What’s on in Sydney this week: food, music, festivals and stage productions
More than 6000 dancers will spin, pirouette, plie and leap through four days of the Australian Dance Festival, with workshops by leading choreographers, performances and dance competitions. Australia dancer Michael Dameski, who was runner-up in NBC’s World Of Dance last year, will lead two workshops and also perform. Festival-goers can participate in the Guinness World Record attempt for “Most Backing Dancers Behind Singer”, and dancers will also have the chance to audition for full-time positions at elite dance schools. Catch singer Samantha Jade as she pops in for a dance — and learn some moves from her choreographer. And don’t miss the event finale of festival artistic director Marko Panzic’s The Dream Dance Company’s production of De Ja Vu featuring Michael Dameski.
If you have any energy left, there will be three dance competitions — the Dance Around The World solo comp with prizes including a trip to LA; a breakdancing battle; and one for best dance crew with a prize pool of up to $8000. A new comp, Resonate, will be launched this year especially for public and private school students. Tickets are from $160 for a full day (including three workshops) and a weekend ticket is from $320 for adults and $280 for concession at australiandancefestival.com.au.
Orange Blossom Festival, Castle Hill Showground, Saturday, 4pm-9pm
Live music, gourmet food trucks and light installations come together for the annual Orange Blossom Festival. Nicknamed Lights, Beats and Eats, the festival will showcase great live entertainment with Jon Stevens and Reece Mastin (pictured) taking to the stage as well as children’s performers Lah-Lah’s Big Live Band and acrobatic group Dauntless Movement Crew. A range of food trucks will be on site to satisfy your hunger, including Chur Burger and Gelato Messina. And catch the various light installations, such as the trumpet flowers and giant inflatable mushrooms. A fireworks display will cap off the family-friendly event.
Croissants and Petanque, The Fernery, Mosman, Sundays for a month starting from this weekend at 11am
Sundays at Mosman’s The Fernery will turn French chic, with a new menu and games of petanque played on the rooftop. A croissant menu will feature delectable offerings such as truffle and brie, and chocolate cookie crumble — with the flaky pastries cooked freshly on site. You can wash it all down with Lanson champagne and rose from Provence and play petanque. The special menu will run for a month of Sundays, from this weekend.
Pop-up Tokyo Bars, 63 William St, Paddington, September 18-20
The laneways off William St will be transformed into a little Tokyo, with three pop-up bars to celebrate the launch of Japanese ready-to-drink spirit mix, Koyomi Highball. Be guided through three intimate mini bars which will accommodate 10 guests at a time and enjoy food pairings, an immersive light installation, live DJ entertainment and a Japanese photo/sticker booth. Tickets are $40 each and include three drinks and food at eventbrite.com.
Sake Weekend Picnic, Sake, The Rocks, Saturday and Sunday, 12.30pm
Enjoy a picnic with a difference when a designated space at Sake in The Rocks is transformed into a Japanese floral wonderland. You can dine tatami-style with an extensive shared Japanese menu (pictured) for $169 per person, which includes a cocktail on arrival and two hours of Veuve Clicquot rose, Cloudy Bay wine and Sapporo beer. Plus, four limited-edition cocktails will be available at an additional cost. Book by calling 02 9259 5656.
Star Wars Concert, Sydney Opera House, September 12-14
It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve seen it, this live concert experience of Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be unique. The Sydney Symphony Orchestra will play Oscar-winning composer John Williams’ original score as the movie plays on a big screen for a more immersive viewing experience. Tickets are from $59 at sydneysymphony.com.
Height In Spring, St Columba Uniting Church, Woollahra, Saturday 5.30pm and Sunday 2.30pm
The Woollahra Philharmonic Orchestra will celebrate the new season with their rendition of Schumann’s First Symphony, appropriately nicknamed The Spring Symphony. The performance features 15 orchestral players including young virtuoso violinist Darcy Dauth who joins the orchestra to perform two solo works. Tickets are from $25 to $35 at ticketbooth.com.au and children under 12 are free.
Constant Craving, Sutherland Entertainment Centre, Saturday 8pm
Lisa Crouch (pictured) celebrates the 25th anniversary of the great KD Lang’s Grammy-winning album, Ingenue accompanied by a nine-piece band. Australia’s only KD Lang tribute performer, Crouch will sing the some of the greatest hits from the album, such as Constant Craving, The Air That I Breathe, Crying and more. Tickets $49 general admission, or $47 concession at sutherlandshire.nsw.gov.au.
SF3 Smartfone Flick Fest, Event Cinemas, George St, Saturday and Sunday
The film festival that showcases productions made entirely on a smart phone is back for a 5th year featuring 29 Australian and international films. Highlights will be the Saturday night Australian premiere of the thriller Blue Moon (pictured) by New Zealand’s Stefen Harris, who will follow the film with a Q&A with cast members, and SF3 Kids, which features 12 offerings from children aged 16 and younger. A VIP party and gala awards event on the Sunday will feature the best 15 Australian and international smartfone short films, along with guest ambassadors David Wenham and Nicole Da Silva.
Tickets $10-$40 at sf3.com.au.
Q Station Open Day, Quarantine Station, Manly, Sunday, 10am-2pm
Step back in time and learn what it was like to live at Manly’s Quarantine Station, as you hear stories from staff, passengers and their descendants. The open day will bring the historic site to life through art, tours and kid’s activities. A highlight is the Interactive Quarantine History Tour where a guide takes you to some of the site’s oldest buildings. Site entry is free but the hour-long tour, at 10am, 11am and 12pm, costs $5 per person. Book by calling 02 9466 1551.
GET ON IT
Dame Edna My Gorgeous Life, Darling Harbour ICC, September 28 and 29, October 5,
tickets from $99 at ticketek.com.au
Hello possums! With just three shows scheduled for Sydney, you don’t want to miss out on the chance to see everyone’s favourite Moonee Ponds housewife as she comes out of retirement to recount the major events of her life and dish the dirt of her “attention-seeking” manager, Barry Humphries.
If you love the Lifestyle Channel show on Foxtel, here’s your chance to go behind the scenes with the hosts Andrew Winter and Neale Whitaker (pictured) in an intimate dinner experience.
Chefs Giovanni Pilu from Pilu restaurant at Freshwater and Martin Boetz of Longrain and Cooks Co-op will put together a rustic Italian share-style menu with wines curated and presented by Lisa McGuigan. Guests will hear expert tips, behind-the-scenes secrets and insights from the stars of the popular property lifestyle show. Tickets are $180 each at eventbrite.com.au.
Parkes Elvis Festival, Parkes and surrounds, January 8-12
The biggest rock’n’roll festival on the Australian calendar is back — and this time Elvis’ 1966 movie Frankie And Johnny is the theme for thousands of fans who gather to celebrate The King around the anniversary of his birthday. Now in its 28th year, the festival attracts Elvis and Priscilla look-alikes to the central west for dance lessons, tribute artist concerts, Elvis-themed breakfasts, movie screenings, and even an Elvis gospel service. Tickets vary per session. You can find the full program at parkeselvisfestival.com.au.
Cirque Stratosphere, Concert Hall, Sydney Opera House, December 24-29
The Sydney Opera House will be transformed into a futuristic Big Top as world-renowned acrobats and gymnasts perform death-defying feats. Acts include a performance inside the Columbian Wheel Of Death, acrobatics on a Russian Bar where a performer is thrown in the air and must land back on the skinny bar, sky-high contortionists and clever stunts on rollerskates. Tickets are $59 for adults and $39 for children at sydneyoperahouse.com.
Aria 20th Anniversary, Aria Restaurant, Sydney, October
Aria Sydney, is turning 20 and will celebrate the occasion with style — with an unrivalled Harbourfront location and a world-class menu. To mark the milestone, owner and chef Matt Moran (pictured) has created a custom eight-dish tasting menu which will be served throughout October and includes some of the restaurant’s most-loved dishes. Celebrations will culminate in a ticketed progressive dining experience of a five-course dinner with cocktails and canapes for $360 on October 23. See ariasydney.com.au.
Sculpture On The Farm, Dungog, October 4-7
Plan a weekend away in the Hunter Region and check out the Sculpture On The Farm exhibition. The outdoor event was launched last year as part of the Dungog Festival and proved so popular organisers have brought it back. Wander around “Fosterton” and enjoy the artworks of 100 local Hunter artists and those from the east coast of Australia. And then take in the wider Dungog Festival which celebrates local art, food and entertainment. Entry to Sculpture On The Farm is $5, see dungogfestival.com.au.
Originally published as What’s on in Sydney this week