Sydney – Thursday 8 April, 2021. A vivid adaptation of classic Australian story Grug leads the Sydney Opera House’s full slate of kids and families performances for 2021. Breathing new life into timeless stories, the program includes: INFUSION, No Movement, No Sound, celebrating ancient West African, Indian and Australian rhythms with a global collective of contemporary and traditional dancers and musicians; Zooom, merging heart-warming storytelling with cutting-edge technology; and the jaw-dropping music showdown Loop the Loop.
INFUSION, No Movement, No Sound (5 June) weaves together a tapestry of African cultures into a vibrant demonstration of contemporary dance and music from global artists, Jamestown Collective, now situated in Sydney. The infectiously life-affirming performance reinvents global rhythms with dynamic visuals of Ghanaian villagescapes and song, featuring dance artists Lucky Lartey (Ghana) and Girls on Tap’s Sally Dashwood (Australia), accompanied by spoken word artist Michael St George (Jamaica and Canada), and musicians Yacou Mbaye (Senegal), Maharshi Raval (India) on the Tabla and Byron Mark (Australia).
Combining whimsy, lasers and projections, Zooom (29 June – 10 July) is an enchanting story of a child unable to sleep, who helps a lost star find its way home. This beautifully immersive show by award-winning South Australian theatre producers Patch Theatre is a voyage of surprise and wonder, following a child making sense of their world through art.
From the producers of 360 ALLSTARS, the phenomenal music showdown Loop the Loop (21 September – 3 October) features Australian genius musician Gene Peterson facing off with multi-instrumentalist Adam Page in an escalating display of spectacular one-upmanship. Armed with a loop pedal and an impressive arsenal of tricks (including playing several instruments at once and coaxing beats out of everyday vegetables), this season will be the electrifying culmination of ten years spent perfecting their craft.
The stunningly crafted production Grug (8 – 21 December) is based on Ted Prior’s beloved book character, who began life as the top of a Burrawang tree that fell to the ground. This internationally-acclaimed Australian stage adaptation by Windmill Theatre Company (Bluey’s Big Play) sees the loveable Grug creatively solving everyday problems, demonstrating the benefits of sharing and environmental care.
Sydney Opera House Head of Children, Families and Creative Learning, Tamara Harrison says: “We are delighted to welcome kids and families back into this inspiring building, to enjoy a jam-packed program of unmissable stories for young audiences. They are brought to life by some of Australia’s most-loved theatre-makers, vital artists, and contemporary thinkers. A day at the Opera House merges culture and creativity for families, through our free, artist-led Creative Play activities every school holidays.”
Partnering with the Gonski Institute for Education, Sydney Opera House also continues its conversation series with influential education writer, practitioner and researcher Pasi Sahlberg on urgency for reform of Australia’s education sector. Upcoming talks will feature Australia’s most influential Indigenous educators: founder and Chairman of the Stronger Smarter Institute and Gurang Gurang / Taribelang man Dr Chris Sarra, and Fiona Kelly, a proud Barkindji/Ngiyampaa woman and Executive Principal of the thriving Menindee Central School in far western NSW (18 May), plus leading researchers exploring the impacts of screen time on young learners (15 September).