Festival fans miss out as Womack cancels on opening night

Last minute health issues forced the Vivid Live festival to cancel a performance on its opening night. One of the festival’s major attractions, soul veteran Bobby Womack, withdrew from Friday evening’s first of two performances ”due to health reasons” according to a statement from the Sydney Opera House.
Nanjing Night Net

No details were given of these health reasons, though the statement said that the move to cancel the show was ”as a precaution” and the second show, on Saturday, was still expected to go ahead.

Refunds were promised for all Friday tickets and the Opera House was encouraging disappointed fans to book for the Saturday show, where tickets were still available. Meanwhile, Vivid Live proceeded with the festival’s big ticket item, the first of eight shows over four nights by German electronic pioneers Kraftwerk.

Vivid Sydney, now in its fifth year, is made up of music, lights and ”ideas” – arts and culture debates and lectures, and installation artworks from Darling Harbour to the Rocks, on the Harbour Bridge and, as the centrepiece, on the sails of the Opera House.

Darlington company Spinifex created the key artwork, entitled Play, which was projected on the sails on Friday night from 6pm. Play’s creative director, Richard Lindsay, said it was ”inspired by Sydney’s fun side”.

The imagery featured cameos from the Luna Park face and the Sharpie’s Golf House sign that used to sit above the Elizabeth Street store, all with a hint of Kings Cross neon and a dash of Mardi Gras.

Meanwhile, in Melbourne…

Difficult territory is a cornerstone of the visual arts – so Mikala Dwyer knew it would be confronting when she invited BalletLab dancers to empty their bowels as part of a performance at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art on Friday night.

The two-hour act involved six dancers moving around a room before sitting on transparent stools and performing – if moved to do so – what is usually one of our most private and rarely discussed daily acts.

Dwyer said she hoped the one-off performance  would inspire visitors to think  about something we have been socialised to consider dirty and have historically hidden from view, so they may  in turn, transform other institutionalised ideas about the world.

As Dwyer said, this is humanity’s most democratic act: from royalty and supermodels to a newborn baby, we all participate. “Shit has a great truth to it,” she said.

Andrew Stephens

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