George Town Festival to end with a big bang

Joe explaining the upcoming programmes for the festival’s final two weekends.

LOVERS of art and culture can look forward to more exciting performances as the George Town Festival (GTF) 2017 in Penang enters its final two weekends.

Festival director Joe Sidek said highlights include the Tao Dance Theatre at Dewan Sri Pinang at 8.30pm tomorrow and Saturday.

It is the Chinese contemporary dance company’s first show in Malaysia, featuring routines from acclaimed Beijing-based choreographer Tao Ye’s Straight Line Trilogy series, named 6 and 8.

“This ground-breaking dance literally has performers lying on the ground, exploring the possibilities of body movement when restricted to the floor.

“It will also be 8’s Southeast Asian première, and is a must-watch,” he told a press conference on Tuesday.

The Asian premiere of Nosferatu takes place at The Star Pitt St. at 8.30pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Award-winning musicians Rasa Daukus and Will Larsen of Tess Said So will perform a new and original live cinema score for the classic vampire movie by F.W. Murnau, released in 1922.

Joe said that while some of the shows are ticketed, prices starting at RM25 make it affordable for locals. Thus, he hopes more will make the most of it.

“Apart from the GTF, where else can one enjoy such performances here? There is a misconception that the shows are only catered to the elite, but music and dance transcend boundaries.

“The diverse programme is very down to earth, with people-oriented stories. Hopefully, it will prove inspiring for those who attend,” he highlighted.

Complementing these are the free performances at Tai @ Macallum, a pop-up theatre located in Macallum Street designed for surrounding dwellers and visitors alike to congregate and enjoy the arts.

It plays host to the Taiwan Liam Kua showcase titled What Are You Singing? at 7pm tomorrow and Saturday, featuring yueqin expert Yang Hsiu Ching.

Then, a musical performance about olden day migrants coming here in search of a better life, titled The Memories, at 8.30pm on Sept 1 and 2, presented by Orang Orang Drum Theatre and the JB Drum Team.

Otherwise, register to attend the International Women’s Arts Forum at Bangunan UAB in China Street Ghaut at 3pm on Sunday, which brings up discourse on the role women artists play in the present.

A Feast of Korean Classics by Imbangul at the Bayview Hotel at 8.30pm on Sunday highlights beautifully complex folk music, including pansori, a type of vocal and percussive performance that was designated an intangible cultural property by Unesco in 2003.

Head back to Dewan Sri Pinang at 8.30pm on Aug 30 and 31 for Anthar Agni by the Temple of Fine Arts, featuring a diverse ensemble led by Nawaz Mirajkar.

A music and dance tribute to the sacred fire (Agni), it incorporates cultural elements from Malaysia, Singapore, India, the Philippines, United Kingdom and Spain.

Also noteworthy on the final weekend is The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik at Loft 29 at 8.30pm on Aug 30 and 2.30pm on Aug 31, a one-man show by Sam Longley that tells of a last-ditch effort to save the human race.

There is also a screening of the documentary Born into Brothels at Black Kettle at 10.30pm on Aug 31, and a performance of The Dead Twin at The Whiteaways Arcade at 7.30pm and 9.30pm on Sept 2 and 3. Both locations are in Beach Street.

Finally, The Human Voice, which is Joe’s directorial debut, will play at Loft 29 at 8.30pm on Sept 2 and 3.

Adapted from the work of French playwright Jean Cocteau, it explores the dark depths of depression through a virtuoso performance by Susan Lankester.

“It encapsulates my fascination with the human psyche, of a person’s need for intimate connection, and their latent insecurities about love and loneliness,” he explained.

For ticketing, call 04-2612660, log on to, or visit the festival office at 86, Armenian Street, as well as Artist Gallery outlets in Gurney Plaza and Queensbay Mall.

For more information, visit or follow georgetownfestival on Facebook and Instagram.

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