance “Goldfish,” presented by Four Dimension Spatial from Macau and Changde Modern Dance Company from Hunan, will “reveal the concealed memories of emotional taboos under the logic of dreams,” according to festival organizers.
Furthermore, this year’s Fringe Festival will continue to host the sharing session “Fringe Exchange: Connect with Festivals.” Art festival organizers from three regions are invited to discuss their festival experience and cultural environment, providing useful information for art groups and artists who are interested in holding overseas performances.